6 Tips to Throwing an Economical Party

First Year Old Birthday Party

Happy Tiny Tuesday!! This past weekend we celebrated Abigail’s first birthday and had the best time watching her attempt to eat her smash cake. She was so hilarious because she tried to pick up the tiniest bits of icing with just her forefinger and thumb. It wasn’t until we swapped the cake out for a cupcake that she really dug in! So funny how every kid is different – Emma had zero hesitation with her smash cake.

Knowing how much time, money, and crafting went into Emma Grace’s first birthday party, I knew I wanted to do something a little different this time around. I mean, it’s kind of crazy how much money we end up spending on a first birthday that is more of a party for the parents than the kid…am I right?

This time around, I wanted the celebration to be solely focused on Abby. I wanted it to be intimate, small, pretty of course, a bit sentimental, and a lot more economical. I felt like I was going against the grain by scaling things down in all areas, but I ended up loving the result. It was stress-free for my husband and me, it was focused on Abby and her friends, and it was so laid back. I think my favorite parts of the whole thing were the sentimental pieces like Abby wearing the same dress Emma Grace wore when she turned one, Abby wearing the same HBD hat Emma Grace wore when she tried her first cake, and using the same HBD sign I did for Emma Grace’s party.

I wanted to share a couple of the things we did differently this time around that helped make things a little more cost-effective and truthfully, a lot easier. If you have any party throwing tips, I’d love to hear them, too!!!

6 Tips for Saving Money:

  1. Reuse – over the years I’ve learned to save the things worth saving (signs, garland, etc.) from parties and I keep them in different tubs in my garage based on theme. Then, the next time I throw a party I can shop through my own things before I buy anything. For example, for Abby’s party, I reused the HBD sign, some of the pom poms we hung from the ceiling, and pink and gold straws that were all from Emma Grace’s first birthday. We also reused Emma Grace’s HBD hat, which added a sentimental value to the celebration.
  2. Borrow – this is one tip I used to not be comfortable doing solely because of my pride, which is ridiculous because chances are you have friends, family, or neighbors around you that may have something you don’t. For example, I shot out a text to some of my girlfriends the weekend of Abby’s party asking if anyone had a white table cloth before I went and bought one. Sure enough, one of my girlfriends did and let me borrow it for the party
  3. Shop sales year round – this is where the sale shopper in me really lets loose. I have gotten in the habit over the past couple of years of constantly picking up pieces and items on sale throughout the year that would be great for parties or decor. A lot of times I don’t know when or what I would use something for, but think it’s cute and can envision how it might look. Ladies, the dollar section at Target can be your best friend. I snagged the dark and light pink garland strands you see in this photo from Target for only $5 each.
  4. Know your audience – this is key when you’re serving food. I used to be so bad at this piece as I would buy way too much food and have way too many drink options at parties and then I would be left with all the leftovers and no where near the amount of time or bodies to consume it all. So, for this party I tried to really focus in on who would be eating and what they would actually want to eat. I knew there would be adults and with the party being from 3-5, figured they wouldn’t eat much. So, we made sure we had some wine, beer, punch and water for the adults, and then a couple snack type options. Most of the food however, was focused on what I thought the 1-3 year olds would eat. We had Pirate’s Booty, mini pizzas, apple sauce pouches, cupcakes, and chips and dip. I’m happy to say that this strategy paid off and we didn’t end up with a lot leftover!
  5. Get crafty! – this is the fun part for me! For this party I wanted to display some pictures of Abby, but didn’t have the time or energy to make a massive, expensive scrapbook. So, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and found the cutest idea to display photos. All it required was finding an old frame in our storage, wrapping some yarn around it, and clipping photos to the yarn. It was perfect and the only thing we had to spend money on was actually printing the pictures!
  6. Limit your #s – this is by far the hardest thing for me to do. I am a big time people pleaser and feel a tremendous amount of pressure to include anyone and everything in everything I do. I’m talking family, extended family, neighbors, friends, friends of friends, you name it. While there is a time and place for those types of parties, 60+ people at a 1 year old’s party was just not something I wanted to do this time around. So, we stuck to immediate family and those few friends that have been a part of Abby’s life on an almost weekly basis and really poured into her life. I had a lot of anxiety about hurting people’s feelings, but in the end I realized it wasn’t about me or other adults, but about Abby and she had the best time!

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Backstory on this photo: this is how Abby sat the entire time we sang HBD to her! How cute?!?! 🙂

xx – anna & abby