Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Guest Post: 10 Frugal Birthday Party Ideas

Guest post by JRFrugalMom from Frugality Is Free

Hosting a birthday party can be stressful, and it can be very expensive as well. There are ways to cut costs, without cutting down on the fun, and hosting a frugal birthday party is quite simple.

Tips For Hosting A Frugal Birthday Party:
  • Reuse and Recycle Decorations:  Birthday banners,
    decorations and tablecloths can easily be reused from year to year. Have a box where you
    keep all the birthday decorations, so that you can easily find them when you need them.
  • Free Entertainment: Free entertainment is the best kind, and it is not hard to set up a couple of party games and activities. Make a scavenger hunt, when it is time to hand out goody bags, or fill up a couple of buckets with water balloons. Party games and activities are also great at getting all the kids involved, so that no one feels left out. You can also make pinatas out of paper mache, cardboard boxes and paper bags.
  • Start Early and Buy on Sale: Start looking for sales on goods such as chips, soda, candy, napkins etc. at least 1 - 2 months in advance. Clearance sales after holidays are especially great for getting party favors, napkins etc., and the Easter clearance sale is a great time to get stuff for a girls birthday party thanks to all of the pastel colors.
  • Buy Bulk: If you have several kids, buying bulk party favors, napkins, plates etc. can often save you a lot of money. You can find some of my favorite bulk party favors here.
  • Don't Over Buy!: Kids do not eat much at a birthday party, because they are too busy playing and having fun.
  • Buy at ALDI!: If you cannot find it on sale, Aldi will likely have the lowest price on the items you need. I have found that baking goods, chips and snacks are priced best at Aldi.
  • Look for Coupons on Pizza and Other Party Food: Look for coupons for your local pizzaria, or look for Domino's coupons to get a great deal on the party food. You might also be able to negotiate a better price with your local pizzaria, if you are buying a lot of pizza.It never hurts to ask.
  • Check Out Your Club Stores: Sams' club has a great price on some awesome tasting birthday cakes. You can
    get twice the amount of cake at Sam's Club than at Publix for the same
    price. If you know someone with a Sam's Club Card, ask if they can bring
    the cake - you can order it yourself.  
  • Use Store Brands: Don't be scared of using store brands for snacks, foods, drinks, paper goods etc. If you pour the snacks into a bowl, no one will even notice that you only paid $0.99 for a bag of chips instead of $3. No one will even realize that you paid $1 or $2 less for your baking goods at Aldi than at Publix either.
  • Seek out a free birthday venue:
    Playgrounds are great for birthday parties, just make sure to know
    whether you need to make reservations, or if it is on a first come first
    serve basis. If you have a nice back yard, you can easily transform it into a party paradise for the kids. 
These are just a few of my favorite tips on how to host a frugal birthday party, but the more creative you get, the more money you can save. If you want more details and ideas, you can check out my $100 Party Budget post where I break down my latest party dollar by dollar.


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