Twice a year about a month before my daughters’ birthdays, I ask myself a multitude of questions:
- What kind of party should I plan?
- How many of her classmates should I invite?
- How will I make this year top last year.
- How will I afford this?
The final question is the one that hits me hardest and determines the answers to the previous questions.
Cost Saving Tips
- Local Parks – They’re free. They often have pavilions for inclement weather. No clean up at home.
- Nature Centers – If you have a local nature center, call them. We have one in Aurora that has amazing staff and fantastic programs.
- Somewhere that has an entry per vehicle such as a State Park, City Park, or National Park – Bring mini vans full of kids and you have yourself a cheap venue.
- Discounted Theaters – We have the Elvis Cinema theater here. The kids can see a movie that they may or may not have already seen for a cheaper price.
- Places that have all inclusive pricing – party packages = super easy.
- Local government buildings with meeting rooms. Kids don’t care where it is, they just care if they get cake and play games.
- For the adventurous – go camping, hiking, biking.
- At home – not ideal but definitely cheap. Basements, back yards, sleepovers.
Invitations, Cake, Decorations, Goody Bags:
- I have, on occasion, spent a lot of time and effort on making (yes, making) invitations. Though they are super cute and make me feel better about my Pinterest obsessions, they also take a lot of time, effort, and money – they’re actually more expensive than buying pre-made invites.
- Tiered cakes are nice for weddings. Sheet cakes are perfectly acceptable for birthday parties and King Soopers has a great selection of cakes and cupcakes. I spent hours on extravagant cake pops for my daughter’s 6th birthday. They were cute, yes, but much more expensive and time consuming than a sheet cake would have been.
- Decorations are nice but aside from balloons… Kids. Don’t. Care.
- Goody bags. Two words. Dollar Store.
What to spend money on:
- Activities – whatever the kids are going to be doing.
- Helpers – if you don’t have a husband or mother that’s willing to help, bring in helpers especially if there are going to be more than 10 kids under 10.
- A bottle of wine – you need something to celebrate your success after the party.
- You don’t have to compete with classmates’ birthday parties. You know your child and what they would like. Don’t go overboard just to keep up with the Joneses.
- Though your kids will seem like they don’t care and may ignore you, your presence at their party – smiling, taking pictures, etc – is way more important than everything else.
- Encourage people to RSVP but be prepared for additional kids to show up. RSVP’s don’t work well with kids’ parties for some reason.
- Make a budget and stick to it.
- Keep your eyes open for deals. Groupon, Living Social, Etc.
Good luck in your party planning endeavors!
~ Thankfully Exhausted