Don’t Drink & Text!!
After a few drinks my husband and I decided to throw a party for our three-year old. We were jovial and full of positive ideas. It didn’t seem at all daunting that it would be for the following weekend because we intended to keep it low-key with only family and a few close friends. However, in our semi intoxicated haze it snowballed pretty quickly as our little fingers feverishly texted people from our contact list. By the next morning we had a list of over 40 people who ‘would love to come’. Part of me was thrilled because I love entertaining but logistically my head was dizzy trying to figure our how we could afford and fit all these people in our back yard. I had felt invisible the night before but by the morning I had created a stressful situation for myself and needed to plan a party. Money Money!!!
Own the situation and turn it into a great party.
After sitting down to write a list of ideas and things needed I realised just how expensive this could be. I decided to see if I could turn this into a challenge and source out all things required by using what I had and the brilliant ‘cheap’ shops. I set a target of $100 to cater for 23 kids and 20 adult. Probably unrealistic but with family donations and thrifty shopping, maybe?
Turn a potentially stressful thing into a personal challenge.
Decorations and sweets can be rather pricey at the supermarket so I got mine from the ‘Reject Shop’ and another thrift shop. From these places I bought cups, plates, napkins, balloons and loads of sweets for the grand total of $24. From another thrift shop I purchased a pinata and sweets for $20. Whilst shopping at my local Coles supermarket I was lucky to find some really good specials. The ‘Mega Value Party Packs’ of frozen sausage rolls, pies and other savory pastry party favourites were half price. So that was just pure luck, Thanks Coles!! However, a fortune can be saved by buying the supermarkets own brands, especially for things like soft drinks and chips. Also some of the dips and cheeses are of pretty good quality. Once these things are plated up very, very few people know or even care that they are eating Coles own brand. My List:
- 4 x corn/potato chips $6
- 2 x Mega Party frozen food packs $14
- Dips $4
- sun-dried tomatoes $2.50
- 6 x 1.25L Soft drinks $4.50
- Orange Juice 2L $3.00
- 2 x Crackers $1.50
- Bag of carrots and celery (for healthy options) $2.50
- Watermelon $2
The birthday cake was something I made myself. After researching the cost of buying a cake, it blew me away!! So I looked on- line for basic (very basic) truck cake designs and made a simple chocolate cake recipe. With food colouring, butter, icing sugar and the sweets I had already bought, I managed to make a cake. It was my first time making a kid’s birthday cake and my hat goes off to those mothers and professional cake decorators who make it look so easy. There were many moments that I felt like flinging the thing out the window and had sugar shakes from constantly tasting my icing. In the end my son loved it and it cost $10 compared to the $30-50 it would have been to buy. So it was worth it financially and emotionally as my kids marveled at the result.
It’s nice when your kids think your super even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.
Also my generous Aunt made 2 dozen gorgeous cup cakes and it was BYO alcohol, although being a kids party most were happy with the soft stuff.
It’s not about the money you spend but the people you choose to spend time with.
The overall result was a fun and successful party. All up we spent under $100 and I think keeping it low-key helped to keep it relaxed. It’s easy to overspend on a kid’s party and often we don’t have one because we think we need to spend a fortune. My mother-in-law once said, ‘Give them food, drinks and music but it’s up to them to have a good time’. I always interpreted this as meaning, that as a host you provide the materials for a successful event but it’s down to the quality of your guests. We have very good family and friends who came to the party with positive energy and this radiated throughout the afternoon. It was relaxed, friendly and not stressful. It’s not about the money you spend but it’s about the people you choose to spend time with. So I suppose drinking and texting had a good outcome, this time!
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