Recession Mama: My three-year-old's best friend is having a birthday party. Her mom is planning a princess party and we were chatting about it at their school. After drop-off, I went to an ethnic supermarket nearby that specializes in produce. There I saw these adorable little teacup and saucer sets, probably meant for Turkish coffee. Six porcelain cups and saucers in pastel colors for $2.50 ... $2.50!! I didn't hesitate a moment before I scooped up a few sets. Two sets to make favors for the party and an extra set for a gift for a later party.
I have made favors for a fair number of birthday parties -- usually for very good friends. I've used books from the dollar store or miniature games from the toy district downtown. That way I can give a gift for the child and for the parents -- a gift of time. It is nice to have one less thing to do for a party and one less thing to pay for. One year, when my sister asked what she could do for a no-gifts party of ours, I asked her to fill a piñata for the kids.
Back to the teacups ... I confirmed with my friend that the favors would be something they wanted, and that twelve would be enough. At home, I filled each with a beaded necklace and plastic ring (extras from previous parties), some princess-y stickers (bought earlier from the 99-cent store for an undetermined purpose) and candy (pastel Tootsie Rolls and lollipops from our overflowing candy dish). I wrapped them in cellophane -- I have a big roll from a florist supply store ($7.00 for 300 feet) and tied them with ribbon I had kept from some previous gifts. I ended up paying $5.00 plus tax and using things I already had for twelve darling favors. Even if I had bought the fillers, I figure the total cost would have been around $1.00 per favor, which is really good, considering how out of control favors can get. I liked them so much, I am attaching a picture!
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!