Kids Party Tip: Prepare for Returns

Marta BlockContributor

We know that parents are busy and that each age brings new challenges when it comes to planning and hosting kids' parties. That's why we like to cover a variety of subjects with our Kids Party Tip series. We always look for ways to help you include entertainment in your party, and we frequently look at psychological issues like shy hosts or lonely guests. This week though, we've got something simpler, a money saving tip. 

When you're planning a party it can be tempting to do what you can whenever and where ever you are. If you're in Target, stop and get plates, if you're near a Michael's run in for craft supplies and then order the cups and napkins on line. That sounds convenient, but it may actually wind up costing you money. Thanks to stomach bugs, cancelled babysitters and other maladies of childhood, the number of guests expected at a kid's party is a constantly shifting number. Most hosts prefer to be prepared by slightly over-buying things like plates, napkins, cups and party favors, or accidentally over buy when half the guest list is wiped out by the flu. If you've bought all your party items at one store, or at one or two stores located next to each other, you can easily return unused items. If you have one unopened package of napkins from Target, one package of plates from Party City and a few unused craft supplies from an online source, it's unlikely that you'll  go through the effort to return all of those items (especially the ones you have to send by mail). Each individual item might not seem like much, but added all together you could be wasting $25- $50 per party by not returning unused items. Sure, you think you'll use them for the next party, but you won't. It's a little thing, but hey, if you've got 3 kids, saving $25 per party can start to add up!