How to Host a Birthday Party on a Budget
Sarah Carlson, RealHousewivesofMN.com
Recently we celebrated my daughter’s first birthday, and I knew as soon as I started planning it that I wanted to stick to a budget. We expected around 30 people to attend, and knew that because of the date we’d chosen (a Friday night) that we would be providing a meal, and dessert. That was the challenge, so how did it turn out?
We rocked it, I can’t even lie. We managed to spend under $100 on a venue, food, dessert, decorations, and everything in between. After learning a few things along the way, I feel confident giving you some tips on how to stretch your dollar for your next birthday party.
Visit the dollar store. I can’t even begin to explain how many awesome things I found at my local Dollar Tree for my daughter’s birthday. Everything from balloons, table cloths, plates, napkins, utensils, streamers, and more! I even purchased some hard plastic, fancy-looking serving bowls and matching serving spoons that we ended up just tossing at the end of the party. I was tired, and doing dishes was not on my agenda.
Pick your menu wisely. We chose to serve sloppy joes at our party because it was easy, affordable, and it didn’t require a whole lot of prep-work on the day of the party. We served them in a slow cooker, and also served up beans in a slow cooker as well which made life super easy! Beyond that, we also had potato salad, and little individual bags of chips that came in an assortment of options.
Utilize your wholesale/club membership. If you have a Sam’s Club or Costco membership, go and browse what they have to offer. In our case, we found 16-packs of hamburger buns, and a 50-pack variety of little potato chip bags. This is also where we found a great deal on a large quantity of beef for our sloppy joes! Depending on how big your party is, you could also order your sheet cake through them as well, or find a good deal on beverages – the options are endless.
Get creative with your venue. In our development, we have a small little building that you can rent out for events. It comes equipped with restrooms, tables and chairs, a small kitchen, and lots of open floor space. Not only that, but it’s adjacent to a park, basketball courts, and a large, open field. It was perfect to keep kids occupied and host adults as well. Not to mention, I didn’t have to clean my house before (or after)! That is worth it’s weight in gold if you ask me. Find out what options you have in your community, you might be surprised at what’s available. If nothing else, you can reserve a picnic shelter at your local park and enjoy the great outdoors there!
Choose a theme that allows some creativity. A friend of mine recently told me about the plans she has for her son’s birthday party and I thought it was super clever! She’s going with a camping theme, and utilizing nature for her decorations making almost everything free! Browse Pinterest for some clever ideas and don’t be afraid to tackle a DIY project and/or use things that you already have. All of these things can go a long way for just a little investment.
Make it a potluck. If you are fortunate enough to have help from family or friends, take advantage of that! You can have each guest bring a side and all you have to focus on is the main dish. It takes the stress off your plate, and fills up your table easy peasy.
Many times, people don’t even take notice of the little things. So put your time and energy into the big things and your guests won’t be any wiser! Plus, I think most people are happy with a good meal and great company – as long as you have that, it’s a win in my book!
What tips do you have to add to the list? Leave a comment below and share your secrets!