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How to Save and Skimp on Children's Parties

by Chris Green
September 29, 2009
Everyone loves a good party. Kids are no exceptions.

Children love birthday parties. A good birthday party will last for a long time in a childÂ's memory. However, the cost of throwing a fabulous party can be quite prohibitive too. In todayÂ's trying times, a birthday party can be quite a strain on the budget.

Here are a few tips on how to save and skimp on childrenÂ's parties without sacrificing the fun.

Plan Ahead

A birthday is a special event. Depending on the size of the party, make sure that you plan a few weeks or a few months ahead for the party. While children may be spontaneous, a good party can take some planning.

Planning ahead will also allow your guestsÂ' parents to make time for the special event.

Make lists of everything you think you will need. Once youÂ're done, trim off all the things you can do without. These may include extra dĂ©cor, entertainment or custom printed invitations.

You can also sit down with your child and discuss the guest list. If you are on a budget or if space is a constraint, you can explain to your child why the guest list needs to be kept small.

Budget

Money is always a sticky topic. If youÂ're going to throw a party, make sure that you spend within your means.

Create a budget and stick to it. You would be surprised at the amount of cash that is spent on a few extras. Always compare prices. You may save a lot of money this way.

You should stick to the list you created earlier. If itÂ's not in the list, you probably donÂ't need it.

Children donÂ't really care about price tags. All they want is to have lots of fun.

DĂ©cor

Sure, a giant streamer proclaiming Happy Birthday would be very nice to have. However, the cost may not be enough to justify what will most likely be a one time expense.

Avoid the expensive balloons. In most cases, these balloons will either pop before the party is over, or will be last seen flying high into the big blue sky.

Using a cheaper variant of balloons will allow you to buy more at a price that is equal to or lower than the expensive balloons. The more balloons you get, the more color choices the children will have. A tug of war between two kids over a balloon that comes in their favorite color can be a real party pooper.

Children will ignore most dĂ©cor unless theyÂ're fun to play with. Stick to the basics.

If time is adequate, create your own. Your child will enjoy participating in the party preparations. Plus, you save a ton of money by not using store bought décor.

Recycle

If you still have dĂ©cor from previous parties, reuse them. Or, ask your friends if they have any dĂ©cor leftover from their childrenÂ's parties.

Food

Food and dĂ©cor occupy the top spots for party expenses. DonÂ't go overboard on the food. Keep the party fare simple. Stick to perennial kiddie favorites like burgers, pizza, cupcakes, hotdogs and the like.

Note that too much sugar can drive active kids into hyperdrive. Keep that thought in mind as you plan the menu.

If you can bake, make the cake yourself. Making the cake yourself will cost far less than if you went to a cake shop. The birthday celebrant will no doubt want to clean up the frosting too.

You can choose to have cupcakes instead of the traditional birthday cake. You can top the cupcakes with sprinkles, frosting or little animals. Food the kids can play with will make your cupcakes a hit with any child.

DonÂ't forget the adults at the party. TheyÂ'll probably need more sustenance than the kids. Instead of ordering food for your adult friends, why not enlist their aid in making a light salad and a pasta dish?

If you hold your party around mealtimes, you will spend more on food. Have the party in the afternoon instead so you serve only snacks.

Location

Host the party at your home, the local park or the playground. This will be less expensive than going to a restaurant or resort and holding the party there.

Entertainment

You donÂ't need to have magicians, jugglers and clowns at the party. Favorite party games like pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, balloon popping and the like can be great fun for the kids.

Buy the prizes from the local discount store. The prizes donÂ't need to be expensive at all. The kids will be happy with the fact that they won a prize.

You can create your own piñata instead of buying it premade. You can also make a grid with a few slats, tie toys and other goodies to the slats and hang it up. The kids will have fun jumping to reach the toys as you raise and lower the grid.

Fabulous parties need not be expensive. They just need a little planning and lots of love.


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How to Save and Skimp on Children's Parties
 

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