Birthday parties can really break the bank. Add up the costs for the custom fondant cake, the expensive invitations and the food for the twenty-odd guests that come to the party and you’re looking at upwards of a few hundred dollars, for a kids celebration. There are ways that you can save on the cost of summer parties, so you don’t have to feel the pinch on your wallet.
Here are six ways you can save while planning summer parties:
DIY the Invitations
Skip the $2+ cost of an individual invitation and make it yourself. Take a picture at-home and leave some space to the side to include details and information for the party. Use a program that allows you to edit photos and add text online, like Picmonkey, to edit the photo and create custom invitations. I made the invitations using Picmonkey and using a sale, you can print them for as low as $0.08/each.
Food: Think outside the Package
Think outside the box when it comes to serving food at the party. We’re going to do a street food kind of theme for Olivia’s barbecue dinner party and we’re making pulled pork sliders. Buying the tenderloin at Costco was cheap, and just over ten dollars during the sale. I bought it, seasoned it and stuck it in the freezer so we could slow cook it for her party. Combined with a few sides, it’s going to be an easy way to feed everyone and also spend time enjoying the party, rather than spending it in the kitchen.
Home is Where it’s At
Recently, we went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. You can bet how shocked I was when I learned that the cost of the party, pizza and cake the kids were eating cost $300. What!? Sure, you have to clean up after the party, but imagine the party you can plan for the $300 cost being charged by places like Chuck E Cheese and indoor playgrounds. To me, the food is an important part of the party (hence us planning a dinner time birthday) and the food at these places is awful!
DIY your decor
Skip the expensive trip to party city and choose decor items that you’re going to be able to reuse for different parties and events throughout the year. Rather than choosing a themed birthday party, we talked about options like a Rainbow party, a Sunshine party or a pirate party. This way, we could skip the packages of $5 plates and other expensive items that come with the party. I’d much rather spend $20-30 at party stores like Confetti And Sparkle Party Shop or Sweet Social and get gorgeous decorations.
You don’t have to decorate everything. Creating a focal point of the dessert table can be a great way to get the effect you want without breaking the bank.
Tip: Check out the dollar section at Target, there are some summer party planning gems in there like $3/2 colored paper lanterns that can be used to create a focal point at a dessert table.
I am guilty of spending upwards of $125 on a special themed cake, made of fondant. Sure, it looked pretty and tasted fine, but it was $125! Just because you made the cake at-home doesn’t mean you can’t have custom decorations. Fondant decorations can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of the cake on Etsy, and you can use coupons at Michaels to buy pre made fondant (and as a bonus saves you time) to get 40% off of your purchase. Grab a cutter and you can create a custom-looking cake that’s wallet friendly.
Buying fondant decorations or making them yourself can transform the appearance of cupcakes too. For sheet cakes, you can check out edible sheets that can be customized to any character, etc – transforming that budget-friendly costco cake.
Ditch the Disposables
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – the dishes, the dishes; but when you think about the cost of buying disposable cutlery, cups and plates for upwards of four celebrations a year, it makes sense to go out and invest in twenty white plates, a set of cultery to acommodate and clear glasses that can be decorated with things like Washi tape, to create a custom appearance for the party.
Looking for a trendy chic alternative to clear glasses? Grab two dozen mason jars from your local big box store for under $10. You’re set for glassware for the party and you’ll be on trend with one the popular party choices.