How to throw a kid’s birthday party for under $75
First of all, get a pinterest account. Learn how to use it. My parties have gotten a million times better since I did. If you don’t want to do that, then google image is your best friend. Heck, it is even if you do use pinterest. Do research and plan ahead. You can come up with so many ideas using things you already have at home and this will not only save you a fortune but your party will look better for it.
My son turned three today. The party was yesterday. The theme was Sesame Street, mostly because I found invitations that were still in the package for a quarter in June. Sorry, I didn’t get a photo of those but it’s not like I did anything to create them. However, you can go online to a site like this one, where I printed almost all of my printables from, and they also have invitations. As long as you or a close friend has a printer with ink in it, and you have printer paper, you have free invitations.
The first thing we do when I throw a party is eat.
Obviously the things you have in storage are going to vary from what I had but here is what I did. The plates and napkins came from Wal-mart. Grand total for that was (I believe) $2. The forks were in my stored party supplies. We didn’t need spoons or knives. The glass the forks were in came from my cabinet. The tablecover was left from last year’s Wizard of Oz party. I already owned all of the dishes. The picks in the sandwiches were leftover from my daughter’s sweet 16. So were the cups. If I had it to do over with these trays, I would have used shorter cups and left bowls of extra dip on the side but it made the house full of toddlers happy so that’s what matters.
The food was:
A veggie tray designed like oscar the grouch with broccoli, carrots, black olives, and a red pepper slice; The eyes were homemade dill dip (sour cream, fresh dill, seasoned salt).
A fruit tray designed like Elmo with strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, and goldfish crackers in a cupcake wrapper for the nose; the eyes were vanilla yogurt.
Tea sandwiches made from regular white bread (I normally use whole wheat at home but one white bread sandwich won’t hurt anyone), deli ham, and mozzarella; there were no condiments on them because it was easier than pleasing everyone.
I don’t think I spent more than $50 on food, total.
The pasta salad came from a recipe at http://makedinnereasy.com and was called Mediterranean orzo pasta salad. As a side note, if you’re looking for a menu planning site, this one is awesome and free. I’m not getting anything to say that. I truly do feel that way. I haven’t cooked anything yet from her site that I didn’t like.
Here is another photo up close of the veggie and fruit trays.
Of course you have to have something to drink when you throw a party so we had Rubber Ducky punch. The container was one I already had but I bought it fairly recently for $10. It’s a worthwhile investment but I think one with a stand would have been better. At any rate, the punch is half of a gallon of blue hawaiian punch, one liter of gingerale, and half of a quart of pineapple sherbet. The rubber ducky was in the toy box. I cleaned it up and floated it on top. You will want to make sure you use one that has never been in water, though. Those little plastic toys are a breeding ground for black mold once they’ve been in the tub. You can buy a new one for a dollar at any store with a toy section.
Next we played games.
First we played a guess-how-many game. I used one and a half boxes of dots, partly because of the rainbow color and partly because they were cheap. The jar doubled as a centerpiece for the cake table. The fabric and ribbon were in my craft room and the jar was left from a jar of something-or-other that my mom gave me.
My adorable niece won the candy and I used the candle later for the cake.
The next game was Oscar’s trash toss. It involved construction paper, a box, and pieces of paper. It was completely free since I had everything already. Pardon this really crappy photo. I didn’t intend to show this one here but I didn’t get any others.
Our sweet little friend won this one. She won a package of tootsie pop candies that I found for 89 cents.
Then we did Stick The Nose On Elmo. Again, completely free!
Big sister won this one and she also got tootsie candies.
Next up was the cake. Learn how to decorate cakes. Seriously. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Even if you buy a cupcake decorating kit and learn how to make frosting swirls, you will save so much money. The price the stores charge for cakes is ridiculous when you find out how much it costs to make one. The cost of labor doesn’t have to be factored in when you do it yourself.
I explained the cakes more in depth at my other blog, but the cost is figured in to what I mentioned earlier about the expense of food. The plate that the cupcakes are on is something I already owned and the tablecloth is a cloth one I have that I use during the holidays.
Then we opened presents. This didn’t really involve anything I had to make. Big boy got lots of cool presents and it really made his day. His favorite thing was a firefighter costume that he still hasn’t taken off.
We handed out treat bags with an Elmo theme. The bags have been in my cabinet longer than he’s been alive, and the labels all came from the website I mentioned above. I split one box of crayons that I had bought with school supplies between all eight kids, and split one package of goldfish crackers. Everything was wrapped in tissue paper and either taped or tied with ribbon from my stored party supplies. So… maybe $2 was put out for this?
If I had it to do over, I would have used plastic bags or something for the crackers because the grease soaked through, but I don’t think the kids cared.
The only other thing I didn’t get a photo of was the sidewalk. I had one of my older kids write the letter P and the number 3 all over it with sidewalk chalk for a cute entrance.
Disclaimer: Not only am I not a photographer by any means but my camera battery is dead and I can’t find the charger. These crappy photos are only meant to show you what I’m talking about and are not, by any means, intended to look professional.