9 Tips for Planning a Birthday Party on the Cheap

Posted on June 19th, 2017 by Uncategorized

inexpensive birthday party

If you’ve got a party coming up soon, and you’re worried about pulling it off without breaking the bank, you should know that it is TOTALLY possible to have a super fun an successful party without spending much money at all! Be sure to set a budget ahead of time, and then check out these tips…

1. DECOR
Get creative with finding decorations for your theme. Balloons are fairly inexpensive, and can make a room feel very festive. You can also use decorations from a previous holiday or party, or ask to borrow decorations from a friend or family member. Remember not everything has to be of excellent quality; if your budget is limited there are always good options that don’t break the bank.

2. GUESTS
The amount of money you spend can vary greatly depending on the number of guests. If you do it only for a small group of children your expenses will be much lower and if you consider that there will be adults, obviously the expense will be greater.

3. TIMING
The schedule is very important, plan it after lunch or after dinnertime so you can prepare only snacks, appetizers and other light foods. That way you can leave more free room in your budget for other things.

4. WHERE?
The cheapest option is your house or in the house of a family member or friend – or if weather-permits at an outdoor park. If you choose to rent a place like a club house or a party room do it during the week and at earlier hours, as that will also reduce rental costs.

5. DISPOSABLES
Sure, you could save more money if you use your regular plates and cutlery. But time is money, and spending hours doing the dishes after your event is, in my opinion, not worth the few dollars you can spend on disposable items. Try to buy them at your local dollar store or buy with coupons during a sale to get them for cheap! And don’t throw out the extras, save them for next time (no one is going to care if there are a few Batman plates mixed in at your 4th of July BBQ).

6. FOOD
If you decide to have a lunch or dinner party, make it a potluck! Ask your close family or friends to help you by bringing a favorite dish or drink. That way you aren’t spending as much and you will have a larger variety of foods. Plus, the homemade dishes can be a great conversation-starter!

7. DRINKS
Do not consume soda if you have the option of preparing flavored waters. Aside from being healthier, it can also be less expensive. Also, put names on the cups so the children and adults will keep their own as this limits the amount of orphaned cups that get thrown away.

8. CAKE
Instead of shelling out a fortune on a cake from a bakery, try your hand at making your own! You can snag a box of cake mix for a couple bucks and whip up your own frosting from ingredients in your pantry. A couple dollars worth of sprinkles and fun candles will be all you need to make a cute cake.

9. INVITES
Do not spend money on paper invitations. Instead, use social networks like Facebook to create your own event with all of the details on your party. It’s easier to see who can attend this way, and all without spending a single dollar.


My Favorite Tip for Getting Kids to Do Their Chores

Posted on June 18th, 2017 by Uncategorized

housewife

Chore charts with cute stickers are great, and bribery can work wonders, but my all-time favorite tip for getting kids (or husbands) to do chores is using a timer. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how a timer can help you accomplish the impossible, and it’s simple: most people love competition. When you have the clock counting down while they’re doing the dishes, they’re racing against the clock to get everything done before time runs out! Truly, it’s so simple, but so effective.

You’ll have to play around with the timing a bit to see just how long each particular task may take that person, but in no time you’ll have the timer set to 30 minutes and everyone will be quickly getting through their tasks.

Of course, the issue of quality may come up. You’ll want to let everyone know ahead of time that even though they are wanting to get their chores done fast, they need to be done correctly or they’ll have to do them over again – impacting their time greatly. And you may wonder what happens when the time runs out. No, that doesn’t signify that they’re done, everyone keeps going even after time runs out to finish their jobs.

Having the timer running brings in the element of competition, which seems to make everything a bit more fun; even folding laundry! It cuts WAY back on dawdling, and gets everyone through their tasks faster – freeing up lots of time! Even if it’s just me doing some basic tidying up, I always set the timer so I can stay focused.

Give it a try and let me know how it worked for you!


Happy National Flip Flop Day! Celebrate w/ an Easy DIY Flip Flop Wreath

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by Uncategorized

flip flop wreaths

I had no idea that National Flip Flop Day was a thing until a couple days ago. HOW FUN! As soon as the weather gets warm enough I transition from my boots, flats and sneakers to nothing but flip-flops. I’m honestly a very lazy person – so much so that even the thought of taking a few extra seconds to strap on sandals is enough to keep me wholeheartedly addicted to flip-flops.

Even if you aren’t a huge flip-flop wearer like I am, I doubt you’ll be able to resist how cute these flip-flop wreaths I’ve found are! They are the perfect symbol of summer, and you can usually score them for super cheap at Walmart or during a sale at Old Navy! Take a second to look through the following tutorials – then get crafting!

Here are a few of my favorites…


06-16 JOY SA FLIP FLOP WELCOME SIGN BETH WATSON MAIN

You can make this fun flip-flop “wreath” welcome sign in under 30 minutes! Now that’s my kind of craft! Head here for detailed instructions.


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Head here for a tutorial on this style of flip-flop wreath. There are 6 different flip-flop wreath themes that A Day in the Life with TJ has crafted, from Patriotic to Wild Colors!


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This last wreath is also super inexpensive to make, and has a cute flower in the middle! Check it out here.

HAPPY CRAFTING!


3 Cheap Crafts for Toddlers

Posted on February 10th, 2017 by Uncategorized

Doing crafts with your kids is so important as it helps to fine-tune their motor skills and provides them with a creative outlet! Crafting doesn’t have to be complicated or pricey, there are so many great projects that require only a couple supplies, and they’re usually things you can find around the house!

Here are 3 of the easiest and most fun crafts I’ve found that you can do with your toddler.

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This Torn Paper Collage is a great way to get a child that may not normally be interested in crafts to want to participate. What could be more fun than tearing up pieces of paper and gluing them onto paper in fun shapes? Tearing paper does more than you think to help with children’s fine motor skills, too!

 

painting

What could be better than finger painting with lots of different colors? Especially when stickers are used to leave white shapes behind. Get the full project instructions here.

 

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I have to admit that this project has me really wanting to find some bubble wrap so that I can try it myself. There is just something so mesmerizing about the pattern of dots from the bubble wrap! Think of all the fun designs that could be made with this craft!

 

 

What are some of your kids’ favorite crafts? Let us know in the comments!


Teaching Your Children To Coupon

Posted on October 16th, 2015 by Coupon Cathy

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I am a busy mom of 4. My kids range from 7 to 14. I began couponing when my older children were 3 & 5. That’s just a little background on my family. Teaching your child about coupons can start at an early age. My kids know what coupons are and how to use them. They started helping me at around age 3. Depending on their age, kids can definitely help us coupon and they are learning valuable skills along the way.

At 3, my kids could sort coupons for me (when I used a coupon binder). Also, beginning around 3 1/2 or 4 years old, while in the store, my kids loved having a “scavenger hunt”. I would hand them the coupon to use when we were on that particular food aisle. It was a fun game. As they got older, they would help out more. Cutting coupons with child safe scissors is a great way to get your child involved. Of course, this would be for older kids, since those bar codes are very important to keep intact.

At 2yrs old, the grocery store was a place they could learn colors, food groups, and counting.  Even toddlers can play along!

At around 10-11 my kids would “guess the total”.

Starting early with couponing skills or money saving strategies  is very important. Children will learn about the calendar, math, and saving money. The  tools you teach them now will last throughout their life, so make sure to get an early start in coupon clipping with your kids.  I remember as a child sorting my moms coupons for her.  She had a small coupon box, and I thought it was so much fun categorizing them for her.  When we were heading to the store I would watch her pull the coupons out to match the sale ads.  See how much that impacted me?

 

Do your children help you coupon?


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