Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Birthdays on a Budget

For some reason I decided to have Winter babies. December 12 and January 31! Ouch. Those dates are hard on the pocket books. No matter how much I plan to save up for my children's birthday and parties, the savings ends up going to the essentials in life- food, shelter, utilities, clothing and doctors.

I am telling you right now. Pinterest can be your friend and your frustrating enemy. I like the ideas, but I am an extreme DIY mom and I do not like paying for things I can do myself. For instance my daughter is turning seven in a few short weeks. She is totally into all things American Girl Doll. Now that is a pricey subject that just blows any household budget. Thankfully we have a few family members who are willing to go together and have now for a few years to make Miss K's dreams come true in the doll category.

But, how do I possibly pull off an American Girl Party for her and her friends? For me....

1. After holiday sales. Think red, white, silver, stars. Seriously, you can do this for almost any party, boy/girl any holiday!

2. Peruse Pinterest and pin ideas to your child's personally named party board. If you do not individualize your party boards, you should think about it..

3. Make your own invitations. Use PicMonkey, Word, or other software programs that you are familiar with. Or Evite. I love Evite.

4. The cake. Can you open a box? Do you have an oven? A cake ball maker? My $19.99 cake ball maker has entertained now at 6 parties. I love this appliance. So much that my mother in law asked for one for her birthday one year. Score!! Seriously, cakes are just going to be ate. Make one and forget it. I have bought a few in my life. We eat the homemade ones a lot better and faster. 

5. The venue. This is a toughy. I do not like paying for places to host parties, so we typically go for the "at home" parties. To be honest with you, my home is small and although I love to entertain, I used to shy away from hosting in my own home. Guess what? Kids do not care. They have fun no matter where. I will say this particular party is not going to be in my home, but rather my mother in laws. She has a looooong table that will sit the girls and their dolls perfectly! We are blessed. 

6. For a girl party to be a success, I think you only have to have a few things. Food/drink, play and/or craft and an open mind. Remember, the party is about celebrating her and letting her enjoy some one on one time with her friends. The preparation you put into it makes it fun and enjoyable for all. The smiles are priceless. 

These are just a few of my tips for birthdays on a budget. On February 1, you will have to look out for my actually party post to see what fun the girls have.

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P.S. Just a  plug, but on February 4, 2014, I will be chatting it up on Twitter at 1pm with during their #STSMchat (save time save money). We will be discussing party planning on a budget further. I cannot wait to hear more ideas to help me save time and money. Be sure to go read more about it on their blog!

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