Dollar Diet: Week 31 – A frugal first birthday

It's good to be 1

It’s good to be 1

My baby is one.

The first birthday feels like such a massive milestone.  D and I patted each other on the back, congratulating ourselves for surviving the sleep deprivation and reflux intact.  Our screaming baby soon morphed into a happy, cheeky and active wee boy who is an absolute delight.

We decided to have two parties to celebrate Chip’s birthday.

Now, I am not a big-birthday-blowout sort of person, especially when it’s a first birthday.  Some people go all out for first birthdays, with huge numbers of party guests, themed everything, and smash cakes.  I don’t like that sort of excess myself, especially when the guest of honour isn’t going to appreciate, let alone remember any of it.   However, the idea for two parties was sown after a young man D is mentoring had loads of fun making a rocket stove with D.  ‘We should have a winter party so we can use the rocket stove again!’ he enthused.

Yes.  Yes we should.

We invited some good friends with kids older than ours, so the party was more for these kids than Chip.  We played a couple of games, ate dinner and toasted marshmallows using the rocket stove.  The older kids had a blast playing Spotlight in the dark.

I'm a rocket maaaan...

I’m a rocket maaaan…

Despite spending most of the day preparing for the party, it was a low-key and frugal affair.  We saved roughly $40 by making Chip’s cake ourselves.  D and I had another fun cake-decorating-date-night creating this:


I made two chilis (one meat and one vegetarian), although I accidentally burnt one (so annoyed, the element was not switched off properly by a milimetre) which sent D running off for a few pizzas, so no savings there.  My mum kindly donated quiche, I made salad, grilled a few sausages and voila – everyone was happy.  We bought a couple of bags of lollies to use in the games, and marshmallows for toasting.  I made punch with low-sugar juice and soda water, and the cake was our dessert.

Minimum fuss, maximum fun.

Our second party was an afternoon tea with grandparents, aunts and uncles who I wanted to spare from all the noisy children.  It was extremely low-key, and cost me no more than a couple of boxes of party savouries and some egg sandwiches.  Our family contributed food as well, including this amazing cake made by D’s Aunt:



Chip had a wonderful time with his doting relatives, and it was such an occasion of thanks-giving as we celebrated this wee boy being in our lives.

Will I do two parties again?  Nah, but we sure did have fun.  Having some sort of winter bonfire party definitely ticks all my boxes so I think we might make that an annual tradition – but probably in June instead.  As for Chip, his next birthday will be a much smaller affair, but with lots of space for him to run around and around and around and around.


2 thoughts on “Dollar Diet: Week 31 – A frugal first birthday

  1. D had such fun. I have never seen anyone enjoy his first birthday so well. He loves all the food and is a great big flirt. He flirted with everyone. He
    loves Grandpa’s chases too

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