Frugal Fridays #12 – Budget Birthday

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            I have made it to my last week at Cath Kidston, only three shifts remain. I am pleased that freedom is within reach, but I am aware of my changing financial state. However, being on a budget does not restrict you from celebrating momentous occasions.

Last week, I hosted an afternoon tea party to celebrate my 21st birthday. I thought I would share my tips for frugal fun.

1)      Pick the time of your event wisely. My party started at 3pm, as it is much cheaper to supply a few drinks and cakes rather than a proper meal.

2)      Only invite the number of guests you wish to. Don’t feel socially obligated to invite partners or friends of friends. I had seven guests, which made for lively conversation. It’s also a logical matter of having less mouths to feed, so less can be spent on food.

3)      Talking of food, make as much of it yourself as possible. I baked my own cookies and cornflake cakes. My housemate gifted me with a gorgeous chocolate cake as part of my present. It will save you money in comparison to shop bought.

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4)      Make the most of supermarket offers. I wanted to have iced biscuits, the kind we made when we were little. So I purchased small bags of different sweets using Sainsbury’s 3 for £1 offer. We had more variation then if I had bought one big bag of branded sweets.

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5)      Don’t be afraid to serve bargains. We got through two bottles of sparkling wine, but they were such a deal at £2.49 a bottle. Nobody would have known if I wasn’t so smug about my frugality!

6)      Be mindful about your present requests. I didn’t ask for gifts, but if I was approached about what I would like, I tried to choose useful things. I was lucky enough to be gifted with vouchers, notepads and toiletries, as well as a few treats of chocolate and jewellery.

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7)      Don’t waste your leftovers. The clearing up part of an event is never enjoyable. But ensuring the cake is wrapped and the wine is returned to the fridge means you can continue the celebration for the rest of the week.

I had the best time at the party. Although I was conscious of keeping costs low, I did buy in a few items, like plastic wine glasses (which can be re-used!) and gluten-free biscuits. But overall, my party was thrifty at heart, just like the birthday girl herself.

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