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Our kids are growing up quick, and in the past month they've both hit new numbers for their birthday.  Little Boy Beagle just turned 4 last month and Little Girl Beagle turned 2 on Saturday!

Birthdays are always great, and this was the first year that both of them got excited about their birthdays, Little Boy more so than Little Girl.

However, we recently celebrated their birthdays, and were able to do so in a fun, easy way that really saved us some money.  Here are six ways we saved!

  1. Combined their parties – Being that their birthdays are only 20 days apart, we were able to throw a combined celebration that took place between their actual birthdays.  This may not fly down the road, but we pulled it off and made them both happy by having a combined theme party that they both loved.  This years theme was “Mickey and Minnie Party”
  2. Limited the guest list – For each of the kids first birthday parties, we invited pretty much everybody in our family, including aunts & uncles, cousins, as well as a lot of our close friends.  While we love our family, we kept the invite list to immediate family, and only invited a couple of families with some of the kids really close friends.
  3. Kept the menu simple – This year, we kept the menu to hot dogs, corn, and macaroni and cheese, and watermelon slices for the main items.  Who doesn't love those items, and they're all easy to make?  In the past, items like regular salad, fruit salad, or other dishes were popular, but took a lot longer to make.  This menu allowed us to put together a really cool fixings bar for the hot dogs, and keep the rest of it simple, so that we could spend more time with our guests rather than preparing food.
  4. Re-used decorations and supplies – We were able to re-purpose some of the decorations from earlier parties, and also had some generic party supplies from parties past that kept our costs down.  Does anybody really remember that we used blue plates for cake last year? Didn't think so.
  5. Make one thing memorable – My wife came up with a great idea for something that was a standout item, but took pretty minimal effort.  She made ‘party labels' for water bottles.  We simply peeled off the old label and used packaging tape to put on new labels customized to our party and our kids.  My wife designed them on the computer weeks before the party, and we put them on in an hour a few days before the party.  Time spent during the party: None!
  6. Kept the drink menu simple – Some beer, a few bottles of sangria (thanks, Costco), the aforementioned water bottles, iced tea, and some coffee kept people satisfied and gave something for everyone without having to buy 10 different bottles of soda (which all come away half empty) or worry about large containers for dispensing various items.

It was a great party and  we got to enjoy it while still feeling like we put on a nice menu and a great theme.   Best of all, the kids loved it!