Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Birthday Business

Ok, so I just posted about not spending money and here I am posting about my son’s birthday party.  Which will surely involve spending scads of money on supplies, decor and cake.  Right?  Well, I think I have this one beat.  I am after all very thrifty and I can make fondant from scratch.  Here is the proof:

cake7Well, I didn’t make the colored fondant but I did make the white from scratch.  That was a mess.  Have you ever done that before?  If so, why didn’t you tell me that kneading molten lava melted marshmallows and 18 tons of powdered sugar together “until smooth” would be such a farkin’ mess?  Anyway, that was soooo last year. 

Actually, this year we are forgoing the traditional party.  Instead we are taking a friend or two to the McWane center.  I think that will involve a lunch out and a hot fudge sundae.  And since we have a McWane membership this year, the cost will be low.  AND…omg…AND this membership lets us get into other museums around the country for free so we are also going to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.  I think Alden about died when I told him that.  He is already saving money for space camp (though he has a few years until he can go).  He hasn’t even seen the rockin’ 80’s movie, Space Camp.  I cannot wait until he’s old enough for that.  It will be a bonding moment for us, I just know.  So that is TWO adventures for the price of none.  Besides gas.  And food.  Well, whatever, it’ll be really, really cheap.

But since I am a bargain hunter and I always want to get something for nothing, I found a few places that will give me just that, all in the name of Birthdays.

* Kmart has a birthday club.  The closest Kmart to me is not very close but for a $5 gift card, I can drive the extra miles.  Yes, that is right.  Sign your kid up for the Kmart Birthday Club and your child gets a $5 gift card plus some kind of fun pack.  I have no idea how good any of this is but I signed my kids up anyway.

* Firehouse Subs will give you a free sub on your birthday.  You don’t even have to sign up for anything.  Just show up on the day with your ID.  Obviously, this will be a pain for kids but Mom’s and Dad’s need some love too.  I wish I would have known on my birthday :(

* Jason’s Deli will give you a $5 gift card on your birthday.  Just subscribe to their newsletter.  That means you could get a Mediterranean wrap for $0.99.  Or their salad bar for $1.99. And since they have free ice cream and bread and stuff like that, you could really make that $5 into a meal.  I love that place.

* Burger King has Club BK for online play and they will send you a coupon for a free kids meal when a parent creates an account.  They classified my soon to be 8 year old as a tween and this upsets me.  He is still a child Burger King, let’s just get that straight.  Anyway, a free kids meal is a free kids meal.

If you need a little inspiration for your kid’s birthday party, I really have to suggest the blog from Hostess with the Mostess.  She is beyond amazing.  She does celebrity parties, for Pete's sake.  But a lot of the things she does are not very costly.  Honestly, if you took her ideas to the dollar store, you could probably pull off a lot of it.  AND she has tons of free printables.  Same with The TomKat Studio.  Or for the low, low price of $10 you could get an entire printable birthday party collection from Parties by Hardie.  She will even customize it for an extra charge.  You just need some cardstock, a printer and scissors.  How cute is this?

party1 or this?











As far as cake goes, this is a very personal choice to me.  If it’s my birthday cake, it needs to be good great.  So that means spending $30 or so.  For my kids, this means baking a cake in the color they have chosen and decorating it in the theme.  That cake up there that I made for Alden was lemon cake on the top and chocolate on the bottom.  Seriously.  This cake (below) that I made for Avery was pink on the inside.  She didn’t even request strawberry, it just had to be pink inside.  With blue frosting and yellow polka dots.  I think the cost for each of the cakes I made was $10.  Granted I could have bought a dozen cupcakes from Wal-Mart for that but then I would not have gotten all the glory!  averycake

Now that I am looking back over all this fun stuff, I am kind of sad Alden has chosen a non traditional celebration.  Oh well.  Avery’s birthday is in May and she has already decided what kind of party she would like.  Strawberry Shortcake.  Honestly, the 7 year old inside me is ecstatic!

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Like George Washington Carver said:

1. Be clean both inside and outside.
2. Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
3. Lose, if need be, without squealing.
4. Win without bragging.
5. Always be considerate of women, children and old people.
6. Be too brave to lie.
7. Be too generous to cheat.
8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.


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