Friday, October 7, 2022

Birthday Ideas

Little Miss is turning 5 this month! It's crazy, my baby is 5! When I started this blog, my 2nd was the baby.  It's amazing how fast the years go by!  With her turning 5, I was thinking about her birthday.  Birthdays can add up fast, even when you are trying to keep them to a budget. Here are 5 tips for keeping that budget in check and ways you can do so! 

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1. Make the cake vs. a box mix: 

While box mixes aren't that expensive, if you break down all the ingredients and how much you actually use for the cake it is cheaper to make the cake homemade than to buy the cake mix. A favorite in our house is chocolate, I've used this recipe from Creations by Kara for the last few chocolate cakes I've made. Last year my youngest wanted a 4 tier cake, because she was 4, lol of course right!  I stumbled through it. 

Help from Kara's recipe

Newbie without help

Then later, my oldest wanted a double layered cake for her 9th birthday   I knew I needed to find something to help.  I searched double layered chocolate cake and found Kara's post.  Kara not only has a great recipe for a two tier cake, she also has great tips on how to keep the cake to help frost.  Check out the photos above! What a difference! 

This year, we needed to make a gluten-free cake, turns out this same recipe works great gluten-free! Check out this cake and all the other options she has to help make your birthday budget a little more friendly this year! 

2. Make the frosting:

Homemade frosting is pretty easy to make and more affordable too.  The above site has a great homemade frosting recipe too! 

3. Use and re-use the number candles: 

This is something that my husband's family grew up doing.  After so many years it was fun to see the #1 from the first birthday re-used in years 13, 14, 15 etc.  There's a nostalgia to re-using the old candles too.  Now, with three girls it's been easier to re-use the candles as their color choice was pretty similar.  We have bought a few here and there for special occasions like the golden birthday, but for the most part we have re-used candles. 

You can also reuse the skinny individual candles too! Just wipe off the bottom and stick in a bag.  Eventually they get small enough you can't use them anymore, but hey you did your part and used it up to it's full lifespan.  

4. Presents: 

Now a days, presents have gotten a little much.  We were recently reading the Little House on the Prairie Series, and the girls were shocked to hear what they got for their birthdays back then.  

We go by a simple rule; something fun & something you need. That's it.  Anything else is just too much, especially when our kiddos get gifts from other family members too.  Which we love, but we don't need to add a lot more. So I guess my suggestion is to take it easy, or make a limit. 

5. Decor: 

Decor can be simple and yet pretty.  If you have room you can store decorations to reuse again.  Growing up my husband's family had a tradition of reusing the birthday banner.  It was a basic birthday banner.  When our oldest turned 2, my sister-in-law gave us a princess birthday banner. Flash forward 7 years and three girls later, we are still using that banner.  It is a fun tradition that my girls look forward to seeing each birthday. They even like to put it up for Daddy's birthday as a joke.  It worked out for us that we had 3 girls with the princess banner, but you can get any basic one or something that works for your family. 

Another tradition is wearing a birthday crown.  We've used a few over the years, but this one has been a staple for the last couple years. I was so excited to find one that would work for many years. 

Another way to save on decorations is to buy birthday plates, cups etc on clearance.  We stick with basic colors, then I just stock up on their favorite color when I see it on sale. Or if there's a fun theme I know they like.  

Finally, plastic table cloths draped over twine work great as a backdrop.  Pick your theme's colors and use 5-7 depending on how wide your back drop is.  These also can be rolled up and saved to use again!  

Hope this helps with any birthday planning you have in the future. 


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