Birthday Parties on a Budget
Ideas to make your kid`s big day go with a bang – without breaking the bank.
By: totanaliz on: Thu 03 of May, 2007 [15:51 UTC] (6392 reads)
We all love to make our child´s big day really special. Sometimes there is a lot of pressure on parents to go “all out” for a huge, epxensive party. But stop and think.. your child´s birthday is just one day – you could find yourself paying for it for a lot longer!
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Here are some ideas and tips to help you keep the costs down, whilst still giving your child a great party.
* The Theme
A few weeks before the big day, get them to choose a theme. Most kids will do this anyway, but it will make your life easier by giving you an important focus for the extras and decorations. Try to steer clear of TV and movie characters if you can, and go for more generic themes like princesses, wizards, pirates, cowboys etc. Once you have chosen the theme, get researching! Buy a few key items, but the trick is not to buy anything that you can make yourself or get for free. For example, my son wants a “Harry Potter” party for his birthday this year. I typed “ kids partyware Harry Potter, discounted” into the search engines and came up with a couple of sites selling “end of line” items for half price. We chose the napkins, tablecloth and party bags.
You can get some great free printables and downloads suitable for invitations. Again use the internet to search for the character or theme of your choice. I found a “Harry Potter” owl template to use, and will fill the invites in myself with ornate script. There was also a good generic wizard pre-printed invite on offer. Sometimes you need to register with the site to access these, but you can always unsubscribe after the big day.
You could also send “einvites” via email, saving on invites and postage, and a site such as http://www.evite.com is a good place to start.
* Browse Party Supply stores and sites for ideas
You can easily get ideas for games, activities and extras from these sites. I came across one site selling piñata for $15 each ( and that was empty!), and there was one shaped like a wizard hat. Basically just a large cone, painted and decorated with gold and silver stars. I´m going to make my own using card and stickers.Who cares if it looks a little home made? It is only going to get beaten to bits anyway!
There are some very good sites dedicated to making parties go with a swing, these are some of the best I found.
* The cake.
If you are a good cook, bake and decorate it yourself. If not, buy a plain sponge and decorate with ready to roll coloured icing in the appropriate theme. You can add small figures, stickers, candles. Again, the children are generally so excitied to get the cake, they don´t look too closely at the workmanship!
*Cut costs where no-one will notice.
Don´t spend a fortune on matching ranges of plates, cups, balloons, party gifts etc. Use plain or gold plates, mix a few special themed balloons in with a bumper pack of plain ones, make your own versions of banners and pictures instead.
And don´t forget to save and store any left over each time, you never know when they may come in handy!
Above all, make it fun. At the end of the day, if your child has friends, family and fun they will have a very happy birthday indeed!