Monday, October 8, 2012

Stella's 1st Birthday Party

On the 22nd we hosted Stella's first birthday party! Knowing the cost of a party could get out of hand, with invitations, decorations, food and favors, we decided to see how cheap we could do it. We saved a lot of money and I had fun finding ways to do it. All together we spent $43.32 on her party! Brace yourself for one long break down of how we were able to it!

The most obvious and easiest way to save was, to limit the guest list. Tim and I both have large extended families, and the list could have gotten really long, really fast. But we decided to only invite immediate family and Stella's Great Grandparents. This put our list at 20 adults (including me and Tim) and 7 children (including Stella), so it was still a full house! Neither set of Tim's Grandparents could make it, so our final tally came in at 16 adults and 7 children.

We knew food would be the bulk of our spending, and it ended up being our only spending. Well, besides a pack of napkins and a few postage stamps. To help us save as much as possible when it came to food, I planned a menu around what we already had on hand. We went with baked potatoes, chilli, homemade French Bread, mac and cheese for the kids, s'mores, and tangy popcorn favors. We didn't end up making s'mores, but I still included them in the total cost of the party. The original plan was to have her party outside around a camp fire, but the weather was yucky, so we moved things indoor.
Stella's 1st Bithday Party Menu a breakdown of what we had on hand and what we purchased

Baked Potatoes and Toppings
Potatoes (I had a whole bag on hand)
Sour Cream (I had two half containers that needed to be used up)
Cheese (Purchased a brick on sale at Meijer for $5.49. This was my single most expensive item)
Butter (on hand)
Salt and Pepper (on hand)

Tim's Chilli
1lb. Ground Beef (on hand)
Diced Tomatoes (on hand)
2 Green Peppers (purchased)
3 Red Peppers (purchased)
Onion (on hand)
2 cans Chilli Beans (purchased on sale for 59 cents each)
Sm. can of Tomato Paste (purchased on sale for 50 cents)
Various chilli spices (on hand)
Saltines and Pretzels for topping (purchased)

Homemade French Bread (all ingredients on hand)
Mac and Cheese (purchased 2 boxes of Meijer brand for .49 cents each)

Graham Crackers (purchased)
Marshmellows (purchased)
Reese Cups and Hershey Bars (purchases 2 for $6)

Tangy Popcorn
Pop corn kernals (on hand)
Jello (purchased)
Honey (on hand)
Butter (on hand)
Sugar (on hand)

Birthday Cake
Funfetti boxed cake (purchased)
Vanilla Greek Yogurt (on hand)
Funfetti vanilla frosting (purchased)
Since we had decided to throw her party on the cheap, I couldn't justify spending any money on decorations. But, I really wanted to go all out for her party, so I decided to make all of the decorations myself. Luckily, I'm sorta-kinda a paper hoarder, so I had plenty of materials on hand. I made paper flowers out of newspaper and tissue papper, bunting that spelled out "Happy Birthday Stella" our of scrap paper in coordinating colors and strung together with ribbon and tape, and paper placemats that Stella helped make with her footprint. It sounds like a lot of work, but they all came together pretty quickly. I think the longest part was waiting for Stella's footprints to dry. Tutorials to come? If you want them, let me know in the comments.

I designed her invitations myself, and printed the at home on card stock we already had. I hand delivered the invitations to my family, since I see them quite a bit, and mailed the invites to Tim's family in envelopes I already had, so postage was the only expense here.

We borrowed card tables from family, and I lined them all up to form one long table. My mom had leftover white plastic table cloth from a bridal shower she threw, so I used that and then laid a huge piece of lace over it. We used our own dishes for serving (we did borrow some from my mom because we didn't have enough bowls and spoons) rather than buying paper plates/bowls and plastic silverware.

I had so much fun planning her party. I look forward to throwing many more parties for her!! My only regret is that I didn't get more pictures! I got caught up in everything that was going on, and didn't get any good pictures of the decorations, and the table all set.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)


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