Wednesday, May 30, 2012

1st Birthday on a Budget: Part 2

Wow, I am really bad at this blogging thing! But hey, working and raising a family is hard work and let's face it, blogging isn't exactly top priority. That said, here's the rest of the Bear's 1st birthday.

Step 3: Pick a Menu ($30) & Make a Cake ($8)

Since we did a Razorback themed party we opted for game day food including hot dogs, beans, salad, and chips and dip. Not the healthiest of menus but hey it's a party. The key to food at a party is to keep it simple, inexpensive, and of course have the grandparents chip in a little. They kicked in a little when it came to the sides and we handled the rest. Super easy and cheap.

When it came to the cake, I tried to be ambitious and make one from scratch. Who knew that cake is next to impossible to get out of a custom cake pan without cake release? Not me. The first version failed miserably so I did what every good mom does and bought a mix ($2). The most expensive part of the cake ended up being the icing. I purchased a tub of plain white ($1) thinking I would get off cheap but lo and behold to get a quality red coloring I had to go to the cake decorating section. Let's here it for $5 for a small canister of crimson food gel. I know it's probably horrible for us and will someday give us cancer but I used it anyway. So now we are to a grand total of $8 for the cake. I guess in comparison to a store bought cake it's no big but it was more than I had expected.
Finished cake w/decorations (His name was across the top, again removed for privacy)

Step 4: Favors ($7)

For favors I opted for cookies and mints. The mints I had left over from a shower so they were free! For the cookies I borrowed some cookie cutters from my mother-in-law that were jersey and football shapes. I spent my $7 on the baking supplies, frosting (which I homemade), and the dye ($4). I had some red from the cake but had to buy the brown for the footballs. Again, good food dye is expensive.
I found the key to good cut out cookies is to cut them again after they bake. This gives you clean lines when you decorate and you get to munch on the crusts!
Fresh baked sugar cookie

Place cookie cutter over cookie and give one firm press

Result is clean cut cookies
The finished product (sorry I didn't get a pic of them decorated outside the bag)

Step 5: Presents ($40)

I feel like deciding on a gift is always the difficult thing. Do you go one big gift, several small, consider the party itself a gift and let the grandparents handle toys? Because it was so close to Christmas we opted to go very simple on gift. One gift for birthday and one gift for Christmas. The Christmas gift I snagged for $10 so that left us a little more to spend on birthday. While perusing the aisles at Target we came across this little darling and knew it was perfect for our little Bear.
Awesome Little People Batcave

So there you have it. 1st Birthday party for just under $100. 
Let's review shall we: Free (decor & cute outfit) +  $11 (invites) + $30 (Food) + $8 (Cake) + $7 (Favors) + $40 (Present) = $96

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