The cost of parties can add up more than you would expect it to. It’s like a snowball effect; once you buy one thing, you can’t stop with the purchasing. For the more pedantic among us, everything has to match – from the cups to the plates to the napkins that are ultimately going to be thrown in the trash as soon as they’re used. There is so much to do and prepare that it’s easy to get caught up in the spending, especially when you’re trying to host their dream party. So what can we do to keep the quality (and the fun!) high but our expenditure low?
The great things about kids is that, for the most part, they will eat anything. Sure you can get your fussy eaters, but if you put on a finger buffet then there will hopefully be a generous selection that nobody can refuse. Crudités are good as they require vegetables which can be bought for little money; carrots, cucumber and celery are all quite bulky things anyway which will provide you with a lot of portions (depending on how thick you slice them). The brilliant thing about using vegetables as part of a buffet is that a) they’re healthy and b) if you get the misshapen ones from the grocery store, they are usually a lot cheaper to buy or are given away for free. Have a look around and see if you can spot any. For all the rest of the food, buy in bulk and ensure that you’re now overspending from a strict budget that you set yourself. There is a lot that can be done when you set yourself a limit on expenditure for food, and you’ll soon find yourself being more creative than you had ever thought! See what else you can utilise around you for free, too – if you have chickens, use their eggs, if you grow your own fruit and vegetables then use these, etc. etc.
Depending on what the theme of the party is, you can go as wild or minimal with decorations as you like. Sometimes, you won’t even really need them. Making your own decorations can be personal to you and your child, especially if you get them to help out. Crafting is a great bonding experience, and to be able to whip up something that can be displayed to their friends is a great achievement for you both. If you have gone for a theme that is quite niche, this is a great excuse to crack out the craft box. Branded character decorations can be expensive, so try and guide them more to a general theme – superheroes, unicorns and fairies are good examples. It means that you can be as creative as you like and not have to be single-minded when thinking of other things that you can utilise towards getting your venue kitted out.
The great thing about living in this generation is that there are so many inspirations to look towards on the internet for great cake decorating. Pinterest is obviously the main hub of activity for it, but if you’re not too convinced by your baking skills then take a look at Kroger Cakes reviews and pricing from allcakeprices.com – there will always be a cheaper alternative waiting for you online. It’s just knowing where to look to find it. Remember that it doesn’t have to be one huge cake, either; lots of people are baking a batch of cupcakes now to avoid wastage and keep things simple – and cheap! There are a lot of different designs that you can incorporate on to cupcakes, as well as so many varied styles/flavours that you can present to your guests so at least you’ll know that there’s something for everyone. You could even do gluten free cakes for those who would otherwise be missing out!
There are so many places online that do job lots of small childrens toys. You need to get yourself over to a site like eBay and see just what they can offer you. Look for things like bouncy balls, balloons, bracelets and bubbles – these are fun things for kids of all ages. Most importantly of all, it won’t break the bank for you to be able to get your hands on them. The best thing to do is not keep the goody bags gender specific unless you know that you’re having an all-girl/all-boy party. Mixing and matching the treats that are inside the bags will keep costs down but the fun element still high. Don’t try and think outside of the box, as this will see the price of each bag creeping up. Fill it with candies and other sweet treats which are cheap to really bulk it out. These are usually available to buy in big boxes which you can then dish out yourself.
Let’s be totally honest here – the things that kids get the most enjoyment out of most days aren’t the things that we have spent our hard-earned cash on, but good old traditional fun that has been passed down through the generations. If the party is due to take place in a warmer season, see if you can hold it outside and get a pool ready. Pop in a slide and there you go – that’s most of the fun sorted for you. Add in a few water bombs and away you go. Kids will keep themselves entertained for hours once they know what they can get out of the entertainment that has been presented to them. It’s simply a case of knowing what to do. Holding simple party games like Pass The Parcel and other competitions are the essence of parties. You could even do a makeover party without having to hire entertainers to come and do the making over – all you would need to do is get out your nail varnish collection and give them a quick lick of paint over their nails. It’s amazing what delights youngsters!