Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Can You Throw a Birthday Party for $20? (RevisitRH)


There are only four Wednesdays left in Lent (including today). Let's continue on with the #revisitRH on Wednesdays in Lent!


Being frugal is something I was raised to value. At times, it can be so hard to stick to our goals, though... especially when kids' birthdays come into play! This year, we had to keep our daughter’s birthday party expenses to a frugal $20. But how? Seems impossible, right?


After all, birthday parties are a three-pronged affair: food, decorations, and gifts. Parties can be catered, or you can scale down to fancy homemade food; you can buy expensive pre-made party decorations or make them yourself; you can bake the cake or simply purchase the cake, on a budget.  


Did I mention cards, wrapping paper, fresh gift bags and tissue paper (if you need it), ribbons and bows, party favors, and candy and/or a piñata?


Did I mention house cleaning supplies, thank you notes, and … can you catch my drift? It goes on and on ad infinitum.  We didn’t consider hiring a magician, but if that’s your cup of tea... dude, I’m impressed. You’re on the awesome side of dude.


The genius of a good party is knowing when to say stop and knowing when to say no. For example, how many people do you invite? How many presents do you buy? How nice should they be? Do you play games? Or not? Are piñatas still cool?  (Yes, the answer is yes).


Unfortunately, I don’t have Melissa and Doug working for me, nor do I have their creative genius or production speed.  However, I do care deeply about my kids (that’s a fact), and I want them to have very happy birthdays.


Here are the party decorations.  A few extra little touches to tell Frances how much we love her-- that definitely can’t hurt!  And just a few simple, homemade adornments to say, “Welcome to our home, we’re glad you’re here.”


not the best picture, but at least you get the idea. 
It looked better on.;)

First, I made a fancy party hat. I made it by simply tracing a Melissa and Doug hat that we already had; it came with a dress-up set she got for Christmas a few years ago.


I used wrapping paper that my mom bought for a dollar at a consignment sale (score!), and I used an HGTV magazine for cutting out the letter for her name. I didn’t even have to buy letter stickers! Sweet!


The hat was a little small, so I extended it by cutting some trim from the magazine to lengthen it. After that, it fit perfectly. Win again!


Finally, attach a tassel to the top of the hat, and you’re done!


turned this into a banner/garland



I made the tassels myself, out of used tissue paper, and they are actually ridiculously easy to make.


To make fold three pieces of pink (or whatever color you choose) tissue paper over, and cut out a square.  


Then, simply cut long lines so that it looks frayed.


Finally, twist it together on the fold, and close it off with a piece of pretty tape (Duck Tape for the win, again!). Attach to a ribbon for a birthday banner. So simple, easy, and a fun touch all told.


I added some tissue paper flowers for some added fun, and voila! All done.  





For the food, I made some fun fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, using vanilla yogurt, mixed fruit, and a dollop of whipped cream with a slice of cantaloupe on top.


And I bought a cookie cake and fresh vanilla ice cream besides, because yum. A cookie cake from a grocery bakery is often cheaper than a frosted cake, although those are yummy, too. Also, try getting an undecorated cake and trying a DIY frosting to save money!

At Goodwill, I found a little pink car for a little bit of nothing, a little purple make-up bag in great condition, some used books, and a stuffed rabbit that I washed up in the washing machine.

The $20 breakdown:

~$14 for homemade food (cake, icecream, yogurt parfaits)
~$4 for Goodwill presents/used wrapping paper
~$2 for homemade decor

I also ended up making Sloppy Joe's with a few sides (carrots and dip, chips) and some caffeine-free drinks. I know our guests had a great time, and I can honestly say I was much less stressed at this party, knowing I stuck to our budget. I slept well that night, and I think that’s the way it should be! I know this approach is my own, and we have varied the parties based on the budget for that go-round (month), but this is always a good reminder! ;)


adding my link here.

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