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Mommy Dearest: Looking For Inexpensive Party Favors?

Mommy Dearest,

My daughter's fifth birthday is coming up and I'm throwing her the typical cake, ice cream and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey-party with ten of her classmates. It's low key and because I was recently laid off, low budget. In order to further cut costs, I'm thinking of skipping the party favors unless you have any ideas for inexpensive options?

— Birthday on a Budget

To read the response from Mommy Dearest,


Birthday on a Budget,

Instead of fretting over loot bags, try this inventive alternative that the girls will adore. Mix up some homemade face paint — it is made of just a few pennies worth of ingredients already found in your cupboard. Fifteen minutes before the party ends, set up a throne (chair covered in pillows or a fancy blanket) near the front door and invite each guest to sit down and be transformed into a princess. Paint a ring on her finger, bracelet on her wrist or crown across her forehead. The lil darlings will delight in their artistic adornments as they exit and won't notice the absence of loot bags.

— Mommy Dearest
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Join The Conversation
Greggie Greggie 8 years
We do the dollar store and have never done a couple of crappy items. The $.99 store is awesome for Disney stuff and other goodies.
MaggieLei MaggieLei 8 years
I really like the idea of kids learning to give at their birthday and not just get. It gets expensive though if you're throwing a big party. I like the dollar store idea.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
my sister went the dollar store route and actually found some awesome stuff. Also check out a craft store. My sister found small canvas totes (like 9X9) that were originally $1 and 90% off. She bought them for all the kids the puff painted their names on them. it was cute!
skigurl skigurl 8 years
one small thing that costs a dollar will go a lot further than a couple crappy items in a bag. so spring for a dollar princess crown or something if you are going to do the princess adornment route.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 8 years
Ditto to the Dollar Tree suggestion :highfive: I was there today getting stocking stuffers for my niece and they had load of great stuff. I like the cookie decorating idea too.
amers230 amers230 8 years
They have cheap-o party favors at Dollar Tree (like, 8 character erasers for a dollar, etc) and I have seen little favors at Target for one or two bucks. I like the cookie idea too. As a kid I never wanted the little gift favors, I wanted the candy hahaha.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
It's a great idea, I'm just so busy at parties that the last thing I want to do is sit and paint faces at the end. I love bluepuppy's idea of decorating cupcakes or cookies, too.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
instead of having one big cake maybe let the kids decorate cupcakes or cookies then they can take some home.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
Great idea! I am wondering where the loot bag idea came from anyway. I think it just reinforces the idea that you should be getting something in return for attending a birthday party. I feel bad when I've spent $15 on a gift and my kid comes home with $4 in a loot bag.
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