Friday, January 28, 2011

How to have a birthday on a budget

Unbelievably CMan's 1st birthday is creeping up on me. With just about 2 months left to get all the details in order, I've been really working to have an adorable birthday on a budget.

So where to start.....

First I like to come up with a theme.....CMan is having a construction themed birthday based off one of his favorite toys:

So I started with finding decorations, invitations, and such on etsy. If you haven't heard of etsy before they are a site were individuals from all over the country sell their homemade products. I am in love with the DIY printable packages that many of the Etsy stores are offering. I found this shop called Dimple Prints which offers printable themed birthday packages ranging in price from $10 - $30 depending on the level of customization you would like to do. The packages include everything from invites to party hats and there are the most adorable themes. She has this adorable construction package:

CUSTOMIZED Printable Party Package...DIY Construction..Loads of Fun Includes PHOTO invite and Photo thank you... by DimplePrints
but of course being me, it didn't exactly match the colors I had in i sent her a message and guess what she is happy to work with me!

So now I have customized decorations just for CMan for a great price.

Next on to the tableware because prices on those add up fast. Since I have such customized decorations and accents I am going to take it easy on tableware and buy them from the dollar store in the colors I would like. You can't beat a dollar for a pack of plates (and they just get thrown away so are they really worth the $4 a pack?).

I also like to have goody bags for the kids so I try to shop this well in advance. I bought the little tool belts from Lowes for around 80 cents a bag. I then went to Oriental Trading Company and bought construction hats, bath tub tool squirters, and tool shaped bubbles. Make sure when you are shopping online you do two things 1. do a search on google for any online coupons - many sites have them for free shipping or a $ off if you buy a certain amount 2. see if Ebates offers a % back with your purchase (for oriental trading company it is 4%!)

Next you need to figure out food. I say call in your back ups on this one. In our family we usually provide the big food and a few sides and then ask that the rest of the family helps out with a side. For MGirl's luau last summer I even provided recipes so people could go with the theme. Ha ha ha! But if you don't have backups to call in, just remember to not go overboard and to shop the sales for a few months. You should be able to get snacks and food at a great price if you prepare ahead of time.

Last you will need a cake. You have lots of options for a cake so shop around. We are going with a great cake lady who will design the cake in any way we choose (and for a price I just can't beat)!

Carter's smash cake will be a small version of this:
dump truck thumbnail

and his big cake will look like this

bulldozer thumbnail
and for those who don't like cake we will throw in this dessert

Dump Truck Cake
brownies!! :)

I firmly believe you need to plan ahead to find the best savings! So get planning and you can have a fabulous party on a budget! 

Do you have any great savings tips for birthdays?? Or any great ideas for our construction themed party - please share!!

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