Top tips for throwing a kid's birthday party under $50

Pinatas, pirates, princesses - whatever your theme, you can easily spend a small fortune throwing Junior the perfect party. Here are some tips on how to entertain around 20 youngsters, for under $50!

For Starters:

  • Get Online. Your computer is a great way to comparison shop for the best prices on everything from decorations to favors. Sites like Oriental Trading are a party-planner's paradise of affordable goodies, while Pingg and Evite allow you to send out cute themed invitations via email for FREE. Gotta love that!

  • Buy Bulk. CostCo here we come! When it comes to loading up on munchies, head to your nearest CostCo, Walmart or Sam's Club, even Target. Buy bulk foods like raisins, cereals, etc. that can be put in attractive bowls for easy snacking.

  • Think Color. Get maximum visual bang for your buck by picking one or two colors for your party and using those for everything from balloons to food.

The Breakdown:

  • Invitations. Send online invitations and not only do you save a tree but you save money on stamps. Check out Pingg for every style of invite from cool to cute - they're free and they allow you to keep track of RSVP's easily, even send out reminders to guests a few days before the event. Price: $0

  • Decorations. For around ten bucks, you can buy a pack of streamers, a bag of balloons, and a pack of colored construction paper to cut out shapes to fit your theme. From there, just use your creativity - and be sure to get your kids involved! Price: $10

  • Food. Look for inexpensive ways to make food fun - use cookie cutters to create sandwiches in the shapes of fish, flowers, or anything else that fits your theme. Fill tables with unique containers that you have on hand (flower pots, wooden toy boats, etc.) filled with raisins, nuts, granola and candy. Whip up dishes like pasta salad that are not only budget-friendly but will please adults as well as kids. As for the cake, dust off your old Betty Crocker cookbook (or go online) and bake one yourself - a homemade "masterpiece" means a lot more than standard bakery fare any day. Price: $25

  • Favors. Buy a pack of brown paper lunch bags and decorate with markers. Fill with bulk candy, pencils, erasers, and stickers (hit those dollar bins at Target!). Tie each with a piece of ribbon or twine and you've got irresistible goody bags for your guests. Price: $15

For more stylish and budget-friendly ideas, visit The Foxy Files.