How can I save money on food and other birthday party items? Baby's First Birthday

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birthday balloons and cake
iStock/Shaiith
Baby's birthday party can be a lot of work -- and cost a lot of money! Check out these great tips for keeping costs down while keeping things fun for all your party guests.

Keep It Simple

"The point of a party is to spend time with people you love, and that's what you'll remember long after -- not the food and decor. Remember that not everything has to be themed. It's fine to buy inexpensive, plain napkins and plates. Then you can use the extras for another party in the future! Consider using non-disposables. Plates, cups, and silverware are very, very easy to run through the dishwasher, and real ones are a lot more luxurious to use than disposables." -- Kristen, money-saving...

"The point of a party is to spend time with people you love, and that's what you'll remember long after -- not the food and decor. Remember that not everything has to be themed. It's fine to buy inexpensive, plain napkins and plates. Then you can use the extras for another party in the future! Consider using non-disposables. Plates, cups, and silverware are very, very easy to run through the dishwasher, and real ones are a lot more luxurious to use than disposables." -- Kristen, money-saving blogger at TheFrugalGirl.com

DIY Your Baby's Party

"I did everything for my kids' parties -- handmade the cake and the decor and shopped around for good prices. I did a lot of themed activities because those cost very little, except for props needed."

Don't Serve a Meal

"Schedule the party for 2:00 p.m. and put on the invites: 'Please join us for cake and ice cream!' That way you don't have to worry about serving an entire meal, and everyone knows to eat before coming."

Choose an Inexpensive Venue

"I had my son and stepdaughter's birthday party at a local fast-food restaurant and it was less than $100, including my own goody bags. There were about 20 kids and [the restaurant] supplied everything: cake, ice cream, prizes, and food. It was great."

Serve Snacks & Dessert

"My sister-in-law is making a goat cheese spread with toasted bread pieces and spinach and artichoke dip. My mom is making seven-layer dip. Then we'll have the sweet-and-snack table: Goldfish, fruit snacks, sugar cookies, cake pops, chocolate-dipped marshmallows, and, of course, cupcakes."

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