I hosted a birthday party for my sister this weekend. She turned 15. I’m dead tired, but I wanted to share how I threw a grand celebration all for under $120! My secret? I kept it simple and almost everything was homemade. Guess who had lots of work? Phew, glad it’s over!
Theme – Two months ago I sat down with my sister to figure out the theme of her party. I gave her three options and explained I was challenging myself to stay within budget.
“Oh, great you only want to throw the party to blog about it,” she responded.
“Do you want it, or not?”
“Yes,” she said. “What are my options?”
After much debate she picked the Mexican Fiesta. I was leaning for the pizza party because I wanted an excuse to make an inexpensive pizza stone.
Invitations – I looked around the internet and searched at party stores for Mexican Fiesta themed invitations, but they were expensive. I finally settled on sending guests an Evite. It was quick and free. I just picked the style and customized the Evite. With a click of the mouse the invitations were delivered via email.
Decorations – I had to stop myself from going crazy here. While at the party store my sister had to remind me we were on a budget. She’s good at keeping me in check. I bought fiesta paper fan decorations for $7. They’re bright and colorful! I also had to have the matching napkins and plates for the cake. These came out to $5. For $2, I got the traditional pin the tail on the donkey game. I’m saving the game and fans to use again!
For $1.99, I got a pinata. Score! I had seen it for $15 at World Market. I headed to the L.A. Pinata District in downtown. Yep, there’s such a place. Candy was $10.
At Lowe’s, I bought succulents instead of flowers to keep with the theme. I’m planning on using these to make a succulents terrarium. Cost was $8. I used a coupon.
We had a photo booth set up to have guest take silly photos. I made mustaches, sombreros (hats), and other crazy props. I sat till the wee hours of the night making these from materials we already had at home. Everyone loved the idea!
Food – One of the reasons I was happy my sister picked the fiesta theme is because Mexican food is easy and cheap to make! Though we eat it all the time, many find it to be a novelty. Most of my budget went to paying for groceries. For appetizers, I made simple nachos with beans, cheese, and salsa. I also cut up fruit to have with a splash of lemon, salt and cayenne pepper. To drink, I made Horchata (a rice and milk drink). Have you noticed how expensive milk is?
I also served tacos. The cost of the meat was $25. We had leftovers. Woohoo! We’re still eating and sharing with neighbors and other friends that have stopped by! I saved lots of money by not buying disposable paper plates and utensils (aside from stuff I got at the party supply store). I used our dishes. Groceries were $50.
Dessert – It was delicious, if I do say so myself. I baked a tres leches cake and made a flan! If I had bought the dessert, I would have paid about $50. I made it for $10.
Music – Pandora, baby!
The weather was awful. It poured on us, but we had lots of fun!