There are several ways you can cut costs when planning a party. Decorations can cost a fortune, which is why many decide to host their parties elsewhere, but I’d like to give you some ideas on frugal decorations
Tableclothes can help make clean up a breeze, however if you want to re-use it (to cut costs from continually buying more!) then purchase a party tablecloth that can be laundered and used at other parties. You can just buy one from Wal-mart – I would choose a solid color that is not gender specific, so if you have boy and girl parties, they can be used for either. Yellow, green, or red work perfectly! (I found one at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $10.99 and I had a coupon, so I saved some money that way too!)
I know how important it is for children to have “fancy” birthday tableware. If you want plates, cups and napkins that match your theme, purchase them in a party set for the best economical value. There are several websites out there that sell this way (PartyInABox), (BirthdayInABox), and offers lots of theme parties in a box. Colleen Coldwell is a frugal mom herself.
We almost ALWAYS have a craft at our parties. We try to follow the “theme” but sometimes just being able to make something to take home, is the children’s favorite activity! Try buying crafting supplies for a make-and-take party favor – its a great way to combine an activity and the favor in one and can often save on the budget too! You can really cheap craft supplies from MJ’s OR even our local $$ store has stuff! If you don’t wish to do a craft, be sure you at least check out the various $$ stores for cute party favors! Kids love magnets, markers, pencils, and more and all these things can be purchased.
They are so much fun to make and you can really save money by making them instead of buying them. You can purchase paper at a copy supply store in whatever colors you want (even multipacks) and create your own invitations. Get the kids involved, and use your theme as a guide.
MAKE IT YOURSELF. I cannot stress this enough. Or at least purchase a plain cake from the grocers or whever and decorate it yourself. I’ve heard that themed cake pans can be rented for about $5 at party stores, but I purchase them on sale for about the same price. MJ’s has a great selection, but I’ve found some cool ones at Wal-mart too!
What child doesn’t love balloons? My 11 year old still likes them and I don’t think any of his birthday parties would have ever been complete without them. Balloons can serve double duty as not only the decorations but a take home gift. Now, balloons are relatively inexpensive (and yes you can get them at the $$ store), and I have found that It is often much cheaper to buy your own balloons and then take them to the local grocery store to have them filled for you. If you decide to do a TON of balloons (which is always a lot of fun!) check into the price of renting a helium tank to save money.