Tips For A Frugal Kid’s Birthday Party

Happy Birthday CupcakesWe have lots of Spring birthdays in our family, and we just celebrated our youngest son’s birthday this past weekend. This is the third birthday party I’ve hosted this year! Planning a fun birthday party doesn’t necessarily mean you have to drain your wallet. With a little bit of creativity you can have a great time designing your own birthday party theme and activities which will be better than anything you could have purchased from an expensive party store. I’ve thrown quite a few birthday parties over the years and I’ve discovered a few ways to save money along the way. Here are some of the best ways I know to throw a frugal birthday party while not scrimping on the fun:

Sandwiches with salami and smoked salmonI think that everyone knows that food is one of the most important parts of the a good birthday party. To really save money you need to make the food yourself. I don’t mean you have to cook everything from scratch – take help from the stores when you can. Make your own sub sandwiches, or simply place cold cuts on a platter so guests can make their own sandwiches. Provide other snacks such as homemade macaroni or potato salad. Deviled eggs are always a good appetizer as well. Add a platter of fresh fruit and cut up veggies, along with a couple of bags of chips with dip and salsa and you’ve got all that you need food wise. All of these are easy recipes that can be found either in your cook book or online. Another way to save money is to only have a dessert based birthday party or even a breakfast themed birthday party.

Birthday Cake
Have you seen how much store bought birthday cakes cost? You can make your own birthday cake right at home, either from scratch or out of a box. Either way it will cost only a fraction of the price of a cake from the bakery. You can also use templates found online or your own artistic ability to design the top of the cake. The new edible decorating paper by Wilton makes cake decorating a snap!

Decorations do not have to be plentiful. A few balloons and streamers are really all you need to decorate the house inside and out. Streamers and balloons can be purchased at the local party store or even at the dollar store for ridiculously cheap prices. Use tape to hang them up, or removable putty if you are concerned about damaging the walls and ceiling paint.

Nothing gets a party going like a game of Twister or pin the tail on the donkey for children. If you have sidewalks in front of your house or a nice, long driveway, sidewalk chalk is great for games such as hopscotch or for having small children doodle on a large canvas. For the adults of the party, board games go a long way in keeping the fun and conversation going.

Throwing a great birthday party does not have to equate spending a fortune. When you’re on a budget, taking matters into your own hands is the best option for your wallet. Have your friends and family chip in with the preparations and sit back and enjoy the fun.

Five Easy Tips for Saving Money

Saving Money With PIggy Bank

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to put some money aside. It could be for a vacation, a new car, or some re-modelling for the house. Here are a handful of tips for how to save money, so hopefully you’ll watch that rainy-day fund grow.

Save on your energy suppliers
Knowing where to shave money off your bills is something everyone needs to learn how to do and switching energy suppliers is a great way to start. Don’t be afraid to switch when you spot a better deal elsewhere. Even if you don’t really want to move, you should still shop around towards the end of your contract; if you find a better rate, you have a bargaining tool to approach your current provider.

Have a target
You should always have a target in mind for whatever amount you need to save, and that will depend on what you’re saving for. If it’s something small like a birthday party for the kids, then you can set a weekly target so that by the end of the month you’ll have your spare cash.

Or it could be a much larger target, like a deposit for a new home. In this instance, using online tools like mortgage calculators will be able to help you figure out how much your monthly payments would be, and so how much of a deposit percentage you need to save.

Learn how to shop
Learning new ways to shop online will help you in your money saving quest. Look for sites that sell things in bulk so that you can get a higher discount, look for new registered customer offers, and always consider sites like eBay for those big ticket items. Buying things which are second hand doesn’t mean they’re in bad condition, and it can often be the best way to bag a bargain and pocket the extra cash.

Stick to your budgets
From shopping lists to monthly outgoings, you should create consistent limitations on your spending. When you create your monthly budget, set aside your savings goal first, and build the rest of your budget around that. Doing it in this way means that you’re guaranteed to hit your target every month, but also that you can compensate for things like day trips with the kids. Instead of going to a costly theme park, go for a picnic that you can put together yourself.

Give up an unhealthy habit
Have you ever given up something for a short amount of time? Well, giving up something on a more permanent basis can help keep your wallet a little fuller. Whether it’s smoking or too much chocolate, pocket the savings you make from it, and it should give you a sizeable saving at the end of the month, as well as a healthier lifestyle.

Hopefully you will find these top five tips useful – please share your own tips in the comments section!

This is a collaborative post.