Themed Kids' Birthday Parties: Here's a Non-Conventional Way to Save Money on Parties! by Leslie W
Living in the South, parents go crazy on kids parties, spending $500 to $5000! When I had my first child, I swore I would never have a themed, fancy party. I succumbed to Southern ways and soon I was throwing themed all-out parties three times a year. I have no idea why I do it, but I am always happy with the result (though not with the cost).
My fanciest party was a princess tea party for my first child when she turned 5. I rented a space, bought linens, tea cups and saucers, tea pots, petite four stands, cake stands, rhinestone tiaras for each girl and made a complete tea brunch myself. I spent months shopping, making decorations and planning. Even doing everything myself, I spent $600. After this party I vowed never to spend this again. I never did, but I have spent $300 to $500 on each party since.
Recently, I was helping make decorations for a friend's party when it occurred to me I could theme my next party the same theme and ask to use her leftovers. I did, and she is giving me everything that she would otherwise throw away and letting me borrow things she wants to keep! Voila! Party on a budget!
Don't be afraid to ask (close) friends for their leftovers!