Our daughter, our middle child, turned 4 today. Over the weekend, we hosted a little birthday party for her and a few of her friends. Now, we decided a few years ago, when our son was young, that all parties were to be the “at home” variety. We also decided to buck the rules at the local preschool and not invite the entire class. That’s a little bit much. Our rule: they can invite one friend for every year they are turning.
In the years past, I went a bit overboard, spending way to much money to provide an amazing party experience for my oldest. Mama ain’t got time for that no more! (Time or money!) I set out to take it down a notch and keep costs lower, expectations a little more mellow, and not be so wasteful– both in my spending and in the literal sense: so many a party comes with a lot of paper waste.
Here is a quick recap on total spending for the shindig we threw together on Saturday morning. Morning? You ask. Yes. Morning. A little thing I figured out: most kids will already have eaten breakfast, so a light snack (cake anyone?) is the perfect food– eliminating many party costs right there!
We actually had 8 kids, including the birthday girl and our oldest. Our youngest is too little though he tried to get in on the action.
The theme? Rainbow Art Party
Invitations: $8 (We hand delivered cheap watercolors, with a piece of paper on the front with all the party details. Totally stole the idea from Pinterest. This is awesome because it is a useful item to spend a buck on, not something to automatically go into the trash. )
Party Decor: $8 I bought one plastic table cloth, one set of large/small paper plates and colorful straws.
Canvases/pallets: $30. We bought each kid a canvas to paint to take home and a plastic pallet.
Glue Sticks/ construction paper: $15 Each kid took home the new glue stick they used as well as the project they glued together.
Chocolate Quinoa Cake: I had the ingredients on hand. Cocoa powder/quinoa/ eggs/ are staples here. They are figured in to our grocery budget. It’s kind of like being free.
Fruit & Juice: $15– we had a rainbow of fruit (strawberries, mango, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, and grapes) for kids to munch on while I read art stories
Framed 2″x 3″ mini-canvases $24– their official “take-away” for the morning.
Grand Total: $100.00
I am so excited by this! For nearly every other party I’ve planned, I’ve spent far more. Over 4 times that amount for a child’s birthday party! Did my daughter have the same amount of fun as she would have had I spent far more? Yes! The party guests weren’t blitzed out on candy and juice all morning long, and they didn’t take any candy home, but they did make 2 works of art and take home awesome party favors.
Aaaaaand! We made another payment on a credit card! $325.40 to our Wells Fargo!
Seriously. Can’t figure out why we didn’t start this sooner!?