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Save Time, Money & Even Sanity by Hosting a Sleepover Party

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Save Time, Money & Even Sanity by Hosting a Sleepover Party

Birthday parties can be expensive, if you don’t watch your bottom line. And parties at home can quickly add up to the same amount you’d pay to throw a party elsewhere. But, surprise! You can throw a twenty-four hour slumber party for your child’s birthday that won’t break the bank or cause mom and dad to have a nervous breakdown. Here’s how:

Use Evite

Save on follow-up calls, postage and invitations by using Evite.com for your party invitations. The site offers a wide variety of digital designs and costs nothing to use. All you need to do to round up e-mail addresses for your party guests. After everyone has RSVP’d, you can easily follow up about party details such as what to bring, allergy or medication needs, and pick-up times.

Don’t decorate

Think home protection rather than party decorations and invest instead in plastic tablecloths, eco-friendly plates, napkins, straws, and silverware. If you want to make the sleeping room a bit more magical, why not pull out a couple strings of Christmas lights and twinkle up the windows? If you want a birthday banner for your guest of honor, make the creation of one with whatever craft items you have on hand, the first order of business. Just spread the craft supplies out on the table and have the kids jump in.

Give goods, not goodies

Gather small gifts for your guests that go with your sleepover theme and avoid the usual sugar-overload and tiny trinkets that go home in a traditional goodie-bag. Check out local dollar store or dollar aisle at your local department store for ideas. Manicure or pedicure kits might be perfect for a nail art party. A pair of mini-binoculars would work for a spy-themed party. An eye mask makes a good choice for a spa party. And rock star sunglasses are a fun touch for a Karaoke party. Give the gifts to guests as they arrive to put a smile on their face and get them engaged in the fun.

Pizza is perfect

It’s not really a slumber party without pizza, and this is good news for mom and dad. Pizza in bulk is cheap and satisfying but if you prefer to cook yourself, make everything the morning of the party and simply reheat at dinnertime.

Make the cake (or go with fondue)

Bakery cakes can be costly and superstore cakes are often inexpensive but low quality. So why not bake your child’s favorite cake at home instead? Since you won’t have to transport the cake you can make it as little (cupcakes), wide (sheet cake), or tall (layer cake)as you like. And you can also make it as heavy (pound or Bundt cake) or light (sponge or angel food) as your guest of honor prefers. Or skip the cake and go with chocolate fondue instead! Dunk pieces of pound cake, strawberries and bananas into 8 oz of chocolate chips melted with 1/3 cup of half and half.

Give progressive gifts

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Instead of spending on the party separately from your child’s gifts, combine the two. Make some of you party purchases tie-in with the party theme. This way your party is not a one-shot expense with nothing left to show for it afterwards. For example, your nail art, spy, spa, or Karaoke items can be opened as gifts. Group games, like Twister, also work well. Or wrap a new DVD to watch around 9 pm to help everyone decompress before bed. An assortment of Mad-Libs can offer something silly to do once everyone is in their sleeping bags.

Fill tummies for better sleep

Offer a midnight snack with a glass of milk. Ice cream sandwiches make a nice midnight snack when contrasted with homemade hot chocolate. Or get a roll of slice-and-bake cookies or scoop-able cookie dough, and fill the house with fresh-from-the-oven before-bed bliss. For the uber-ambitious, make the dough the morning of the party and refrigerate until bedtime.

Breakfast on the cheap

Pancakes from scratch are inexpensive. Cook up some bacon or sausage for protein and put everything in the oven to stay warm while you work on cranking out pancakes with a choice of bananas, blueberries, or strawberries cooked in.

Kick ‘em out of the house

You need a chance to tidy up before parent pick-ups begin. So have everyone get ready to go and then send everyone out for a game of tag or dodge ball while you clean up.

And there you have it. A perfectly fun, budget-friendly, and only slightly exhausting slumber party that everyone will fondly remember for years to come.


These days author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz prefers to sleep over at the hot mineral springs spa, but she still fondly remembers her first sleepover with pals.

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