My Baby Girl Turned 1 this past weekend.
Oh, how time flies! It seems like yesterday she was a tiny little newborn. There was a time when all she did was eat and sleep, but now she tries to roll away when I change her diaper, and scatters her toys everywhere.
Regardless, we love her!
I believe first birthdays should be a party. And by party I mean
While I love a good first birthday blowout, between the cake, food, her 1st birthday outfit, gifts, and her cake smash photo shoot, we we’re looking at at least several hundred $$$ to pull this thing off!
But then I got creative, and came up with some ways to reduce costs and still throw a fabulous, frugal birthday party!
DIY Cake Smash Photos:
Cake Smash Photo Shoots run anywhere from $100 – $300 depending on the intricacy and the skill of the photographer, and that is NOT in the budget!
I am only an amateur photographer, but even with my basic skills, I as able to capture beautiful photos of my daughter’s cake smash.
Use these tips to do your own cake smash:
- Do it outside if at all possible: Makes cleanup way easier
- Put your child in an outfit you don’t mind being ruined: ’nuff said
- A sheet laid over a box is the perfect setting: The box is to set the cake on, and the sheet is to cover the ground
- Make the cake a cool color: like blue, green, or pink!
- Capture everything: her hands, her lips, her feet, her bottom, as well as the good and bad faces. My daughter didn’t like getting her hands dirty at first, but I made sure to capture her funny faces, and I love those pictures as well as the smiling ones.
- PicMonkey does wonders: and they have an auto correct feature. With a little creative cropping, and auto correct, what your photography skills lack, PicMonkey can make up for!
Buy Things You Can Reuse
Our tableclothes, decorations, platters, and more all cost us a little more up front than disposable ones would. However, we bought party supplies that will last for years. While this investment may have heightened our cost this year, we will save money in the long run!
Keep The Meal Simple
Because we had family coming in from out of town, we were kind of obligated to feed them. We weren’t, however, obligated to feed all of the 60 people we invited. Instead, we printed 2 sets of invitations, one for family, inviting them for a barbecue at noon, and one set for everyone else, inviting them for cake at 2 pm.
Even though we didn’t feed all of our guests a full meal, we still chose to keep the meal inexpensive, but delicious. We marinated chicken in barbecue sauce and then grilled it, did hot dogs in the crock pot, and I made potato salad. We asked my husband’s parents to bring soda, and viola! The meal was done!
By keeping things simple, we only spent $60 to feed 30 people a full meal, and 60 people cake!
Shop at Aldi
If you haven’t yet learned why you should fall in love with Aldi, then you need to read this post! Even if you’re an Aldi doubter, at least read the post and give Aldi a chance. By shopping there for this party alone, we saved 40% (at least) on our food costs!
….Or Don’t Serve a Meal at All
If you don’t have family coming in from out of town, you’re really not obligated to feed your guests an entire meal! Just feed them cake, because after all, cake is all everyone wants, anyway!
Plus, if you make the cake yourself, you’ll save even more!
(By the way, we were actually given our cake for free – score!!!)
Get Invitations for Free
On my other site, Ten Minute Savings, I post (among other things) great freebies and deals! custom invitations, Christmas cards, and photo canvas’! You can almost guarantee 1 or 2 free 12-card offers per month, so if you start buying cards for free 2-3 months out, you’ll save tons of money!
Give Used Gifts
I am the queen of yard sales. That might be a bit of stretch, but boy, do I love a good garage sale. The best thing to buy at them is used toys! As long as they’re in working condition, with nothing broken that could be a choking hazard, your child will NOT know the difference! (And even if they do, they’ll grow out of it so quickly you’ll be glad you saved the money!)
Make sure the price is right, but if it is, scoop up that toy!When you get home, pop them in the dishwasher (or clothes washer, if cloth) on sanitize and you’ll be good to go!
What is a good price? For very small toys, less than $0.50. Medium toys: Less than $2.00, and larger toys $5.00 or less. There are some exceptions to this, like the swing set I bought for $10, but for the most part $5.00 or less is a good price!
Enjoy the Day!
You’ll spend less money if you’re relaxed. No, I don’t have any studies to back me up on this, but I think if you take a look at your spending habits, you’ll realize you spend more money when you’re stressed.
It’s a KIDS PARTY. No one expects total cleanliness, timeliness, or even a day without tears. Something will go wrong, and when it does, know that everyone will understand.
You child’s birthday party celebrates the life they’re living.
Take a step back and enjoy it!
How do you keep your children’s birthday parties inexpensive?
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