Oh the birthday parties! When you have four kids in school and other activities, they could be attending a lot of parties!
This can get expensive if you don't have some strategies and a budget.
I generally keep the presents to about $20-25. Here are a few ideas of where to shop and what to buy.
1) Michael's craft store is a treasure trove of birthday gifts. You can find craft projects all ready to go in a cute box and I always use the 40-50% weekly coupons. This can make a $30 craft gift very reasonable. There are also boys craft projects like science kits and art supplies. (You can simply show the Michael's coupons on your smart phone to use)
2) Any time a store is having an end of season sale or closing out deals, I am on the hunt for birthday gifts. A couple weeks ago I bought a $30 Barbie for $8.99 at Target. Normally this Barbie would be out of my price range, but clearance deals mean you can give fantastic gifts and spend very little.
I look for after Christmas sales and seasonal sales like end of summer when I pick up sidewalk chalk, hula hoops and beach balls.
3) Older kids can be a little harder to shop for. They usually want to pick out their own gift and frankly, I want them too as well!
It's tough shopping for teenage boys.
This is when I look for deals on gift cards like iTunes, Cineplex and restaurants like Subway or McDonalds.
It's easy to find deals like 10% off iTunes cards at Sobey's or London Drugs or simply use some of your PC points and chose from the wall of gift cards at Superstore.
Don't forget Costco as they also have great deals on movie passes such as two passes with popcorn and two pops for $25.
4) My daughter's make the cards they give their friends. Five dollars on a card that the child will glance and throw away is crazy - and my daughters love to personalize the cards and tell their friends how much they love them.
For the teenage boys, you can pick up cards at the Dollar store or they simply grunt Happy Birthday to their buddy and hand them a gift card!
Your child doesn't have to attend every party they are invited to. I remember one week, my daughter was invited to 3 parties in 3 days.
All that driving and juggling schedules is not going to happen, and it's good for my kids to learn some life skills early on. I let her choose which party was the most important to her, and that was her best friend.
She enjoyed the process of picking out just the right craft project at Michael's that her friend would love and making a beautiful card to go with it.
For kids, it's not about the gifts. They enjoy getting together with their friends outside of school and having a good time.