Top Ten Frugal Party Planning Tips

Most of you know how much I love party planning. I have thrown parties for everything from birthdays to holidays to crafts, but my favorite type of party to put together is a child’s themed birthday party! I am often asked by friends, family, and even just acquaintances to help plan a party. They all not only want to know what food I would serve or what decorations I’d use for the theme they have chosen, but how I manage to throw all of my kids such elaborate birthday parties for cheap every year. I decided I would make a list of my top ten tips for frugal party planning success.

Tips for Planning a Perfect Party frugally from Loving Life's Simplicities

1. Choose 2 or 3 main colors for the party. Themes are so much fun to work with, and you can buy plates, napkins, garlands, bags, cups, etc. covered in great prints to fit any theme, but if you really want to keep things cheap, choose a few basic colors to use for all of your disposables from tablecloths to forks. You can check the party ware aisles at both Walmart and Dollar Tree for plates, cups, napkins, and silverware in a variety of colors for just $1 a pack! Skip the themed plates and save it for a more special part of the decor.

2. Choose a pattern. There’s just something about adding in polka dots, chevron, or bold stripes that really adds to the party. It breaks up all the main colors and is very pleasing to the eye. You don’t have to go crazy with it. A few polka dot balloons or a striped tablecloth is plenty to do the trick.

3. Never skip the basics. You would be surprised at the difference a pack of balloons, a birthday banner, and a some streamers make in the feel of the party. You can buy balloons packaged by color on websites such as Amazon or Oriental Trading, or you can go with the packages at Dollar Tree that have a rainbow of colors in each bag. You may choose to go all out and have them filled with helium at your local florist, or just blow them all up yourself and throw them in the floor. (Lots of fun for all the kids!) Streamers in the chosen party colors can be found for another dollar or two at… you guessed it!….Dollar Tree and Walmart.  Banners can be bought, but if you’re good with a hot glue gun, you should make your own!

Which brings me to number 4!

4. DIY everything you can. Make tissue paper flowers and pom poms, a birthday banner from cardstock and ribbon, a fabric garland, or cut large letters to spell the birthday boy’s/girl’s name out of cardboard boxes and then cover with coordinating paper.

5. The internet is your new bff. It’s nearly impossible these days to come up with an original party theme, so go ahead and Google yours to death. Then head over to Pinterest and type your theme in the search bar there as well. Be inspired!

*Plus you’ll find lots of tutorials from other great bloggers to make everything I mentioned in number 4.

6. Use flowers. They don’t have to be real. Dollar Tree, again, has a large assortment of fake flowers. Put them in vases, mason jars, milk jars, drinking glasses, whatever you can find. Flowers liven up the room…even if they aren’t alive at all! ;)

7. Get a head start. I usually try to have a theme selected at least 6 months out. You never know what you’ll come across while out shopping, when you don’t even have the party on your mind. You may find perfect favors at a deep discount or run across something at a thrift store that would fit your theme perfectly.

8. Shop thrift stores, yard sales, and Craigslist. You will be amazed at the random things you will find that others are throwing out or selling super cheap. I’ve used all sorts of things from thrift shops for decorating our kids’ parties. Just to name a few there were dog figurines at Laikon’s 1st birthday party which was puppy themed, a pig shaped candle at Alyssa’s 4th Piggies and Polka Dots party, and an antique milk jug at Alton and Landon’s 1st birthday party where the theme was cookies and milk. Anytime you are just browsing at stores and yard sales, keep an eye out!

9. Go through your own belongings. You might have a red serving platter from last Christmas that would work great at your daughter’s red and black ladybug party. Your son might have all 5 stuffed characters from Yo! Gabba Gabba that you could set around the tables with helium balloons tied to them at his YGG! birthday bash. Or the wicker basket you use as storage in the linen closet might be perfect for holding all the party favors.

10. Name the food. One of the main things that everyone always compliments me on is coming up with creative names for every snack on the food table. Most of them are my own ideas, but a lot of times I find them on Pinterest. Like I said there aren’t many unique themes left, and chances are, someone else has already done it. But nothing is cuter for a kid’s party than themed food! Chocolate doughnut “spare tires” at a truck or race car party, bone shaped cookies as “dog biscuits” at a puppy party, or “pigs in a blanket” at a pig party are all cute ideas! It helps tie all the food into the theme.`

If I could have any job in the world I would be a party planner. I love the search for random pieces to put on the tables. I love thinking up creative food names (who cares if they are a little far fetched). I love crafting decorations that make the parties really unique. What about you? Do you have any tips to add? Do you enjoy planning big parties, or are you more of a “pick up a cake on the day of and call it done” type of person?

Happy planning!

(If you would like to see all of my posts about our kids’ birthday parties just click on the word “parties” under the categories section over there to the right —————–>.)

 

We’re Back Again

It’s been about 3 months since my last post. If you follow me on Facebook, then you may know that I had fooled around with the coding and somehow messed it up. I am usually pretty good at figuring that stuff out, but I could not for the life of me, fix it. I cried, I wanted to throw up, I just couldn’t believe that four years worth of posts might be gone. Today, it was magically fixed. I don’t know how. I just logged into WordPress and clicked on my blog, and there it was. I almost cried again. It looks a little different and still needs some work, but my blog is back again!

And it’s about to get a lot more realistic around here. I’m tired of reading all the “perfect mom” blogs and feeling like I don’t live up to those expectations in my blog, my parenting, my home, anywhere. So while I will still do some of the same review posts and DIY posts and such that you are used to seeing, I will be throwing in more day to day posts. In these posts I will be brutally honest. I will share pictures with you of our house after young kids have destroyed it all day. I will tell you when I’m having a hard day and why. No more rainbows and butterflies. You’ll see why I literally have to pick out the simplest things to love and be thankful for because as much as you may think I have it all together, I don’t. I try my best everyday, but I never feel like it’s enough. I don’t want to just be another mom with a blog who makes you feel less than you should. I want to share my whole story with you, not just the good parts. Welcome to my real life!

We're Back Again- Loving Life's Simplicities

Family Photos by Cheryl Rae Photography

Family Photos- Loving Life's Simplicities

 

We recently had family photos made by Cheryl from Cheryl Rae Photography. This was the first time we’ve had them done since Laikon was born. We met at the local country club on a nice Sunday afternoon for this shoot. It was a great setting, except there were way more golfers out than we had expected. We were able to dodge the golf balls long enough to get some great shots, and I can’t wait to get prints made so I can put them up on our walls!

 

Family Photos- Loving Life's Simplicities

Family Photos- Loving Life's Simplicities

 

If you are local and looking for someone to take some photos for you, you should definitely check out Cheryl Rae Photography. Cheryl has great prices, and she seeks out beautiful locations. We have been going to Cheryl for all of our photography needs, since we moved back home from Myrtle Beach at the end of 2011. She did all of my pregnancy photos last year, took some of Laikon the very day he came home from the hospital, and also did the nursing session back when he was just a few months old. She is a lot of fun to be around, and the kids feel comfortable around her, which makes for more natural, candid shots of them.

 

Family Photos- Loving Life's Simplicities

Family Photos- Loving Life's Simplicities

If you would like to see all of the photos from our most recent session with Cheryl Rae Photography, you can check them out here, and don’t forget to “like” my Facebook page and hers while you’re there!

Our family received this session with Cheryl free of charge in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own, pinkie promise!