Birthday Parties Galore!

With 3 kids, you can imagine we get invited to A LOT of birthday parties. While we turn down as many as we do attend, our weekends are still packed with parties to go to. For parents, it’s not as simple as just showing up. We have to make sure we have a birthday card and a gift. Even though I pride myself on being super on top of these things, I’ve started to get a little overwhelmed by it all.

If I was super pro-active, I would have a pile of birthday cards, with post its labeling who gets what and from who.  Even with the forethought of planning though, I still don’t find the time to do even that. What’s most frustrating is that last minute purchases often are more expensive than if you had planned it out better and you know I love to save even a dollar.

GIFT CARD INVENTORY
I’ve started to stock gift cards, everything from Disney to Justice, Amazon to iTunes. While I know there are many thoughts on giving gift cards, they remain my favorite type of gift (to give and get). While some may argue that they lack thought, it’s certainly not a cash card. I’d like to think that I chose a gift card that they could then go and purchase something they would truly love.

BIRTHDAY CARD INVENTORY
If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. If I had a gift card ready for gift giving, I’d often find myself running to the store for a birthday card, often on the way to the actual party. Talking about adding stress to the already busy day! I tried to buy a bunch of cards in advance, a birthday card inventory of sort. But you can never predict the ratio of girl parties to boy parties and I’d still find myself in a pinch because I ran out of the one I needed. Can we also talk about how much birthday cards actually cost?! Anywhere from $2.50 to $7.00 each and then comes the stress of picking the perfect card out at the right price! One particular horror of a birthday card stocking trip to Target rang up at just shy of $85 for 15 cards. Cue the tears!

So what does this frugal gal do? Hit up my favorite Amazon.com. Just like bulk Thank You cards, I knew there must be the same for birthday cards. A quick search found me Bulk Birthday cards at a very nice price of $28.95 for 40 cards! That’s less than $1 each! There was quite a selection to choose from, all with previews of what would be included. I was able to find a neutral batch that I thought would fit my birthday card needs. When they arrived, I was not disappointed. High-quality card stock and envelopes with a variety of birthday greetings and even a few blank ones if my little ones felt so inclined to write their own messages.

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA
For all those who cringed at my gift card giving, I do try to give a little extra something. Throughout the year, I’m always looking for small little gifts for just this reason or also as party favors. I absolutely love the Target Dollar Spot for this. Particularly in the spring, I have found some really great gifts for under $5 like these adorable Magnetic Travel Games, little notepads and outdoor toys. Other favorite places to check out include Michael’s and Five Below.

What tips do you have to survive the birthday party season?