I saved over $25 with these three easy budget party tips for my daugter’s Harry Potter birthday party! If you need to throw a birthday party on a budget, there are a few things you’ll need to do yourself.
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We just celebrated my daughter’s 10th birthday at Disneyland, but she also wanted to host a birthday party so she could celebrate with her friends. I gave her a $50 budget, and the whole family got really creative and pitched in to make a Harry Potter Halloween Birthday Party blowout worthy of Fred and George—on a budget even Professor Lupin could afford.
With just a $50 budget for decorations, party activities and favors, food, drinks, and the all-important birthday cake, I realized that some things I regularly buy for parties, like ice, were a luxury.
Here are three tips that saved at least $25 (half of my $50 party budget!) and helped get a few things done several days before the party. These easy tricks left money in the budget for showstoppers like Chocolate Frogs, and making party necessities ahead of time left me enough free time (hahahahahahaha) on party day to make said Chocolate Frogs and wrap them in gold. (Long story; stay tuned as we break down the $50 Harry Potter Party in upcoming posts!)
When Hefty asked me to think of creative ways to use Hefty Slider Bags, I already had three sets of Hefty Slider Bags in my fridge and freezer thanks to my party prep! You can scroll through tons of ideas for using Hefty Slider Bags here. I buy Hefty Slider Bags because they cost less than Ziploc bags—make sure to compare the same type of bag (freezer/storage) and size (quart/gallon)when you’re shopping!
The $50 Harry Potter Halloween Birthday Party!
Budget Party Tips: Save Time & Money
Budget Party Tip 1: Make your own ice!
- Spent: 12 cents
- Could have spent: $4 and change
- Saved: $4
#1 on my day-of party list is always buy ice. No big deal; ice is cheap, right? But a 10-pound bag of ice costs just under $3 at the nearest convenience store, and $3 is 6% of my $50 party budget.
I packed up 10 pounds of ice myself for just 12 cents!
That’s how much two Hefty gallon-size Slider Bags cost (here in Phoenix) after I used the $1 off two Hefty® Slider Bags coupon here coupon still available 5/2017!, and get a $1.50 Ibotta rebate on two Hefty Slider Bags here! plus a $10 welcome bonus with my referral! (Yes, you can stack both for a $2.50 savings!)
Each gallon-size storage bag holds about 5 pounds of ice. I did not need to use the thicker freezer bags, because this is just temporary storage, and thanks to the easy-to-close MaxLock® system, my ice did not puncture the bag, or spill out when I tossed the bags into the freezer.
I saved over $4 of my party budget by making my own ice: $3 for a bag of ice, and at least $1 in gas to go get it.
Budget Party Tip 2: Chop your own veggies!
- Spent: $2.40
- Could have spent: $8
- Saved: $5.60
When you’re pressed for time, it’s so easy to grab a pre-made veggie tray at the store!
I always seem to have more time than money, so I chop my own veggies for my Halloween party veggie platter.
I made this owl veggie platter for just $2.40—including the fennel “branch”—because I chopped everything myself. Since I just have one regular size fridge, and not the French door catering fridge I dream about, I have to assemble large fruit and veggie trays on party day. I chopped all the veggies two days before the party and put each vegetable into its own quart-size Hefty freezer bag. This saves a lot of room in the fridge (vs. packaging the veggies in rigid containers). I filled the carrots, jicama, and cucumber bags with water to keep the veggies crisp, and the Hefty freezer bags did not leak a drop!
Get a $1.50 Ibotta rebate on two Hefty Slider Bags here! plus a $10 welcome bonus with my referral! (Yes, you can stack both for a $2.50 savings!)
While I was shopping at Walmart for party stuff and the Hefty Slider Bags, I noticed that the least expensive pre-made vegetable tray cost $8. It looked great, but not very Harry Potter-ish. I wanted to pretend the kids would eat something fresh along with the Chocolate Frogs, Cherry Lemonade Honeydukes Candy Cake, and Polyjuice Potion, so I insisted on making a veggie tray.
My kids rearranged my owl into—the Halloween Cyclops Monster Veggie Platter!
Budget Party Tip 3: Do It Yourself Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs
- Spent: $15
- Could have spent: $250
- Saved: hahaha Who would spend $250 on a kid’s birthday for Chocolate Frogs??? I didn’t actually save $250, but I did spend $15 total for really cool party favors.
- Really saved: $15. I would have spent at least $2 each for party favors. The Chocolate Frogs came in at just 47 cents each!
One Harry Potter Halloween party element my daughter really wanted was to give a Chocolate Frog to each of her friends. Since we had 23 people on the guest list, and real Chocolate Frogs from Universal Studios cost $10 each (not real chocolate frogs; you know what I mean), it would cost $230 plus tax—for the frogs alone!
I made my own Chocolate Frogs, 32 of them to be exact (9 extras to satisfy any greedy little wizards), for the price of 1.5 Chocolate Frogs from Universal Studios.
The magic behind the coolest Chocolate Frogs you’ve ever seen is coming soon, but the point here is that you can save a ton of cash with these budget party tips! My daughter really wanted to give her party guests a magical treat, and with a little extra work and a whole lot less cash, I was able to grant her wish without blowing the party budget. Get creative, and stay on budget!
More Universal Studios Hollywood and Disney posts:
Try Hefty Slider bags today and compare them to your usual storage bag brand for less: Stack the $1 off two Hefty Slider Bags coupon and get a $1.50 Ibotta rebate on two Hefty Slider Bags here! plus a $10 welcome bonus with my referral! (Yes, you can stack both for a $2.50 savings!) Buy Hefty slider bags at Walmart and save $2.50 on two packages!