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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Birthday Party on a Budget: The Food

Before I dive into the food I'm planning for Emma's birthday party, I wanted to let you know that I'm trying to throw a nice birthday party -- complete with some splurgy items -- for my daughter's 5th birthday. While I don't want to go overboard, I don't want to be stingy either. In trying to find a balance, I'm documenting my little experiment here. I'm starting out with a $25 prepaid Visa that I won from playing an instant win game on the Huggies Enjoy the Ride website. I know that won't buy everything, but it's a good start!


I sat down a few nights ago and made a list of the food I'd like to serve at Emma's birthday party. Since we have mostly adults coming, I'm gearing the food toward them. In fact, I'll end up making the birthday girl something just for her for dinner. My plan is to make two different soups for dinner. While soup may seem a strange party food, follow my logic here.

First of all, soup is fairly inexpensive to make. It will probably be cold, so it's a good warm-you-up meal too. Second, soup is perfect for this party, because it doesn't keep me chained to the kitchen. I can get everything made and leave it in the Crock Pot to stay warm. With many of our guests being from out-of-town, I want to spend my time visiting with them and enjoying Emma's part, not slaving away in the kitchen.

That said, here's the menu plan for the birthday bash.

Cheeseburger Soup
Black Bean Soup
a variety of crackers (from our stockpile - paid almost nothing)
bread from Panera (suggested by & brought by my mom)

I'm still throwing around the idea of a cheese tray or some chips. I may snag some Stacy's Pita Chips and True North nuts for next-to-nothing at CVS this week. I might also make these adorable lollipop cookies to go with our Candy Land theme.

And of course there will be cake. I'm still hunting down ideas for a Candy Land themed cake, but it should be fun!

The menu is simple... The cost is low... And that works for me!

For more ideas that work, stop by Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family.


Anonymous said...

Taste of home had a cand land cake theme in one of their magazines a couple of years ago. I think that they would have it on their website too. Here's the link:

too Blessed to Stress said...

I hope you show pictures and give a follow up on the soup n' birthday party. What a good idea :)

~ Emily N. from "too Blessed 2 Stress"

lundgren79 said...

Sounds great and the cookies look fun! Hang in there!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

We're having soup for our 5th birthday party here! The birthday boy chose; he wants chicken noodle!

Meghan said...

I've never done soup for a party before, but I have done chili and everybody loved it. I think it's nice to have comfort foods at a party. It makes everyone feel relaxed, in addition to the benefits you mention about it being inexpensive and can be done in advance.

'Becca said...

I'd be happy to attend a birthday party where the meal consisted of two kinds of soup, crackers, and fresh bread! But if there were anything additional, rather than cheese and crackers I'd want some fruit or salad or raw veggies with dip.

One thing I often make for parties (whether I'm hosting or a guest) is Honey Baked Lentils. You mix them up in advance (from inexpensive ingredients!) and then they just bake for an hour or so with no fuss. Practically everyone likes them.

Happy birthday to Emma!