Great, inexpensive ways to celebrate their 30th birthday
Surprise 30th Birthday Party
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Ideas for Making Adult Birthday Parties Special
Planning Party Platters
Throwing a Great Party for Less
Surprise 30th Birthday Party
My best girlfriend will turn 30 later this year. I'd like to throw a surprise party. Planning the food and drinks will be easy. But, I don't know whether I should give it a theme or what kind of special things I should plan. Does anyone have suggestions?
Decide on a Theme
A theme will make planning it much easier. My husband and sister threw me a Mexican fiesta for my 30th this year. It was easy for them to figure out what to do for food, decorations, music, etc.
Christilynn (via Facebook)
Give 30 in 30
I received a surprise party for my 30th birthday. Every 30 minutes, I received a gift that was 30 of something. For example, I received 30 quarters because I'm a dart player. It was a lot of fun, and it was wonderful to see the creativity my friends showed.
Blast from the Past
For my boss' 50th birthday, I invited (by email, fax, or phone) all the people who had been important or influential in his life to drop by throughout the day just to say "happy birthday." I specified no gifts, as he is "the man who has everything." I had a big sign-in scrapbook where people could write something (kind of like they do in high school yearbooks). He was touched and amazed at the people who came by, from his 5th grade teacher to his first employer to his high school sweetheart (his wife told me who this was) to the former priest from his church who performed his wedding. The surprises went on all day. It was fun, very happy, and nostalgic.
3 Themes to Consider
A few possible themes:
- Have a "This Is Your Life" theme with pictures, old toys, and even people from her past.
- Celebrate the year she was born complete with music, old movies, and posters of old celebrities. Guests could even wear 80s attire and dance to 80s music.
- Enjoy a "Little Kid" theme. What would she have loved for her birthday party as a kid? Maybe she enjoyed balloons, pin the tail on the donkey, cake, and macaroni and cheese? Ask her parents what she loved as a little girl.
Get Creative with the Theme
Will this be in the summer? If so, then a simple theme could be "summer" (think Hawaiian grass skirt). Have cute umbrellas in the drinks. Decorate the tables with grass skirts. Use paper flamingos for the wall decorations. If you get the decorations now, they should all be on clearance at the party stores. If the party will be held in the winter or spring, this may also work to put everyone in a warmer mood while there's snow outside. Go to the local party store and see what's on sale. If you see something not on sale, ask when it will be discounted.
Save on personalized party supplies every day at Shindigz.
Another theme my family had fun with was a "Mustache Bash." Everyone wore a mustache. I made mustaches that I hung from the ceiling to take photos with (colored construction paper). I bought extra stick-on mustaches for those who did not sport a mustache of their own. Things were on sale because they were leftover from Halloween. The cake said, "I mustache you a question." My centerpieces were homemade chocolate mustache lollipops stuck in flowerpots with the green foam holding them in place. I have pictures of my kids on the wall and used dry erase markers to draw mustaches on their baby pictures.
Take the Next Step:
- Shop for party supplies and decorations at The Oriental Trading Company.
- Get more great tips for planning a special birthday party that won't break the bank.
- Save on the cake! See how easy it can be to make your own professional looking cake.
- Throw your bash for less cash! The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Parties & Entertaining for Pennies can show you how.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor
More Money-Saving Lifestyle Tips
- How much is all that clutter costing you?
- 10 ways to reduce the cost of your commute
- Can you afford to quit your high stress job?
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Saving-money secrets of the rich and frugal
- This week's Readers' Tips