Do You Have a "Hip" Birthday Party Idea?!
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
It may seem strange to post about birthday parties since many of you have just wrapped up big Christmas celebrations. However, I think it is very appropriate to discuss birthday party ideas and savings tips now as you can often snag some amazing bargains on toys and more by shopping the after-Christmas sales. Besides snatching up some awesome deals on birthday gifts, reader, Sallie shares other ways that she makes birthdays unique and memorable for her own kiddos.
Check out Sallie’s email and picture below…
A few years ago, my daughter started getting invited to birthday parties for her little friends. I wasn’t sure of the protocol on gifts as we do something different (I will explain in a second). Anyway, after a few parties, I realized that the average gift is about $10. Well as I have three kids now, that can add up in a HURRY.
So this week every year, I put aside $50-$75 and hit all the awesome clearance deals. Yesterday at CVS, all the toys were 50% off so I bought five remote control cars that were normally $10 for a total of $25. I’ll keep my eyes open at other stores as well and usually get 10-15 toys for my budget.
That way, the morning of the party, I let my kids pick out which gift they want to give and wrap it. No last minute shopping or overpaying because it snuck up on us! Last year, I had three gifts left over and donated them to Toys for Tots.
For the birthday parties we throw, at first we just put “no gifts please, your presence is present enough!” However, I found that in our culture, people just NEED to bring something. So, here’s what we did instead:
For one party, we collected cash donations in a fish bowl for PEERS. They are a non-profit at Camp Lejeune that offers free babysitting for military that I used when my husband was deployed. We collected $300 and they were able to take up the carpet in one room and redo the hardwood floors with our gift!
For one party in April, we collected peanut butter and jelly for the local food pantry. The manager there told me that in the summer, they can’t keep enough of it on the shelf because it’s a meal kids can prepare on their own while the parents are at work. Most qualify for free lunch at school, but summer months are tough. (see picture above of all that was collected). Then I took my kids with me when we donated it and the food shelter gave my daughter a thank you certificate that we put in her scrapbook along with her pictures from her party!
For my son’s one year party in October, we asked people to bring size 1 or 2 diapers for the local crisis pregnancy center. We collected over 500 diapers. They were STUNNED.
I personally think Sallie’s ideas are awesome! So….how about you? Do you set a yearly budget for birthday gifts? Do you buy birthday gifts way in advance? Have you ever hosted a no-gifts birthday party? Was it a success? Let us know!