Theme Parties 101

I know we like to have the best party for our kids but here is ways we can save and not break the bank.

 

1. Pick a theme.

2. Look around at Dollar Stores and Big Lots first. They tend to have a wide variety for cheap. Walmart, yard sales and Thrift Shops are also great alternatives to look for party supplies.

3. Look for clearance items. Target is a great resource for clearance items for party supplies.

4. Plan ahead and shop throughout the year.

5. Use you imagination and make homemade decorations.

6. utilize the internet for ideas.

 

More to come.

Ok, so before I start buying anything, I pick a theme – Handy Manny. Then I make a list of the things I know I need.

 

1. Napkins, plates, forks, tablecloth and cups.

2. Candles, cake and ice-cream.

3. Piñata handmade by me of course. It is a tradition from my family I want to continue.

4. Wall and table decorations.

5. Piñata stick.

6. Balloons, streamers, gift wrap or bag.

7. Snack food.

8. Candy, fruit snacks and stickers for piñata.

9. Beverages I typically do a punch with sherbert.

10. Birthday child gift.

11. Birthday child outfit.

12. Party gifts and goody bags.

13. Invitations and Thank you cards

14. Serving dishes and punch bowl

I will continue to update this list as I think of items to add but this is my base list.

2. Then I go around my house and look through what I have. Since this will be my 7th birthday party I will do, I keep the leftover items from the previous parties. I use to use them up in everyday usage but then I started saving them to cut cost on future birthdays.

So here is what I found so far.

1. Red, blue, green,black, orange and purple balloons which will go with the theme colors. (When I find bags of balloons 25ct or more for 50 cents that is when I pick them up. If you go to the dollar store or even Walmart, 15ct are a $1 to $1.50). Even though I didn’t just buy these we will say 50 cents since I know I bought some within the past six months.

2. Red cups, red forks, red and yellow napkins. (I know I got these at the Dollar Store I won’t count them as a cost because that was included in a previous birthday party and a baby shower.

3. We already have a few Handy Manny toys, like the saw table I got in Jan. from the after Christmas sale from Walmart and got it for $22 but that was my sons birthday gift and here we are using it as a prop and place for kids to play at while adults mingle and talk. We have a few hard plastic figurines and match box cars.

4. I did buy some small frisbies from the dollar store and some stickers for 10 cents that were on clearance. So this is $1.15 on these items. I think ahead so when I know what theme I am doing I pick things up along the way as I see them. I shop mostly clearance items and then Dollar stores or Walmart.

5. I got 4 black table clothes 50 cents each a couple weeks ago from Target so I know I will use one. 50 cents.

6. I make my own pinatas rather then buying them. I already have the box I am using. I am making a Tool box pinata for this theme. I use tissue paper for the pinata and this past Valentine’s Day I went to Burlington Coat Factory and they had their tissue paper on clearance for 15-25 cents each. I picked up 4 packages each had 8 sheets each, 2 had 4 colors one being red. and the other 2 were all red which where the 15 cent ones. So since I am only using Red lets say I am using 50 cents worth. If its not enough I don’t need to fret I was given red,green and white packet from a friend. I should have plenty of red.

7. I got an abundance of red, blue and black streamers from my first son’s birthday at Kmart on clearance for 10 cents each. I typically only use 2 for each party unless I plan on using multiple colors. I do have yellow left over from my daughters party in June so I think I will use yellow and red. Say 25 cents since the yellow is a larger roll and I may use the whole thing up. I think I paid 35 cents on those ones from Ollie’s in January.

7. Invitations – I plan on making my own. I am thinking either Handy Manny face or one of the tools. I will also make my own Thank you cards. I have plenty of card stock since I make most of my own cards because they are personable and I take time to make them and pray for each person as I make them. Card stock is not cheap so I use Micheal’s 50% of regular priced item coupons and spend 2.10 – 2.63 for a packet and only use about 10 sheets most packets are 25 sheets. So we will say I use $1.50 for both Thank you cards and Invitations.

8. I found Christmas gift ribbon I can use for wall fillies. I’ll try posting a picture so you know what I am talking about. I have read and purple.

9. Any of course you need essentials to put things together. Tape, scissors. pencil and paper to write on. Lately I have been getting tape free from Walgreen, Staples and Target when they have sales and I have coupons. I use tons of glue for the pinata which I typically use 1 full bottle of glue and I got several from Walmart recently from the 25 cent school supplies.

10. I already have the stick for the pinata now it need to be decorated with new colors. I used streamers and ribbon last time. As I said above I already have those so now worries.

11. I have serving dishes green that I got from Walmart at the beginning of the summer for $1 so I won’t count that since I used them for two other parties and a few cookouts. I also have a punch bowl that I paid $3 at a yard sale a couple years back. I did recently pay for a new laddel for a $1 at the Dollar store but that too was also use for other parties.

12. After Christmas Big Lots had wrapping paper on sale 50 % off and I picked up a Handy Manny gift wrap for 50 cents specifically for this party.

13. As for my son’s birthday outfit he will dress up like Manny, green shirt 50 cents from Walmart clearance, Jeans which he already has, He has a red ball cap that I plan on putting a white felt over the middle like Manny’s I haven’t found my felt but I am sure I have one. I will only use half but they were 15 cents at Walmart. I have a kids belt that was given to me that I will convert into a tool belt. Oh yeah the kids already have a few tools that came with the saw table as well as the Manny that speaks had all the tools.

14. As for fruit snacks we get Welch’s and I recently got free ones with coupons and hope as we near I will get those free to but if not I usually one spend 1.50.

So my total so far that I have spent – 5.65 plus tax so about $6

Step 3 – Make a list of what I still need.

1. Plates and Napkins

2. Cake and Ice Cream. (Note My mother in-law has gotten the last couple of cakes but you can always make one cheap) The cake is not counted in my $50 or less but Kroger does well with cakes $15 or less.

3. Goodie bags and party gifts ( I was thinking of getting 3 screw drivers for $1 at the dollar store, who couldn’t use another Philips screw driver! We always lose ours). I’ll get 3 of these.

4. Candies – I typically shop the sales like after holidays. Since this party is in Sept. I am out of luck but I learned last year candy is at its cheapest near the beginning of the school year even without coupons. for us 1 bag of mixed candy is good enough.

5. Snack food and punch. I usually do fruit on sale like grapes and strawberries but the time of the year for this birthday party they typically aren’t so it will all depend what I find. I do a bag of chips which you can get lays rather cheap with a coupon and then I do veggies. The last birthday party I did I got lucky with coupons and sales and was able to do a meat tray and a veggie tray for $7. Pretzels are always good too. I do snacks rather then a meal because its cheaper but this last party I did in June I only paid $5 for all the hamburger, hot dogs and bread, thanks to Kroger who doubles coupons and great sales.

6. Birthday gift – really don’t know what to do yet but Kmart and Target are clearancing toys right now so I will need to see what I can find.

Step 4 – look around at clearance items and see if I can find any good deals. I will keep a look out for any type of tools or Handy Manny items like coloring books, pencils and that sort of thing.

Step 5 – think ahead for other parties you may do in the future because sales are the best and clearances. I know I will be doing 2 Disney Cars parties in 2012 when the 2nd movie come out so I have saved most of my items from the first party I did of Cars. I even have the pinata that needs minor repair I will reuse for one of the parties I don’t think it will survive another.

As I find things I will add. If you have any suggestions on any handmade projects I can do for my Handy Manny theme party I am open to suggestions I am good with crafts.

I got the idea from the guy who built Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee larger than his house in his front yard.

“Yikes!” is all I can say. Life has been busy lately and now it’s September and my son’s birthday is at the end of the month.

Ok so I ran into some road blocks

  1. My Cricut Expression belt busted so I had to send it off to get a replacement and waited for the replacement to arrive but then it was the wrong one but I was able to use it until my actual replacement comes.
  2. I have gone to every store in my area for Handy Manny decorations and the usual party supplies. To my surprise most retailers aren’t carry any in the store but online. Since I am running out of time I need to find cheap but fast shipping. Ebay and Amazon here I come!
  3. The Cake I mentioned my mother in law typically gets well I tried to order it and called every store in the area and no one is carrying the kit or can get it for me so once again Ebay here I come!

On the good side is I almost have the piñata done and the invites. I will post the pictures below of what is completed.

While on Ebay searching for the cake topper and any decorations I placed a bid on some items with free shipping ending in the next two days. So we will see what I win and what I end up spending. Note I am still going to only spend $50.

I did buy a Handy Manny Myler balloon for $1.90 with free shipping. Yes. I can cross that off now.

Luckily I have a $5 gift card for Amazon I could use toward a purchase if I need it. Also I will see what Walmart has and do the site to store.

I also found some yellow Utility gloves for 50cents at Michael’s this past week and I plan on going to Home Depot with my boys to do the DIY kids project and use the aprons as a decoration for the walls.

part 4: Party Prepartions for under $50

by Moms Saving Money on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 3:38am

Part 4: After scramming around looking on Ebay and Amazon I finally feel like things are coming together. I finished the invites but still need to work on the Thank you cards and wall decorations.

Here is a run down of the items I have gotten and prices.

<span>Purchased list</span>

-Myler Balloon $1.90

-Handy Manny lot included $4.34

2- Handy Manny Plastic table cover 54″ x 102″ 2- Handy Manny Treat sacks 6- Handy Manny Plastic Hammer party favors 10- Handy Manny Napkins 8- Handy Manny 7″ Plates 7- Handy Manny Cups 32- Handy Manny Stickers

-Handy Manny Loot Bags 99 cents

-Handy Manny Lot included $1.72

– Handy Manny Plastic cake topers– Handy Manny glasses (8)– Handy Manny napkins(16)– Handy Manny 7″ Plates (8)

– Yellow Utility Gloves 50 cents

– Food Lion Handy Manny Cake 15.99 – $2 for waiting for call plus going to use $5 GC total $9

– Ice Cream 2/$3.47

– 3 Tool Sets for birthday gift $3.15 25.07

– Candy for piñata 2/$4

– Balloons 50 cents

– Frisbees 1.15

– Extra Table Clothes 50 cents

– Tissue Paper for Piñata 50 cents

– Streamers 25 cents

– Paper for Thank you and Invitation Cards $1.50 $33.47

– Supplies like glue 25 cents

– Wrapping paper 50 cents

– Fruit Snacks for piñata 75 cents for 2 boxes after 4 coupons.

– Screw Drivers Favors $2.10

– Frisbee $1.05

– Valentines boxes 50 cents

Total So Far: $38.67

<span>Free Items</span>

Aprons and goggles for Wall decorations

Cups

Piñata Stick

Party Dishes

Handmade Birthday sign

Handmade paper tools for walls and table

Cheese

Ginger Ale

White Grape Juice

Crackers

Pepperoni

Salami

–       Plasticware

 

Items I needed

Napkins, plates, forks, tablecloth and cups.

2. Candles, cake and ice-cream.

3. Piñata handmade by me of course. It is a tradition from my family I want to continue.

4. Wall and table decorations.

5. Piñata stick.

6. Balloons, streamers, gift wrap or bag.

7. Snack food.

8. Candy, fruit snacks and stickers for piñata.

9. Beverages I typically do a punch with sherbert.

10. Birthday child gift.

11. Birthday child outfit.

12. Party gifts and goody bags.

13. Invitations and Thank you cards

14. Serving dishes and punch bowl

 

So all I need left to get is a green shirt and food items.

Food items I plan on getting include

–       Watermelon

–       Strawberries

–       Grapes

–       Celery

–       Cherry Tomatos

–       Carrots

I have $11.33 left to stay under $50 but I have $6 Catalina from Kroger I plan on using plus I have $3 off produce coupon from Kroger as well. Thankfully neither will expire until the day after the party!!!

 

Currently the prices of these items at my Kroger are:

–       Watermelon $3.99

–       Strawberries $1.88 each

–       Grapes 99cents/lb planning on 3lbs

–       Celery 99 cents a bushel

–       Cherry Tomatos $2.99/container

–       Carrots $1.99 for a med. Bag

Total before any coupons for catalinas = $15

Now because I have to wait till next week to get these items the prices may change so wish me luck

 

The pinata so far

I change it a little since this picure but still the basic idea. This is the invite

Ok so here is my updated run down.

Today I got pick up the cake from Food lion that will cost $9 out of pocket after a $5 GC and $2 off coupon.

I also have a $2 off and a $3 off my grocery bill so I plan on getting some grapes and strawberries pending costs.

I mentioned I splurged on $5.50 at Target for tools that were 25 cents each and I got 22.

I had $11.33 left to play with but since I spent $5.50 I now only have $5.83 but I do have the above mentioned coupons from Food Lion and I have $6 in Catalina’s from Kroger and $3 off produce from Kroger.

So wish me luck and I will post later today my total costs and pictures of all the decorations.

PS – One of the lots I got from ebay fell through and the seller has not sent the box yet so I had to do a replacement pack from Walmart for $20 but used my last $20 gift card and only paid shipping of 4.97 so this was just under the amount I paid towards that ebay lot. My account was credited from the lot so no extra cost was spent.

So I know this a little late but between Catalinas and coupons I was able to get the rest of the food for the party with 47 cents remaining. Unfortunately I do  not have my camera cord to post pictures but I do hope so soon. The tools I made will do a double service from decorations to Thank you Cards. I just want to say thanks to everyone who made my son’s party a blast and I look forward to celebrating my nest son’s Birthday in January and the Theme is Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I already have a table cloth I got for 50 cents. I already know I will be making Mickey Mouse invites.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *