Sunday, May 15, 2011

Skip the Expensive Gift Bags for Your Guests! SERIOUSLY!

6 Ways to Have a FAB Summer Birthday Party That Won'tBreak the Piggy Bank
1. Party your socks off at YOUR home
I have 2 little guys & find that we go from party to party during the summer. Most of the parties are at bounce houses, water parks, gymnastic studios, or kid pizza places. Prices for these cool party spots range from $150 to $500 depending on the number of kiddos that attend and how many extras you want. Whatever happened to a good ole party at your house?
Throw a great party that everyone will love at your very own home & don’t go broke doing it! Save hundreds of dollars and get to entertain in your own backyard. Summer is great for the kids playing outdoors.  
2. Leave the invitations to the experts
Since you saved so much money by having the party at your house you can spend $25 to $30 on personalized invitations. There are so many companies competing for your orders right now that you can get some awesome deals from, Tiny, and many others. Don’t forget to order 1 or 2 extra for your birthday scrapbook cover!  Here is my recent invite for Jackson’s birthday party in June.
3. Shop for food, chips, cake & party supplies at a super-saver store
Shop at a local Sams Club or Costco and get just about everything you need for your party at a fraction of the cost.  Treat your guests (not just the kids but the parents too) to some favorite summer dishes like fruit platters, hamburgers, hot dogs, deviled eggs, watermelon, chips & dips and don’t forget to buy the cake there too. Half a sheet cake is only $20 & that’s a steal with free personalization!  Plus you can get your paper plates, napkins, cups & beverages there too for next to nothing! OH – here’s a great tip for you….if you have a “Dollar Store” in your area you can get Mylar balloons for $1.00 (yes, with the helium). No kidding. Save even more~make your own cake, cupcake, or cakepops!!!
4. Pull out the fun stuff you already own
There is no reason to buy a bunch of new games, hire a face painter/balloon artist, or bring in a big bounce house! Save your money & get creative!  Do you already own a slip-n-slide? How about a trampoline?  If you have a trampoline put about 50 balloons in it & your kids will go wild. Get a roll of art paper and tack it to your fence then let the kids either finger paint on it or give them brushes to create their own birthday art for your little one! All these ideas will make beautiful pictures for your birthday album and are very inexpensive. Bring the music outdoors. Pull out your portable CD player and play some fun tunes for the kids – turn it up. You can come up with some great ideas if you just think about what you already own!
5. Do not buy a bunch of gifts for your little one
Yes, I’m telling you not to buy a lot of presents for your own child. All of your guests’ gifts will be overwhelming your little one as it is.  There is no reason for you to buy more than 1 or 2 special presents for your prince or princess. Children typically get overwhelmed easily with all of the activity at a party and then opening all of their guests gifts in front of them may send them into overload or even a meltdown.  If you simply must buy several presents, try giving them to your birthday girl or boy before or after the party.
6. Boycott the expensive gift bags!
Yes, I know you probably think I’m crazy but I stand strong as I recommend that you either skip the gifts bags to your guests or find an alternative way of doing it. The cost of putting together elaborate gift bags for your child’s guests can be easily be $20 - $40 per child.  This is the biggest money waster at your child’s party that there is and you could definitely put that money into the actual party for food, games, crafts, etc.
If you simply must give a gift bag at your child’s party you can still do it for under $5.00 per child. Keep in mind that it is not about how cool or expensive the gift is to thank your guest for coming, but about your guest remembering how much fun they had at the party.  Forget the junky trinket items! Get creative ~ buy a hu-la-hoop and wrap a cute ribbon on it for personalization. Put your money into a great craft to do during the party & let each kid take their item home.

Let us know how your summer birthday party goes and if you implemented any of these radical money saving tips! We’d LIKE to know. Also, please join us on Facebook for daily fun & inspiration to moms just like YOU!