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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Budget Party Planning

Tonight I presented budget party planning tips to the women's group at church.  I ended up setting up displays for 4 different types of parties.  I borrowed lots of party supplies from my family- thanks for sharing, it made my job so much easier!  Here are the photos followed by the info I shared.

Party Planning on a Budget
The basics
The basics to keeping a party simple and saving money include:
·       Having the party at home
·       Baking & decorating your own cake
·       Creating your own décor rather than buying store made décor
·       Using solid colored tableware versus licensed tableware.  You can have a themed birthday party without a characters face on every paper plate, cup, and napkin.  Maybe just one of these mixed with the more affordable plain colored tableware.
·       Use the internet to search for ideas and save time.

Step 1- Plan Ahead
We all know when our kids birthdays are - so it is helpful to plan ahead for their party to make your dollars stretch.  When planning ahead you can shop sales and clearance racks.  It also gives you time to come up with some out of the box ideas that will make the party a lot more fun. 
Step 2- Set a Budget
This is a very important step. Come up with a budget because every decision you make after this will be influenced by how much you have to spend. This will also help you keep it simple. I love to make things serve more than one purpose- for example using party activities as part of the décor, or using something fun in the décor that can be taken home as a party favor.
Step 3- Outline the Party
·       How many people will be invited?
·       Do you plan to serve a meal?
·       What space will accommodate the people and activities?
·       What time of day will your party take place? If you are not serving a meal, hold it between mealtimes

Step 4- Pick a theme
This isn’t as intimidating as it may sound.  It can be as simple as selecting colors to focus your party décor around.  Having a color scheme makes selecting paper goods, party decorations, and invitations easier.  Plus the whole party will look well put together.  You can also pick a style of décor. Some fun ideas for style would be rustic, vintage, graphic art, glitter, or a fun pattern like polka dots or argyle.  These are a fun way to give the party a particular feel without having to buy items with logos or licensed characters.

Choosing a theme will also direct the rest of your party planning.  It will help you choose food, activities, time of day, etc.   You can choose themes surrounding a favorite television show, movie, storybook, toy, a favorite activity, something a child loves to pretend, or even around a favorite food. 

Step 5- Plan your details

By knowing ahead of time what you would like to serve allows you time to watch food sales and keep your eye out for deals.   You can also save a lot of money by making the cake yourself.  Cupcakes are a fun and easy way to do affordable and adorable portions. 

Activities & Games
This is a fun place to get creative.  I prefer activities over games. They are more forgiving for different skill levels; take less explaining than games; keep guests busy while waiting for everyone to arrive and still allow late guests a chance to participate; you can have your party
guests create their own party favors, part of their meal, or part of the décor. 

Party Favors
It can get expensive to fill a traditional goody bag for kids parties. I like to use something in the party décor or from one of the party activities as a take home party favor.  We have used beach balls, mylar balloons, dress up jewels, boas, aprons and paper chef hats.  They seem big and substantial but usually come from the dollar store, costing just $1 per guest.

::::Desktop:md106559_0111_balloon_092_xl.jpgThis is an easy place to save big and really set the ambiance at the same time. Choose an area to focus your décor.  If you are having a food table or other type of display, focus the décor around it.  Popular and simple to make decorations include
·       Tissue paper pom poms
·       Paper banners or fabric buntings
·       Photo displays
·       Balloons arranged in the shape of a number or letter
·       Making colorful cake stands to display cakes and other refreshments

Invitations can be made in lots of clever ways- check the links below for great ideas!
Invitations should include the obvious time, place, and date, but don’t forget the extras that will help your guests know what to plan on.  If you are serving a meal, say so! If you are just serving treats, say this too.  Do you want guests to dress up for your princess party?  Or bring jackets for an outdoor activity?  If you are hosting a baby shower- kindly include the gender of the baby if you can, even if you think everyone already knows.  

Places to look for great party ideas:

Sites with ideas about simplifying parties    


  1. This is so neat! Thank you so much for sharing! I bet the ladies in your ward loved it.

  2. Cute! That video was a fun look back at our our good times. Looks awesome. Sad we missed it!

  3. You are amazing! :) Thank you so much for all of the fun and helpful ideas!!

  4. I loved your thoughts on party planning. I also tried your cute updo on your hair. Not as cute as yours but I'll keep trying. And I found those cool hairpins you showed me. I will be doing some experimenting!