Everyone who knows Joy, knows I love a party! I've always been the pure definition of a "Mullet Mama". All business in the front and party in the in the back! It's the best way to be in a life where you love your career and you love to have fun. Speaking of fun, I must say one of the funnest yet most stressful thing about being a mother is the infamous... Birthday Party
I honestly, truly ( Joanne the Scammer Voice) believe birthday parties have been causing hair loss, tooth decay, and chest pains for mothers throughout the centuries! But I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way. Birthday parties can be a lot of fun and cheap. The only thing mothers should have to stress about is making sure everyone especially your little one is having a good time!
I have hosted birthday parties for Romeo every year since he's been born and every year it has been with a budget of about $100. I want to share some tips with you on how to plan a fun & frugal birthday party that will leave the kids in awe! The new theme of motherhood is #FunAndFrugal, say it with me " FUN & FRUGAL"! Check the tips below.
1. Make your own invites!
No more paying for elaborate pieces of paper as invites. I have never bought invites or had invites made for me for Romeo's birthday parties. Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word is your best friend! I love being creative and playing with colors and incorporating Romeo's cute little face in all of his invites! You don't have to be creative as me. There are free templates online with characters that allow you to modify the invitation and print free! You could also email or texts the invitations to the parents for free as well! Evites and Paperless Posts are so in right now! They create an easy convenient way to manage your events and guest responses online for free! Utilize these resources and it will kick off your birthday planning with more money in your pocket!
2. Use Free Venues!
Venues can be the most expensive item when planning a birthday party. Places that I have looked at cost near $300 and they put a cap on how many people you can invite. Like seriously!? That's crazy! If you have the money mama, do your thang! But for me, I keep the # FunAndFrugal mindset when picking a venue. For Romeo's first birthday party I used a space on campus that was free for students. 2nd birthday party was at the club house of one of my line sisters. 3rd birthday party was at the gym play center with bounce houses where I worked out. 4th birthday party was at my apartment clubhouse which just so happen to have a small movie theater.I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Use your resources when it comes to finding a venue. Parks are great areas for Spring and Summer birthdays. For fall and Winter birthdays like my son, Romeo, clubhouses, and free community centers are a great way to celebrate. Bring crafts and games and the children will surely have a ball!
3. Make the food yourself!
Food is one of the main reasons that I go to parties so I know there has to be other mothers out there that feel the same. Think simple and convenient when cooking for a party. Its great to be health conscious but don't over kill it. Fruit and vegetable trays are great but buy the fruit and vegetables that you would like to serve, cut them up and put them on the 1 dollar trays from Dollar Tree. On Romeo's 3rd Birthday Party, he desired a monster truck theme so we sliced apples, used 2 toothpicks and added grapes to the end to make the fruit look like little cars "4-Wheelin Cars". Get creative with the way you label your food as well! I always name my food for the themes. The cinabun cake was called a "Muddy Sweets", the chips and chex mix were called "Nuts & Bolts", the drinks were called the " fueling station". Make the food fit with the theme by a creative tag and everything will work!
4. Grocery Store Cakes taste bomb!
Grocery store cakes are cheap and can fit the theme well. They have all of these cute little kits you can choose to fit the party theme. Depending on how many people you've invited results in the total cost of the cake. 1/4th a sheet cake is pictured to the left and it fed about 30 children and adults. Cakes this size with a character theme cost from $12-$20 at a grocery store compared to bakeries for about $40-$60. Do your research and find the best cheap cake that taste good enough for the guests to enjoy and get a sugar rush at the end so you can send them back home to their parents!
Side Note: The Snapchat Filter was relatively cheap as well. Fiverr is a site where you can go request snapchat filters. The costs are from $5-$20 total. Once you have a filter created you can submit it to the snapchat geofilters site and pick the dimensions of the geographic area along with how long you want the filter to run to see you final costs and submit. I chose to run Romeo's filter for 2 days. The first day only at my apartment and the 2nd day at the birthday party location and the total was $12. Great deal for the hip millennial social media moms like me!
5. Homemade Favors are the best!
Favors don't have to match the theme when characters are involved. Many years, I have used bags that incorporate the colors of the birthday party and tissue paper as well. Solid color gift bags of a dozen can cost between $1-$3 which is also comparable to the tissue paper price. I usually print "Thank you for coming" notes that fit the theme with Romeo's face on it to send home inside of the bag just because writing thank you notes is very hard for me. Fill the bags up with Candy, a couple of crayons, paper, pencils, and all kinds of random cheap things that kids love. Remember, this party is for your crazy little offspring, do not go broke getting gifts for others!
If you are feeling a little fancy, you could also do favors for the parents that do not involve an absurd amount of money. This year, I utilized one of closest co-workers who is an awesome baker, some mason jars that I got fora great deal at Dollar General and some printed off labels that I personalized for Romeo and sent parents home in the Southernest way possible, with a mason jar full of Strawberry Shortcake! Still cheap, affordable and most of all cute!
6. Pinterest is your best friend!
Pinterest has completely changed my life when it comes to birthday parties. You can just google ("Specific Character" )Birthday party and you will be overwhelmed with the amount of ideas and creative ways you can capture the ideal experience for your child. Every year my themes have been influenced heavily by pinterest and every year I was able to execute with creativity, precision, and money still in my pocket for Christmas gifts ( Romeo's birthday just so happens to be a week before Christmas, Ohhhh the pain!). Utilize the pinterest app and I am sure you will never go broke or have a lame birthday party again!