Sunday, February 28, 2010

Birthday on a Budget...

As I mentioned in a previous post, we had our oldest daughter's 4 year old birthday on a major budget. We typically have a big family and family friend dinner, but I just couldn't do it this year. Instead, we had 3 friends and 2 cousins over for a pajama party! The plan was to have pizza, presents, cake, free play time, and some time to hang out and watch a Strawberry Shortcake DVD in their pajamas and sleep bags. I felt a little guilty about not having "structured" activities, but really, my girl just cared about having her friends over. In our neighborhood, I truly feel like I have to apologize for not having a pony and/or a bounce house, etc., but I just decided I wasn't going to buy stock in that this year. I just told the parents we were going to be really laid back and pulled the plug on my own personal guilt. I knew that my little girl would be thrilled with the activities, and she's the only one I have to answer to!

I planned ahead as best as I could and borrowed as my items as I could manage from our pantry and party supply overstock.I kept a mental tally (in rounded numbers) of what I spent, so I could put together a final cost. Here is the breakdown --

Little Caesars carry out pizza for guests and parents ($25)
Cake ($2)
Ice Cream ($3)
Fresh Pineapple ($.50)
Fresh Strawberries ($2)
Organic carrot sticks ($1)
Gallon of milk ($2.50)
Strawberry Straws (2.50)
24 bottles of water (free)
Plastic Tablecloth ($3)
New Gymboree jammies for the birthday girl ($3) Yes, $3.
9 Balloons ($9)
4 Carnations ($2)
Candles (free)
All paper and plastic silverware (free (leftover from the baby's first birthday))
Party Favors (princess pillowcases made and donated by my mom)

The total comes in at approximately $54.50, which I think is pretty darn good! I know I had a happy birthday girl too!

I'd love to hear more frugal birthday party ideas! As our family grows, we're not going to be able to keep up at the pace we had previously set. I'm going to need as many new ideas as I can get!


  1. I just did our girl's 1st birthday party, and managed to pull it off (somewhat) frugally. I got beef on sale and did a crockpot of bbq meatballs, cheese, crackers, and veggies for the adults, and cupcakes for dessert. I used a lot of things we already had (white table cloth, flannel fabric for future baby quilts) to decorate with, and got the rest at a vendor-only craft warehouse. I spent the most (about $40) on presents, but justified it by getting her first pair of big girl shoes in there too.

  2. Awesome! Looks like a perfect party!

    I chose your blog for an award...please stop by to pick it up! :-)

  3. looks like a great settig love the pink I am sure she had tons of fun