The Force was strong with this little one on August 11, 2018, when we threw his very first birthday party with our friends. And then as of 9:26pm August 12, 2018, our little dinosaur officially turned a whole year old. 1️⃣🎊🎉
In an effort to make things less overwhelming for him, (which seemed to go well?) we decided to have two birthday parties for our son. One with our close friends–his nonbiological aunts and uncles–and one with our closest family–his biological aunts and uncles, as well as his cousin, grandparents and obviously us. 👪
Some people go all out with their child’s first birthday. And honestly, I don’t blame them! It’s a big deal! You got your baby to survive a whole year! 🙌🙌 That’s something to seriously celebrate!
Honestly, the first birthday party was as much for me as it was for my son. Despite how incompetent I’ve felt these past 15 months, my son seems to be thriving. 🙏🙏🙏 This may just be testament to his strong will, but I have to stop and think where did he get that from? 🤔😂
That being said, we didn’t have a few thousand dollars to put down on a big hall and guest appearances by the actual Spiderman, nor did we feel like taking out a birthday party loan (yes, apparently that’s a thing). But we still wanted to make it special. 💖💖
Since we had two birthday parties, we ended up spending closer to $150-75ish when it was all said and done (including pizza for guests), but for two parties, and considering how many people we had at our first one, I’ll still call that a win! 🙌😅😙
🍰How We Cut Costs Like Birthday Cake:
🎈For decorations, I scoured Party City online for their best deals for Star Wars themed decorations, hit up Oriental Trading for all things dinosaur, and of course visited the dollar tree to fill in the gaps on the cheap. 💳💰
🍕For food for guests, we ordered pizzas and asked guests to bring along some simple snacks. 😋 We also made cupcakes for our both parties respectively, as this ended up being much cheaper than buying birthday cakes. 🧁
🎂Aside from the pizza, the only expensive part food-wise was Vinny’s smash cakes, banana cake made with almond flour with a greek yogurt and honey frosting (there’s my crunchy side 😂✌🌱).
📖I also made an attempt at a “Year Book” for our son for his friends and family to sign, marking all of his milestones and memories from his first year of life. I didn’t give myself enough time to properly work on it, but when he reads it after he graduates high school, all that matters is that he’ll see what his friends and family wrote to him all those years ago. 💭💞😭
But I know what you’re all really here for. 😉 So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to save on first birthdays:
🎀Got Any Leftovers?
If you have friends or family that have already had babies, ask them if they’ve hung onto any first birthday supplies, or just party supplies in general. You never know what you can repurpose until you look! 👀
💡Facebook Marketplace and local Moms Groups might be a good resource for this, as well! 👍
💵🌳Hit Up the Dollar Tree!
Dollar stores can be hit or miss, but a lot of times they have the basics like table cloths, paper cups, plates, etc. It can be tempting to get all of the themed partyware you see at the expensive party stores, but they’re not all necessary. 🙅 For example, we ordered Star Wars Plates and Cups at Party City, but only half of what we would need. Then we got the rest with a matching color scheme at the dollar store.
👑For another example, if your little girl were to have a (Sofia the) 1st Birthday party, you could pick up a Sofia table cloth, and then one to two (depending on the size of your guest list) sets of Sofia cups, plates, and maybe napkins, and then get the rest in purple or white. And voila! A party fit for a little Princess on a Pauper’s budget. 👸💖👛
Resisting the urge to splurge on themed decorations and instead opting for the color scheme of streamers, balloons, etc from the Dollar Tree will help save a few pennies, as well. 🎉🎊🎈
🏡Stay Close to Home.
People get the idea that they need to have their kids’ first birthdays at a big hall, and if that’s what your heart is set on, and you’ve been saving for it since before your baby was born, then go for it! But you’d be surprised what you can do with your own living space. 🤯🤯
If you don’t have much to work with, but have a friend or family member with more space, ask them ahead of time if they don’t mind you having the party there! You can bake them an extra set of cupcakes to thank them for their troubles.
🛍🎁Don’t go all out for gifts.
This one is hard, more so for some than others. We Mamas want our kids to have the world, but the reality is they don’t need all of the latest toys. The truth is, they’ll play with them for a while but then forget all about them, or play with the dang box instead! 📦😫
I love sticking to the minimalist gift rule every birthday and Christmas for my little ones, because more than likely they’ll be getting a bunch of gifts from friends and family as well. 😅🤷♀️
💞💓Again, I totally get that rush from seeing your kids light up when they get that popular toy. But trust me, they’ll be okay without the entire LOL Dolls or Ninjago set. They might even be better for it. 💞💓
Vinny’s first birthday was bittersweet. 🥰😭 A year really flew by, and the the years will start coming and they won’t stop coming and soon enough he’ll be 18… 😮😵 I try not to think about it too much, despite how much I mutter under my breath that I can’t wait for him to go school when he’s driving me crazy. 🤪🤪🤪
How many of you have the big Oh-One coming up? How many of you have already had it? What is/was your theme? Any other tips for readers? Leave them in the comments! 💬😙
💖Thanks for reading, my gals! 😍😘 Next time I’ll get into how I worked through a sensitive pregnancy issue maybe some of you can relate to…