Sunday, September 18, 2011

Planning a Birthday Party - DIY for Less

Throwing a birthday party for anyone while on an extremely tight budget is hard, but doing it for "status conscious" tweens is another story.  We don't live far from those "Real Housewives" so spending lots of money and having brand name this & that is the norm around here.  But we're surviving on one income that's probably a months salary to our infamous neighbors so I've had to come up with party plans that wouldn't break the bank, but would also be entertaining enough for about 20 neighborhood tweens!

And just where the heck are we supposed to have this party?  After looking into local facilities that offered carefree "all inclusive" party packages, I was shocked at the $300 - $500 per hour price tag these places required!!  Everything was clearly out of our range!!  I had to figure something out soon or I'd disappoint the birthday girl!  So taking into consideration this was a summer birthday, we looked into having a Pool Party at our community pool.  Cost: $25.00 for a permit to reserve a patio pavilion!!

made invitations which cost me a total of $2.00 and were so fun to create!  The birthday girl quickly approved of them and hand delivered most of them to her friends saving us postage too!!  As the RSVP's came in, I couldn't help but stress out ~ Would I have enough food for everyone?  What about decorations?  What kind of "goodie-bags" should we have? Could I afford to really throw this party?...

::::: B R E A T H E ::::::

Boy, was I super excited to find streamers, balloons, table cloths, a Birthday Banner, and these super fun solar powered dancing flower pots at the 99 Cent Store!!! 

Solar Powered Dancing Flower Pots courtesy of the 99 Cent Store & the Nate Berkus Show 

I saw an episode of the Nate Berkus Show a while back where these adorable dancing flower pots were featured in a "Low-Cost Party Decorations" segment and the woman said she got them from the Dollar Store.  But I never saw them at my local Dollar Store!!!!.....  that is, until I needed them!! WOOT!!

We arrived several hours before the party to set up the decorations which I was so afraid we would run out of, but we actually had too many!!  Oh well, we'll just have to save them for the next party!! :)

The Birthday Girl "showing some LOVE" for the decorations

I made goodie-bags from shovel & pail buckets I found at Wal-Mart.  Inflatable beach balls, candy, and fun straws were added to the buckets courtesy of Target.

"Goodie-Buckets" filled w/candy, beach balls, water bottles, & fun straws

So far, so good.  Now I need to get some food!!  The local Farmers Market had seedless watermelons on sale for 19 cents a pound. So I bought two, cut them up into triangle pieces, and served them in huge pink plastic bowls I got from the Dollar Spot at Target!  I ordered the cake and several pizzas from Costco where I also grabbed cases of bottled water, soda, and juice pouches that we put on ice during the party.

Total Cost: $174 

I spent a little more than I had planned to, but the final tally was way cheaper than what was being offered anywhere else.  I'm proud of myself for staying determined to find great ways to have this party without emptying my wallet (too much)!  And it was reassuring to be asked by many of the parents who were at the pool that day, "How did you do this?" ... "This is great!" ... "I want to do to this for my son/daughter's upcoming birthday!"

You can't put a price on having fun, especially when it's memories you're creating, not social status.  And it looks like everyone had a great time to me....

Birthday Fun on a Budget = PRICELESS

Have a Beautiful Day!