Howdy LifestyleInkers! If you were wondering where I’ve been for the past couple of weeks, you should know that I am alive and well. My daughter turned 5 a week ago and I threw her a backyard unicorn party. In the process of planning the party, I saved a ton of money and learned some lesson. I will share some of my achievements and my few failures with you. Yes! I had some hiccups. However, before we dive into what went right or wrong, let’s talk about how I did it.

How To Plan A Unicorn Party

  1. Plan ahead

    Planning ahead made all the difference for my daughter’s unicorn party. I had the good sense to buy most of my party items online with enough time to send items back for replacement if incorrect or not needed. It also makes your event less stressful overall.

  2. Buy Online

    Yes, I know it’s better to see the products that you want, but what I have found is that online purchases will save you time and money in the long run. For example, I bought a pair of Twinkles converse shoes for my birthday girl for a fraction of what I would have paid at the store. Granted, I could have found it at another store, but I’d have to travel far and wide. Save yourself a headache and shop online.

  3. Shop Free Shipping 

    Shopping during the holiday period definitely gave me a leg up in planning this unicorn party. I was able to shop for deals that I couldn’t have found at any other time. I also made sure that I shopped for free shipping and return shipping. One website where you’d find this is Amazon. Do keep in mind that not all products on Amazon are sold by the company directly. I like to stick with buying from Amazon directly unless there is a large gap in pricing.

  4. Mix and match 

    Splurge on items you know will be the focal point of the party and save on other items. Don’t spend large sums of money customizing disposable items such as plates, utensils, and Balloons. Rather, spend the money on things like tangible party gifts, great food for all guests and picture worthy reusable items. The dollar store is also your best friend. I bought some inexpensive gold easels that worked really well for my daughter’s unicorn party.

  5. Shop reusable

    Linens and Drapes don’t have to break the bank. I ordered my white table linens at a fraction of the price that I would have rented them. I could not believe it. My bird cages came from Walmart and I will get to use them over and over again. I reused 3 chafers that I bought for my older daughter’s birthday eight years ago. Those chafers have paid for themselves over and over again. Purchase a Trampoline instead of renting a moonwalk. It will cost you about the same amount and you get to keep it!

  6. Don’t skimp on cake

    Your first thought might be to buy or bake a cheap buttercream sheet cake. Don’t do it! Here’s what I found, fondant cakes look better and hold up in worse conditions. You want a picture worthy cake that will scream “detail”, but it does not have to be outside of your budget. If you are handy, you can make fondant in less time than you think. Pinterest is also your best friend. You can learn a lot from folks like us who like to save. Don’t want to make the fondant? You can buy pre-made fondant from suppliers online, bake a cake or buy a naked one from your local bakery then get to work. By the way, naked cakes are all the rave now.

  7. Cook

    While you don’t want to make every single item on your list on your own, food is something most people can do ahead of time and on a budget. I skipped the deli line at Costco and opted to make turkey sandwiches in my kitchen. My sandwiches turned out great! I ordered some fried chicken because I did not want to go through the trouble of frying, but I made Mac and Cheese and pretty much everything else. There are several recipe ideas that you can transform into a birthday party delight. Pizza can be a good go-to recipe for most parties.  You can learn how to make pizza dough really quickly.

  8. DIY DIY DIY

    I am not much of a DIYer. I can DIY, I just don’t like to. For this unicorn party, I become that mom. I made a lot of items on my own and I bought some semi-finished products for less and finished them by myself. I skipped all the time-consuming DIY work that could take me away from important things. Instead, I saved time by buying a less expensive version of the same items.

  9. Invite just enough people

    Many parents will tell you to invite one guest for every birthday year. Ideally, I would have invited just 5 five kids. I did not follow the rule because the number of family members we have already surpassed five. However, if you are on a budget and cannot afford to host so many people, try inviting just close friends or family members. You will have an intimate affair and your child will get a chance to play with each of her friends, The bonus is that you can control your spending this way.

  10. Have your Unicorn party at home

    Don’t splurge on a venue. Your backyard can be an inviting and entertaining space for your guests.  Think of a theme that works with the outdoors. In my case, my daughter selected a unicorn party theme. I quickly went to work selecting decor that will work well in outdoors. It was a perfect idea. . . almost. I will talk about my failures in my next post.

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