Since I have a blog that is based on planning parties and practical tips, I thought I would share some of my best budget party planning tips.
When throwing a party on a budget, planning ahead can really save a lot of money. Once you pick a theme, the best place to start is the dollar store. They have many party supplies at the fraction of the cost of the party store. Last year I threw a "big number" birthday for a friend using only supplies from the dollar store and items I made. I was way under my given budget.
You can make great goody bags buying items at the dollar store and on clearance. For my daughter's beach party I bought the bag, flip flops and frisbee for $1 each, the visors for .67 (JoAnns), and the bubbles for only .33. The girls left with a full reusable bag of useful items that were only a total of $4.
Another fun thing for me is to make as much as I can using items I already have at home. I make my own pinatas,
At our parties we always play some sort of pin the tail game. I make the game out of poster board according to the party theme. This is always a lot of fun.
I plan my menu as early as I can, so I can start shopping for what I need with coupons. Food doesn't have to be expensive to be fun. We often have simple foods like personal pizzas, chips and juice boxes. You can give them different names to match your theme.
A big trend right now is the dessert table. The dollar store has a large variety of candy, candy jars, and display bowls. I made the cupcake stand by gluing together a few dollar store platters and candlesticks.
Don't compare your budget party to the fancy, stylized parties online. They are beautiful to look at, but most kids don't care about fancy. I know from the almost 30 parties that I have given over the years, kid don't really pay attention to all the details. They overlook imperfections, so do not stress if things are not perfect. As long as they have a fun afternoon with their friends, they don't mind if you spent only $50 instead of $500.
Some of my other must have party tips
When opening presents, sit the birthday child in a high seat, and have the others sit on the floor where everyone can see.
Draw names when giving presents to the birthday child. This eliminates crying and hurt feelings.
Have the present-giver pose with the birthday child when opening gifts, and take a photo. Not only will you have a memento to give away later, you will have a record of who gave what.
My biggest tip of all.. Enjoy the Party!
If you want to see more of these parties and many others, you can find them on my party theme link.