Frugal Friday

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Today I got a call from a party store offering me a discount if I purchased $100 of party goods from their store.  My first thought was, “Wow, the economy must be bad if they are calling people to ask them to spend $100.”  My second thought was, “Wait, exactly how much money have I spent at this store that they think I’d even be able to drop $100 on party supplies?”  Just for the record, I don’t ever recall spending $100 on party supplies.

I’ve seen and heard of parents spending incredible amounts of money on parties for their kids.  I have read that the average party for a child costs an astounding $250!  That’s just crazy.  You can have great parties for your kids without spending a lot of money.

On their birthdays, my children know that I will make them a homemade cake.  They will also get to pick what they’d like to eat that night for supper.  They also get a present.  That’s it. 

When they are 5 years old, 10 years old, and 16 years old, they will get a “big” party.  Last year, my daughter turned 10 and I helped her plan an ice skating party.  I took her and her friends skating during the public skating time, and we used coupons.  After they’d skated for an hour, they came back to the house for cake and ice cream.  Since my daughter loves yellow, I purchased yellow paper goods at the Dollar Store.  This saved a lot of money.

When my second daughter turned 10, we had a pool party at our house.  The kids swam for an hour and then after they swam, we had cake and ice cream on the front lawn.  The kids had a fun time, and I was able to keep my budget intact.

Two hours is a great length of time for a kid’s party.  For the first hour, you can play games, or take the kids on an outing.  During the second hour, you eat, and open gifts.  I know of parents who have parties that last 4 hours and more!  This requires a lot of planning and a lot of energy. 

I personally believe that it’s best to send kids home wishing that the party had lasted longer, instead of having them bored or wondering when the party will be over.  If the kids are all getting along and you have enough energy, it’s easy to extend the party time if you want.

Do you have a large party each year for your child?  How much on average have you spent on birthday parties for your child?  Please post!

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