Earlier this year, I wrote about how I was having mixed feelings on joint birthday parties. But, despite the fact that it might be considered tacky by some people, we ended up having one anyway. Newsflash: For the record, the point of this particular joint birthday party was not to save money. It just happened to work out that way. My daughter’s birthdays are only 6 weeks apart anyway, and we were going to be in Florida for my oldest daughter’s 5th. And since I didn’t want to ask people to attend a different party on two weekends in one single month, I chose to lump their parties into one. And they didn’t complain at all. In fact, they thought it was fun!
Having a joint birthday party did lead to incredible savings since I only had to pony up the cash for one party instead of two. In addition, I found plenty of other ways to save. Here are a few:
- I made the cake. Custom cakes can run anywhere from $40 to $100, and come in all kinds of kid-friendly themes that kids adore. But, since my kids both said they wanted pink and brown chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, I gladly skipped that expense. Instead, I made two boxes of cupcake mix and slathered them in icing and sprinkles. They weren’t Pinterest-worthy or anything, but they were edible. That’s good enough fr me. The total cost: $9.49 (two boxes of cake mix, two cans of icing, sprinkles)
- I bought the decorations at Dollar Tree- Party supplies are one of the best deals dollar stores have to offer, and that is especially true at the Dollar Tree (where everything is a dollar). Instead of hitting up (expensive) Party City, I took my kids to the Dollar Tree to pick out their décor. There we picked out Hawaiian Luau-themed party supplies for some reason. I don’t really get it, but that’s what they decided on together. Whatever works, right? The total cost: $14 plus tax (plates, cups, napkins, wall hangings) Quality Logo Products, Inc. also has a ton of cute stuff when it comes to saving on party supplies, logo products, and more!
- I went with cheap food- Despite the fact that our party was Luau-themed, we chose pizza as the main food item. Why? Because Little Caesars will make as many one-topping pizzas as you can eat for only $5 each. In addition to pizza, we also bought several bags of chips and two veggie trays. In the beverage department, I chose to go with juice boxes, bottled water, and Coke Zero. It wasn’t necessarily the healthiest lunch I’ve ever served, but it was cheap! The total cost: $86 (nine pizzas, chips, veggie trays, drinks)
Total Cost So Far: $109.49
Then I splurged. We have a ton of little kids in our family, and I decided to do something special for each and every one of them. As the big attraction (and as a gift to my two kids), I rented a super cute Princess bounce house from Big Blast Rentals in Greenfield. This gave all of the little ones something to do during the party. Super bonus: It (mostly) kept their dirty little feet off my hardwood floors and brand new carpet. The total cost: $155
Joint Birthday Parties: A Frugal Alternative
Even though we didn’t spend a ton of money, we had a ton of fun. A few people got into a water fight. Kids cried and tattled on each other. My three-year-old had a giant meltdown because someone called her “sweetie” and she wasn’t in the mood. You know, the usual.
As a parent, these parties are fun but bittersweet. I love celebrating every year my daughters spend on this Earth, but it hurts to let them grow up. Overall, they are the reason we embarked on a frugal lifestyle years ago. I want them to have every opportunity to succeed and every penny we can save helps make that possible.
How do you save on kid’s birthday parties?