|NOT the littlest country kid!|
They quickly took over the play area, pushing tables together and decorating. Of course my son says to me, "My birthday!?!?!" all excited. They had the same theme we had used for our son, so I could totally see his confusion. He was mesmerized by the store bought sheet cake, with Mickey Mouse driving a car to Mickey Park.
The mother took orders for the group of 20 plus people and disappeared to the counter to order. Is it just me or does spending well over $100 on McDonald’s food for a two year olds birthday party (which he was running around and didn't seem interested in at all) make anyone else go OMG!!! After a while, it became too much for my son, who really thought all this was for him, so as I collected him from in front of the plastic domed cake once again, and decided it was time to go. As I looked at the cake, in all its glory, I about choked when I saw the price on it was over $30 for that small little cake!
In food, decorations and gifts, this mother had spent well over $200 on a two year olds birthday party. Maybe I am thrifty, frugal or just plain poor, I don't know, but this just made me sick to my stomach. Would I have loved to give my child that cake he was so mesmerized by? Of course! What parent wouldn’t want to make their child happy! But then I realized…. He may not have stared as long at his cupcakes, be he had been more than happy with them at his party. So why was I stressing?!?!!?
Simple birthdays are just as sweet as lavish parties that cost way too much (in my opnion.) Did my son miss out on anything by us not spending hundreds on his party? NO! In fact, I believe he was more engaged with his party, the people there, and the things going on. I hit Dollar Tree and managed to get everything I needed for less than $5 for decorating and his gift was under $10. We did a sandwich spread, chips and drinks for under $30. And all in all everyone had just as good a time as I believe the party folks at McDonalds had!
So how do you throw a simple party that is just as sweet? Creativity and doing it yourself!
1.) Keep your party small. The more people you invite, the more food you are going to need. The more people you invite, the more paper products you are going to need. The more people you invite, the more mess they are going to make for you to clean up!
2.) Pick a theme! You would be amazed what you can pick up at a dollar type store. We had a Mickey Mouse theme and I still was able to pull together related themed items at a fabulous price! Depending on the season, you can pick up beach balls for a pool party! If it is a pizza party, focus on each guest making their own pizza. If you have girls, you can do a spa theme with lots of cheap nail polish and other fun accessories. Be creative!
3.) Renting a venue to hold a party can be costly. If you are able to hold the party in your own home, there is no cost. You could also use a public park if the weather permits. You can look at libraries or churches for more reasonable room rental prices.
|One of the oldest country kid's birthdays at the zoo. We let him |
invite one friend to go on a special safari together for the day!
4.) Food costs can really add up fast if you aren't careful!!! Keep it a cake and ice cream kind of party. Trust me, that’s all the kids want anyway. If you do decided to go for more food, make as much of your party food as you can from scratch. It may take more time, but will significantly reduce your costs. My cupcakes cost me less than $5 dollars to make and that includes the cupcake liners and cupcake stand! That was over $25 cheaper than the McDonalds party people. Did I have to mix and bake? Sure, but I bet my cupcakes tasted better than a store cake too! Make things that give you bang for your buck (aka lots of food for the price.) Some of these include, hot dogs and chips, chili, and finger foods like veggies and cheese and crackers.
5.) Skip the party games. They are a headache to plan and half the time they cause more stress at a party then there needs to be. You don’t need a schedule of events! Just let the kids play and use their imaginations. Provide balls or whatever, but just let them enjoy spending unorganized time together.
6.) Skip the “goodie bags.” A lot of money is wasted on crappy things that go into a bag. Seriously, as a parent of a child, I hate my kids bring home more crappy little toys to strewn everywhere. Plus, it is the birthday child’s day. I don’t feel every kid there needs a gift. And if a child expects a reward for just showing up…. Well…. Then they don’t understand what it means to celebrate something for someone else.
|He wanted mushroom hunting and fishing on his cake..... |
I gave heck trying! LOL All that mattered was he loved it!
Everyone wants the best for their children.... We just want to make them happy. And whether it is due to me being a penny pincher or because resources are limited at times, I don't feel my kids have missed out one bit when it comes to birthday parties. We make each birthday special with attention to detail and our children DO remember each special event!