This year, my six-turning-seven-year-old wants a castle theme party. Since this will be our third castle theme birthday party (it seems to be a tradition with the kids in our family), I may just have this one down pat. Of course, things have changed a little bit since the first party of its kind. I’ve noticed that party supplies are a bit more expensive.
When I first started with party planning, my first and sometimes only stop for party supplies would be one of those party stores. While they can be great for finding exactly what you want, they tend to have a great selection, the prices are not very frugal. Instead, I try to shop ahead for items in less expensive venues, such as dollar stores and Oriental Trading.
The Target dollar spot is also a great way to pick up favors and items for goodie bags, especially when they are discounted. I picked up 24 ceramic pink piggy banks for only 20 cents a piece for my daughter’s party last year.
For decorations, just keep an eye out whenever you are shopping. You never know what might present itself. The more time you have before the party, the more opportunity to save. We once outfitted our backyard with inexpensive tiki decorations from a discount store that help set the mood for a Caribbean pirate adventure birthday party.
If you are having a theme cake, you can save quite a bit by preparing it yourself. There are many resources, from books to the Internet that can give you ideas for simple theme cakes using ordinary pans. The castle cake I usually build is made out by simply stacking cakes of different shapes and sizes and using ordinary decorations, such as sugar ice cream cones and chocolate bars. No carving or fancy fondant needed.