HOST / HOSTESS SAVINGS
Balloons/Streamers/Signs. They can be lots of fun and great to look at, but what is the purpose? Honestly, most kids will never even notice and you can quickly save yourself $10, $15 or even more! We have colored table cloths for our party — just to make clean up easier. No fancy decorations here this year!
Party Favors/Hats. I have been dealing with goodie bags for years. My kids bring them home, I pull out one piece of candy or a pencil (if I am lucky), they look at and play with the things inside for about 30 seconds and it all goes into the trash. I have wondered why is it that parents feel that you must give out goodie bags? Isn’t the party for the child and not the guests?
I know that many people still want to give them out. If you do decide to have goodie bags, just keep a few things in mind. Pick up inexpensive items such as stickers, lollipops, sunglasses or things that are inexpensive. If you can, try to avoid the “2 second toys”….the ones that mom will pick up for 2 seconds before she throws them in the trash.
Invitations. The main point of the invitation is to let your guests know the Five “Ws”: Who, What, Where, When & Why. You can get a simple, more plain invitation for about a third to one-half of the cost of fancy invitations. You’ll save even more if you bypass the customized, printed invitations. However, if you really want something personalized, check out Vistaprint – they always have great deals on printed items.
Cake. While professionally decorated cakes are fun, why not try your hand at doing your own? Use some fun icings, candles and candy decorations and your child will probably not even know that he or she is missing out. There are lots of great photos and ideas out there to help you decorate your own.
Dinner/Lunch. I have been to many parties where there are snacks and then cake. My kids do not eat the snacks. They really only want the cake. Why not opt out of serving it? If you plan your party for the right time of day, there is not any need to feed the kids anything other than some cake and/or ice cream. In the kids would rather fill up on that than snacks anyhow!
So, now you know what you can do to save money when throwing a party. But, what if you aren’t throwing a party – but attending instead. Can you save money? You bet – here’s how:
R.S.V.P. You might be thinking how does this save me money? Quite frankly, it doesn’t. This saves the host/hostess money.
It seems that so many people have forgotten what this means. It is a French phrase: Répondez s’il vous plaît. Not sure of the translation? It simply means – Respond if you please.
If you or your children are invited to a party, you should have the courtesy to call and let the host/hostess know whether you will be attending or not. This is not option. It is respectful – plain and simple.
Think of it like this – if someone invites 20 people and purchases food, etc and plans on that many and only 4 show up – look at the wasted money. On the flip side, if you plan on 20 and 25 show up, you don’t have enough to feed your guests.
In addition, many parties are held in locations where the family pays per child. If you do not show up or, if you even show up without letting them know, can cost the family more than expected (Oh – and whatever you do – don’t bring siblings to parties when they are not invited – unless YOU are paying for them to participate).
By taking the time to call the host or hostess, you can essentially save them money so that they can do proper planning/spending. I know as a mom I GREATLY appreciate this more than my guests know.
Gifts. You don’t have to spend a lot to give a child a great gift. Books, coloring books, crayons, puzzles, games – these are all gifts that seem to have gone to the wayside, but can be found at a really great price. Try to buy gifts when they are on clearance off season and stock a gift closet. That way, when it is time for a gift, you have one handy.
Gift Wrap/Cards/Bows. Why not stop by the dollar store and pick up a roll of paper and card ? They always are just ripped apart in minutes and no child really cares how the package looks – they just love opening packages. After all, it is the gift that matters and not the packaging. You can even find plain colored paper and bows after Christmas and stock up to cover your party needs throughout the year.
One final thing that I want to share is what we are doing with our kids. Every two or three years they get a BIG party — otherwise, it is low key. Sure, we invite friends, but we keep the costs low and then can save so we can do something extra special for those years with the big “to-do”. We might pick up a balloon or two during the off years, but most things are kept simple and inexpensive. My kids learned this very young. We still celebrate. They still invite friends over. However, we don’t blow the budget for 2 hours of fun.
I also don’t compare myself to other parents and what they do (or do not do). Everyone has their own budget and own ideas. It is not for me to judge what they have done or not done at their child’s party. As long as my children have fun and more importantly the birthday boy or girl has fun, then that is all that matters.
Whether throwing or attending a party, there are ways to save. The most important thing is to celebrate how much that person means to you. Do you have any great party money saving tips? If so, please share!