Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bug Birthday Party On A Budget

With 5 kids one of my biggest challenges is to do birthday parties without spending a large amount of money. I know I have the option not to do one at all but that just isn't my style. I love birthdays so I just can't give the parties up :)

The trick is finding a way to do it without breaking the bank. In years past we've opted to take the party out of the home for convenience but obviously that's more of a budget buster.

My total party expenditure: $102.52 - I would add this includes $16.99 for shipping and handling (how crazy expensive is that?!) because I placed and order with Oriental Trading Company and paid to upgrade shipping for fear the order wouldn't arrive on time so that's certainly one place to save money since taking out that expense means I spent $85.53 on supplies.

My supplies included the cake I made:

The goody "bags":

And dirt cups:

Where the money went:

Lunch was hot dogs, chips, grapes, mac and cheese and bug juice to drink.
- hot dogs - I already had so these aren't in my total but I think I spent $4.00
- chips - $4.00 for 2 bags
- grapes - $2.98 for 2 pounds
- mac n cheese - $1.97 for a box
these items I purchased at Target and used my $5.00 gift card so I saved a few extra dollars that way thanks to my Dunkin Donuts deal last week.
- the bug juice consisted of 1 2-liter of 7-Up and 1 2-liter of lemonade - we then froze ice cubes with bug fruit snacks and green food coloring to give it that more icky factor - total cost - about $3.50

Goody bags:
- mason jars - 12 for $9.99
- crushed oreo cookie dirt - $1.97
- rock candy - 1 pound was $9
- crunchy marshmallow bugs - $11.98 for 24 - I used these on the cake, in the mason jars and in the goody bags
To complete the goody bags I used brown paper bags and added the mason jars along with bug fruit snacks, bug gummies and plastic bugs ($11.99 for 96)

The cake:
- cake mix - $1.49 at Harris Teeter
- 2 containers of chocolate icing - $1.00 for 2 (after coupons)
- cookie crumbles on top oreo cookies and chocolate Teddy Grahams: $6.98 (not on sale and no coupon)
- gummy worms - $1.49 (also in the mud pie cups)
- realistic gummy bugs - $6.99 for 41
- rock candy
- more crunchy marshmallow bugs

Mud pie:
- crushed cookies
- chocolate pudding - $2.30
- whipped topping - $2.00
- more rock candy (I stretched that pound as far as I could!)

With a little bit of work I was able to pull off an awesome theme party for my son's 7th birthday. I will note that it would have been cheaper to keep the boys home and play games but because Caleb's birthday always falls in November just 6 days before his sister's I often end up spending a little more than I might do otherwise and this year was no exception - we took the boys to see the movie Megamind. However, by taking them to a matinee and not buying snacks at the movie we saved a little bit :)

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