Birthday Parties – Planning a Birthday Party on a Shoestring Budget

Birthday parties are an essential part of childhood. Whether your child is 2, 4, or 10, the day of their birthday should be celebrated for many reasons.

Most importantly, special birthday celebrations provide a feeling of uniqueness to the birthday child and in turn, boost self-esteem. It is also exciting for them and teaches them the value of waiting as they anticipate the arrival of the big day. However, sticking to a tight budget and still providing a wonderful party is difficult to do nowadays. Difficult, but not impossible.

Start by making a list of the essentials:

o Cake and candles

o Balloons

o Music

o Drinks for guests

o Food for guests

o Games

o Party favors

Set yourself your budget and be strict with yourself. The key is to be creative and hospitable.

Start with the cake as that is one of the most important aspects. There are many no-bake cookie cake recipes using ingredients such as Oreo or Marie biscuits, butter, and golden syrup (depending on the recipe). The additional advantages to this type of cake are that it does not need to be iced, and does not use any electricity or gas from an oven. You will need to buy candles, unless you can borrow some from a friend.

Balloons are definitely indicative of a party, however, you do not need very many in order to set the scene. Balloons usually come in packs of 10, 20, 25, 50 and 100, however, ten balloons should be enough. Tie 3 lots of 2 balloons together with some string and hang around the area, tie one to the end of the table on which the cake will be placed, and leave the rest to float around the floor.

For party music, if you don’t have a radio, then you could borrow one from a friend. Alternatively, if a friend at the party plays a musical instrument you could ask them to play. However, if you have no music, it’s not the end of the world, so long as you can manage to sing Happy Birthday to the birthday child when the cake comes out.

If you serve cake, then you really need drinks too. Tea and instant coffee are fairly inexpensive, and if you have some mint in your garden you could even make Mint Tea. Iced tea, or fruit iced tea made from teabags and hot water, cooled and chilled, with a slice of lemon is also refreshing, as is homemade lemonade, though this does depend on the cost of lemons at the time. For a nice alcoholic drink, try making a punch, where you can add in some fruit juice, a small bottle of alcoholic (vodka or rum usually), some 7UP for fizz, and scatter a few pieces of fruit on top.

Games (for younger children) such as pin the tail on the donkey, or kiss the frog, can easily be made at home by cutting out the shape of the animal from card, using a handkerchief for a blindfold, and a marker pen to show where the children have each placed their guesses.

Vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, and celery sticks are fairly popular. For a cheap dip, sour cream and chives or chopped spring onions is both fast and easy; yoghurt with a little garlic, lemon juice, and mint or black pepper is also easy to prepare; or avocado, mashed in a bowl with a little lemon, (cream cheese optional), salt and ground black pepper is easy too, but a little more expensive.

Although sandwiches are also an option, particularly if you can afford to include ingredients like smoked salmon and cream cheese, however for a tasty alternative, mix approximately 70g of tomato puree with 1 teaspoon of water and 1 teaspoon of oregano and top a piece of toasted bread. Sprinkle lightly with grated cheese (mushroom and/or pineapple optional) and pop under the grill.

A really effective party favor is homemade chocolates on a stick. If you don’t have a plastic mould, then just crinkle up some foil in the shape of a small cup, melt some chocolate on the stove, place a stick in the middle, and leave in the fridge to set.

And there is your birthday party on a shoestring.

Post time: 05-20-2017