Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fun and Frugal Invitations

I love event planning almost as much as I love a good event.  I love details, lists, and seeing a fun idea come to life.  I especially like to see just how little I can spend.  When my husband and I got married I was bound and determined to have a  beautiful, large wedding (400 plus), with all the bells and whistles for under $5,000.  With the help of some books from the library we accomplished our goal.  Since then, with this new era of endless ideas on blogs and pinterest, throwing a cheap yet tactful event is easier than ever and literally at your fingertips. 

Today I want to tackle one small area of event planning, invitations.  Sending out a unique invitation can be fun.  It is often the guests first impression of  what the party will be like.  If you are like me, you think "Oh, that's cute," and then maybe hang it on the fridge for a week or two.  Eventually though, it finds it's way into the garbage.  For that reason alone, I don't like to spend much on an invitation. 

Recently I helped my husband plan and host a dinner party event for a group of about 50.  We didn't have a lot to work with budget wise so I went with simple.  After searching the internet for an idea I headed to our local craft store and bought the necessities- a pack of cardstock, scrapbook paper, and double sided tape.  It took me a few hours to put them together but I was pleasantly surprised with the finished product and even more thrilled to have saved well over double of what I would have spent on a pre-made invitation kit. 

Currently, I find myself planning a graduation party for my husband who will be graduating with his Masters next week!  I first checked out Walgreens and a few other places because I wanted to do a picture invite.  Depending on what you are looking for, some of the most basic formats are about 65 cents per invitation print.  Instead, I opted to upload a picture to a free online website called fotoflexer.  This website had a lot ton of fun editing options including text boxes.  After downloading the picture I wanted along with a few quick edits and added text, I saved it to my computer and sent it on it's way to Walgreens to be printed.  I ended up spending 19 cents per invitation which is three times less than what I would have spent had I used the pre-made format.

So there you have it, my secrets on frugal invitation making.   Happy party planning! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Warehouse Sales

Warehouse sales are basically a big company version of a garage sale.  You never know what you will find.  Occasionally it is just a bunch of junk and you walk away with nothing.  Other times you are pleasantly surprised.  This past week I had the later of the two experiences.

Club Choice Fundraising located here in Eau Claire WI occasionally has a warehouse sale.  I love this sale not only because the prices are extremely low, but also because the assortment of items are random.  Think with me for a minute about the last fundraising catalog the cute little neighbor kid showed up at your door with.  It was likely an assortment of just about anything you could think of and was overpriced.  Cut out the overpriced part and you have an idea of what this warehouse sale is like.  They had everything from gourmet cookie dough and specialty pizzas, to wrapping paper and candles.

Below are a few of my frugal finds from this sale.  If you are in the area and want to check it out for yourself  they are still open this week noon to 6 through Thursday, and noon to 5 on Friday.  Otherwise, keep a close eye on the adds in your paper for your next local warehouse sale.  

We eat a lot fo guacamole dip around here so I was thrilled to come across our favorite brand of spice mix for only 50 cents a packet.  (I usually fork out $1.15 at the grocery store.)

Check out one of the great new prints of wrapping paper they had for only $1 a roll! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Keeping it Short (Literally)

Last week's random stop at Goodwill reinforced why I love the Eau Claire Goodwill so much!  Three pairs of shorts, ALL with original tags still on (2 Target brand, and 1 Banana Republic!) , ALL in my size, ALL priced at $1.99 each, equals one very happy girl.  Bring on the summer sunshine and let the frugal finds continue!