Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clothing in the Car

              Keeping change of clothing for each child and mom. Keep a full outfit for each child and at least a shirt for yourself. Each person should have there own zip lock bag with there outfit in it. A zip lock gives you a nice easy thing to grab for the child or mom who needs to change. When I was a nanny or had my summer kids I keep the name of each kid on the bag. I keep them under the bucket sit in the van.
  • What is the point I don't have a baby?  Even kids who have been potty trained for a long time sometimes just can't holder it any longer. These often happens when you have little to no time to stop. Maybe that is why it happens. (I know make time but sometimes we just are not thinking).  A stop at a fast food place or park can turn out messy. 
  • How can I afford that? I keep clothing that is a little big or a little small in the car. It wouldn't be used at the time any way. Sometimes I keep holiday shirt people gave us. It not like it would get used either. An out fit with a stain on it will work fine too. If you don't have something stop by the second hand store and pick out the cheapest thing you can find. Don't go crazy it will not get used often and people will understand that it just happened.
This is what works for me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Affordable Birthday Party: Decorations

              I have keep all Girlygirl's birthday parties under $75. Which is at least half of what the party places I have looked into cost. To keep the cost low birthday part affordable I pick a theme early. Girlygirl birthday is not until August and we have just passed the New year and I am already on the look out of good deals on butterfly things for her fifth birthday party. As part of the planning for an affordable birthday I pick everything from the wrapping paper, Girlygirl outfit to the cake to match the theme.

             Finding affordable was to make your party theme starts with thinking outside the box. I always start at home.  Until last year I always picked the theme past on what toys Girlygirl had the most of. Doing this made it easy to decorate with little cost out of my pocket. Even if you don't use the toys to pick the theme look around and see what you have to match the theme in your home. This could be toys or a decoration. After you found what you have at home keep an eye out for other things to match you theme. I have picked up things at garage sales to bring out the theme and they are often toys so it is a win-win plus cheep. One year I found Dora fabric on sale for ninety-nine cents a yard, it made a great table cloth. After the party I gave to Girlygirl to us as a blanket for her dolls. If your child has clothing to match the theme have them wear it.  Knowing the theme early you can make gifts double as future party supplies. If you know you need a cake topper why not put a plastic toy to match the theme in your child's Easter basket or stocking. Or when shopping for new clothing pick up a shirt to go with the theme. It is easy to have an affordable birthday party with thinking outside the box.

            Once you have done all you can to think outside the box start hunt of party supplies that don't cost too much. Finding affordable wrapping paper to match the theme is one of the hard things to do. I did find Princess gift bags for fifty cents each and pick them up not know if Girlygirl would ever have a princess birthday and when she had her pink castle party I used those. One year I was lucky to find Sesame Street wrapping paper at a dollar store.  If you can't find wrapping paper for a good deal to match the theme try to pick colors that go with your theme.  The other thing I have done is add party stores and the lisle to my shopping trips. You never know what will be on close out at these stores. I once got hats, palates, cups, napkins, etc to match the theme and didn't pay more than eighty-two cent for any of it.  Keeping your eye out is not hard to do and can save you a ton of money.
              When I can't the thing I want for something I just make it. Children don't care what it looks like. Most of Girlygirl party games have been homemade. From just coloring pages to pin the peck on Big Bird to help Dora find Backpack. Homemade cakes are a lot cheep than store bought cake. I have been lucky to have a sister who loves to make fancy cakes. If you don't have someone to make one a box cake with small toy and Happy Birthday written on top is not much less the the stores do for a huge savings. With a little thought and look around the Internet you can come up with great things.
                  I had great backyard parties growing up. I have decided to keep with the same fun affordable backyard birthday parties for Girlygirl. Keeping everything at home doesn't always mean you you will have an affordable birthday but with a little planning you can have a party that doesn't break the bank.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A souvenir on a budget

We all love to get things when we go on a trip. I know I do and so does Girlygirl. When we where moving here from Illinois a few months back, we made a game out of finding post cards. Girlygirl loved it. She loved pick out just the right one at the gas stations and looking at them when back in the truck. We put those in a journal my mom wrote for her about the trip I am sure she will love it for years to come. Now when on the road Girlygirl is on the look out for post cards. We do get them for her. We got a cheep photo album and she puts them in there. At night she often looks at them in her bed. At Christmas time we took a trip and she jump for joy when she found the post card she wanted. It is great way to get your child something cheep to help them look back on the family fun. What do you do to help your child remember our family fun?