Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday on a Budget

In my family, we love to celebrate birthdays. Most people do, of course. Who doesn't love parties, cake and ice cream, a chance to celebrate something with people you love... and of course, presents?

Every year, my family celebrates 21 different birthdays (that might not seem like a lot, but I'm not even counting my husband's side of the family). Every month is covered in cake and ice cream, confetti and presents. And every month as our bank account dwindles, I think, "Wow, we spent a lot on those gifts!!"

As our budget is a bit tight, I'm always trying to figure out creative ways to say Happy Birthday with bells and whistles -- and without going broke.

Yesterday, we celebrated three birthdays: My older brother Dan, my teenaged cousin John, and my cousin-in-law, Craig. Three hard-to-shop-for guys.

And my budget: $10 -- total.

Did I stick to it? You bet! And the best part is, they really liked them. Always important when giving gifts from the heart... and for the belly.

I hit up my favorite store on the planet: The Dollar Tree. Between party bags, snacks, and cute Happy Birthday ribbon, I only spent a grand total of $8.

The guys loved their bags, which were instantly ripped into and eaten up, in the quick and careless way that only guys are born with.

I think I just might do gifts like this for everyone, all the time.

Especially during the holidays, when, in addition to all the winter birthdays, we celebrate Christmas. Thats 21 gifts to buy all at once. Talk about brutal.


casserole said...

21 birthdays?!?! Dang girl, and I thought we had to celebrate a lot in OUR family... Good choices on the guys' gifts!!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! Budgets are totally key! I bet those boys loved your gifts, and I guess the saying is true: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach!

Nikki said...

Great Idea! We have a lot of birthday's too, and guys are the hardest. I might be stealing tis one! lol

New England Quilter said...

You are sooo clever! Men are tough to shop for!

Cherry Tree Lane said...

Good for you--stinking to a budget is HARD!

Tizzalicious said...

Gotta love those dollar stores!

Denise Felton said...

Oh, we're sisters! Dollar Tree is my favorite store, too!

I love your brain. I might have thought to get edible goodies for those folks. But I would have dumped them in the bag in their original wrappers. Rebagging them and tying them with ribbon was a brilliant thing for you to do.

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