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Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 25: Inexpensive Birthdays

Yesterday Jacob turned 5 years old. Trying to have an inexpensive birthday wasn't too hard as we typically do that anyway. We have had small birthday parties before which involved extended family, large cakes, and games. The majority of our children's birthdays are more quiet affairs with just our immediate family. Such was the case this year.

My children have so many toys that they don't need a whole pile of presents. We get them a few small things that we know that they will like and make them feel special but we don't overwhelm them with gifts. That is both just silly and a waste of money. We spent $22 on Jacob's gifts, which consisted of the two toys below and a ColorWonder Toy Story coloring pad.

We often times buy a bakery made cake because the kids want one. This year Jacob had fun making a cake with me and enjoyed it just as much. It was only around $3 to make.
We always let the birthday child choose a meal that they want to eat. This year Jacob decided on Pizza Hut pizza and breadsticks. We could have made pizza for cheaper but he wanted Pizza Hut and I wasn't about to crush the birthday boy's dreams. A large pizza and order of 5 breadsticks and 2 liter of Pepsi was $15 (actually, it was $14.98 but I'll round up!). So total for this birthday was $40. We would have had to eat supper anyway so it ended up being cheaper than that. Not too bad.
Sometimes we are able to find brand new toys (or look like new toys) at garage sales or consignment shops that we save for birthdays and Christmas, which brings the total even lower. I also could have used my SwagBucks to purchase items on Amazon for free. SwagBucks is a search engine (similar to Google) that "pays" you to search. You can win SwagBucks just by doing your regular searches and then turn them in for gift certificates. I love the $5 Amazon gift certificates they offer and have earned over $180 in Amazon gift cards since October, when I first signed up.
With the pizza purchase of $15 and $9 at the gas station for milk and eggs we are down to $13.06 for the rest of the month.

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