10 Birthday Gifts For The Fun & Frugal Mom

My daughter has started Pre-k this fall and she goes to ballet once a week. Slowly but surely, kids in her school and the girls in her dance school have started having birthdays; which means that the invitations have been rolling in for about two months.

I looked at our calendar yesterday and Sofia has gone to 9 birthday parties since the school year has begun.  There are 21 kids in her school and 18 in dance.  That’s 39 birthday parties & 39 gifts between now and May.  Let’s add some of our family and friend’s kids (no adults) and now we are at 48 parties and gifts. Say you spend between $20-$25 per gift… That’s almost $1,000 a year in gifts! Yikes!

What can you do if you don’t want to break the bank? Are you a creative crafty person? Not me. I’m the practical one. I can’t stand being gifted stuff my kids won’t use, so I refuse to do the same to others. Here are some ways to save some $ on birthday gifts:

  1. Netflix git certificate (my favorite).  You can get a one month netflix subscription for about $8. Tie that to a box of microwave popcorn and you have a gift for about $10!
  2. Kid Magazine Subscriptions. My daughter was gifted Barbie Magazine (ugh, I know… but she loves it) and Highlights Magazine. She loves receiving her own subscription! Costs: between $7-$20 depending on magazine.
  3. Pajamas! Every kid loves pajamas! My mother-in-law is an expert at getting pjs on the cheap for my kids at JCPenneys with the coupons. She pays between $4-$9 for each. You can get a JCP coupon on their site.
  4. Cookie Cutters! No matter the time of the year, there is always some type of holiday going on. Go to Michael’s with a coupon and now you are spending about $3 for a set.
  5. Make-Your-Own-Brownies in a bag. I have a friend that buys a box of brownie mix, empties it into a cute cellophane bag, adds marshmallows, chocolate chips and writes the instructions on a cute card attached with birthday ribbon. Hellooo??? Simple. $2.50
  6. Michaels always has a 40%off coupon any regular item on their website for you to print out.  They have lots of crafty projects for different ages, and sometimes with the coupon you’ll only spend about $5-$9 each.
  7. I’m not a fan of fast food but my kids love Chick-Fil-a. They LOVE when someone gifts them a $5 or $10 “cow-card” to go get their treat.
  8. Do you have a recent picture of the birthday child with yours? Get a a frame from the Dollar Spot at target and for less than $1.50 (with photo development) you have a gift!
  9. Build up a birthday stash during back-to-school time. Target has amazing deals like: a pack of glue sticks for $.22,  kid scissors $.32, ream of 500sheets of paper $2.00, crayons $.44,  plastic box for storage $.79. Total cost of craft time gift: under $4
  10. $5 – $10 gift card to Baskin Robbins, TCBY, Coldstone, Blockbuster, Target, TRU, AMC Theaters (or local movies), in one of those ‘money’ birthday envelopes. I know my kids LOVE to pay with their own ‘credit cards.’

The rule of thumb is to be prepared. I had 3 birthday parties this weekend and I spent close to $100 (one was for our Godchild).  The other two parties got a last minute Target stop because I was too mentally ‘stuck’ to come up with anything creative. Let my loss be your gain!

November 22, 2010

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Tiffany's Toy Box - November 22, 2010 Reply

Love the brownies in a bag and the netflix/popcorn idea — so gonna use those two! OOHH,and I love the back-to-school stash! Smart, smart, smart (and cheap) idea!!

Elanie - November 23, 2010 Reply

The secret of a popular and successful gift lies in the idea. Thanks for sharing such a wealth of ideas! Birthdays are times when you can show that you actually care and the gift idea is far more important than the price tag.

Warm greetings,
Elanie

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