5 Ways to Save Money by Simplifying Birthdays

Guest post from Chelsea of Stay-At-Home{MADE} Mom

Planning a birthday bash every year for every child can be exhausting, hard on the budget, and leave us with cluttered boxes of party supplies and toys. So in order to simplify, my husband and I adopted the birthday tradition he grew up with. We have chosen to throw only four large birthday parties for each of our children – 1st, 5th, 10th, and 16th.

During the years that we don’t throw a large party, we will have a simple cake and ice cream celebration with family. We also plan to implement a couple more traditions (like their favorite dinner or breakfast in bed) to make their day more special.

So whether you choose to throw an extravagant party every year or not, here are five more ways you can save money and simplify.

1. Simplify the Theme:

Instead of buying princess everything, buy one princess product to branch off. For example, you can buy a princess cake, but choose to buy paper products in a solid pink. Or, buy princess plates, but make a simple cake at home and decorate it inexpensively.

2. Simplify the Decorations:

Make a birthday banner by hand with pictures you scored for pennies. Sprinkle color-coordinating confetti on plain table cloths. Blow up balloons that double as décor and a game. Save leftover decorations for future parties or donate them to a family who can’t afford their own.

3. Simplify the Guest List:

While it’s tempting to invite everyone you know, it’s best to have enough space and food for everyone. It’s important to figure out how many people you can realistically afford to host and stick to that number.

4. Simplify the Party Favors:

In my opinion, party favors aren’t even essential, but if you want to provide them, keep it simple! Kiddos don’t need an entire bag filled with trinkets and candy. Some of my favorite ideas are cellophane-wrapped chocolate-dipped Oreos, a boxed cupcake, or some fun pencils tied with a ribbon.

5. Simplify the Gifts:

If family members or close friends come to you for gift ideas, consider suggesting that they “go in” with you on a bigger gift. A new bike, zoo memberships, a telescope, or something else that you know would get a lot of use. I find that most people are very open to this idea since it saves them the hassle of finding and wrapping a gift.

However you decide to celebrate, when it comes down to it, there are only a few things a child truly wants on his or her birthday:

  • To feel loved.
  • To know that others are blessed by another year with them.
  • Something fun — because it is their day.

If you accomplish those three things, whether frugally or elaborately, it will be a memorable day. Find what works best for your family, and enjoy celebrating one another!

Do you have any other ideas to save money on birthdays?

Chelsea is a blessed wife, mommy, and child of God. In her free time, she loves crafting, cooking, and blogging at Stay-At-Home{MADE} Mom about her budget-friendly creations.

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Free ebooks: How Huge the Night, Food From Field to Fork, What’s For Dinner

Download a free copy of How Huge the Night.

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Reader Tip: Save time and money by making shredded chicken in the crockpot

Reader tip from Amanda who blogs at Simple Revelations:

I love my slow-cooker. Soups, casseroles, meats, bread, breakfast — what’s not to love about a contraption that can do it all, and save me time?

One of my favorite money-saving crockpot recipe is Shredded Chicken. It’s a lean, protein-rich basis for meals and it only requires around 10 minutes of active involvement to make.

Plus, depending on where you live, you’ll probably be able to find chicken breasts for around $2 a pound. Compare that to the typical $7 a pound for deli lunch meat, and you’re saving a bundle on sandwiches using chicken salad on your sandwiches instead of deli-bought ham or turkey.

How To Make Shredded Chicken in the Crockpot

  • Purchase a large package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Put as many as you like (I’d do 10 or so) in your slow-cooker, cover with water (boiling water if they’re frozen, to get them cooking faster) and sprinkle with a few seasonings. I often use a dash each of lemon pepper and Montreal chicken seasoning
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or so, or low for 6 hours or so, until they are cooked through and literally falling apart at the touch.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and put in a large pan.
  • Shred with 2 forks.
  • Let cool and store in the refrigerator for use all week long.

Variations: During cooking, substitute the water out for your favorite BBQ sauce or green salsa, and use the meat for BBQ chicken sandwiches/pizza, or a tender and flavorful fajita meat. This is great for dinner guests when you don’t have lots of time to prepare.

Ways to Use Shredded Chicken

Use your supply of shredded chicken for lunches and dinners throughout the week. Some favorite meals ideas are:

  • Soups (chicken noodle, Matzo ball, coconut chicken, buffalo chicken soup)
  • Waldorf Chicken Salad (to eat as salad, sandwich, or wrap)
  • Chili
  • Avocado-bound Chicken Salad
  • Fajita/Enchilada/Taco meat
  • Pizza topping
  • Buffalo Chicken burgers (just mix the meat with a good dash of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, to taste)
  • Salad topping
  • Quesadilla filler
  • Any other recipe that calls for cooked chicken

What’s your favorite way to use the slow-cooker?

Amanda Dykes is a historical romance author who aches to share God’s grace. She’s a spastic shutterbug, unabashed word nerd, and lover of truthful writing that resonates. She can be found scribbling words on her blog and her online Christian Fiction Book Club.

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