July 9, 2013

Inexpensive Girls’ Night Out Ideas

Laughter is a fantastic stress reliever. Having a girls’ night out is a great way to laugh, relieve stress, and feel refreshed again. As tired mommies, we all could use a little outing with our girlfriends from time to time. Getting coffee, going to the movies, and eating out with our friends can be very costly. Here are some inexpensive girls’ night out ideas that won’t break your budget.

inexpensive girls night out ideas

Host a movie night. Rent a dvd, watch a chick flick or something funny. I have tons of romantic comedies in my house. Perhaps everyone could bring their favorite movie from home and you could vote on which one(s) to watch. Pop some popcorn and have a few other snacks. This is much cheaper than going to the movies and you can pause for more snacks or potty breaks.

Plan a theme night. Perhaps someone in the group has a fondue fountain. Each person in the group could bring something that they like to dip. These items are usually inexpensive. Some ideas are bananas, strawberries, oreos, marshmallows, gummy bears, pretzels, rice krispy treats, and pickles. Or you could have an ethnic food night such as Mexican food night or Indian food night and everyone could bring their favorite dish for the theme.

Have a tea party. Get out the tea cups and china. Everyone can bring a finger food or you can provide some inexpensive homemade treats such as brownie bites, cucumber salad, pasta salad, pimento cheese sandwiches, etc.

Have a cookie/dessert swap. Everyone can bring their favorite dessert. It’s important to bring enough to share at the get together and enough to swap, along with a recipe for each person. Be sure to have goodie bags or boxes so that everyone can take home some samples.

Host a coffee night. My hubby and I read recipes and practiced making our own coffee drinks at home.  His favorite drink is a caramel frappuccino and mine is a caramel macchiato.  Set up a coffee station, play some relaxing music, and serve some yummy desserts such as coffee cake.  

Search for free and cheap local activities. During the summer, many communities offer movies and music in the park. It’s a good idea to bookmark your city’s webpage or like them on facebook. This will help you to stay up to date on local happenings.  Find something interesting, talk to your girlfriends about it, and agree to attend a free local event together.

Have a nail party. Give each other manicures and pedicures. Soak your feet in a foot spa. Enjoy a paraffin wax treatment. Each person can bring something to the party.  Everyone will leave feeling great.

Technically many of these are girls’ night in activities, but I call them girls’ night out because it involves getting together with your friends and getting away for just a little while.  😉


What inexpensive girls’ night out ideas can you share?

image courtesy of Artizan007


July 23, 2011

Do-It-Yourself Pacifier Baby Shower Favors

I attended a baby shower and they had some really cute pacifier favors and pink confetti spread across the table for decoration. I thought the pacifier favors were so cute (and inexpensive) that I had to share them with you. The candy pacifiers simply consist of two Lifesaver candies and a jelly bean that are held together by frosting or melted chocolate.

You will need:

  • Lifesavers (These are made from peppermint Lifesavers.)
  • royal frosting or melted white chocolate
  • miniature jelly beans (probably Jelly Bellies)
  • ribbon


  1. Unwrap your Lifesavers and set aside.
  2. If you are using chocolate then you will need to melt it.  Follow the instructions on the package for melting the chocolate.  Please note that you should be using chocolate candy that will harden after it dries.  This is the kind that is sold in most craft stores or in the cake decorating section of Walmart.
  3. Put a small dab of chocolate or frosting in the center of some of the Lifesavers.  To make your finished project more attractive you should make sure that the Lifesaver words are facing the handle and that the jelly bean side is plain.  For best results, only work with a few Lifesavers at a time.
  4. Attach the second Lifesaver to the first.  The second Lifesaver should be on its side so that it acts as a pacifier handle.  It will make a “T” shape.  Hold together for a few seconds to allow icing or chocolate to set.
  5. As you complete these steps, set them aside to dry.  After they have dried add the ribbon to the pacifier handle.  The ribbon should be about four inches long.
  6. Add a small dab of frosting to the other side of the lifesaver (the plain side) and attach the jelly bean.  Let these dry or harden.  You may have to hold the jelly bean onto the Lifesaver for a minute until it sets.

You may find that you want to make the pacifier handles first, attach the jelly beans, and then let the whole thing dry before adding the ribbon.  Feel free to modify the instructions to meet your personal preference.

Uses: These candy pacifiers can be spread around the tables for decoration or placed on a cake.  You can put them in a bowl on the tables or spread them around a centerpiece or the base of the cake.  Put them in small candy boxes and send them home with your guests.  You could also have the ribbon personalized with your baby’s name.  There are many uses for them.

Money saving tips: You know that I am all about saving money.  Save your craft store coupons to purchase these items while they are 40-50% off.  Ask your friends for their craft store coupons.  If you know in advance that you will be making these you can watch the weekly sales flyers for sales on these items.  Check the dollar ribbon area of the craft store for ribbon deals.

This post was originally written by me in 2009.  The content has been rewritten and modified to put on my own website.

Image (c) Karen Weideman


September 21, 2010

Ice Cream Soda Table Setting

I’m always interested in cute inexpensive decorations.  My friend Karen sent me an email with this neat idea for an ice cream soda table setting.  It’s simply made of carnation flowers, a tiny rose, a soda style cup, and two straws. 

I have seen the Coca-Cola cups at Dollar Tree and in some discount stores for around $1 each. Many stores sell carnations for around $.50 each.

This would be an inexpensive table setting or decoration.  It’s such a cute and simple idea.


July 30, 2010

Our Thrifty Luau Party

My two youngest children’s birthdays are in the month of July.  For now, while they are young, we combine their parties into one.  (FYI: They are also best friends.)  It also works out to combine the parties because some family members drive a few hours to attend.  Sorry if you didn’t need to know all of that.  The information just helps to set up the story behind all of this.    🙂 

With a combined party, I try to come up with a theme that will work for both of them.  One year we did Dora and Diego. Another year we did the princess and the frog.  This year it was a luau.  The luau theme was decided because the kids wanted to have a pool party.  And who doesn’t like a pool party?

A few months back I found these nice beach themed supplies at Walmart.  The large plates, napkins, and small plates were on clearance for only $.50 per pack for a set of 20.  At Walmart I also found a box of 30+ leis on clearance for $3.

Later I found some luau straws at Walmart for about $2.50.  They had little flowers around the top.  For music, I found a two-pack of Luau cds at Walmart for $5.  Yes, Walmart was my go-to store for the party theme.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the way I cut back on the party expense is to make my own cake/cupcakes.  I surf the internet looking for ideas of easy things that I can do.  I ended up making these cute beach/luau themed cupcakes using miniature Teddy Grahams, fruit rolls ups, candy, and tiny umbrellas.  I even found a $1 tear-off coupon for the Teddy Grahams at Food Lion.  You can see more pictures of the luau themed cupcakes and also some links to other luau/beach themed cakes and cupcakes.

Of course, a Luau needs to have a cookout.  As you probably know, July is the time to get cookout supplies on sale. 

Here’s approximately what I spent on this party:

  • paper plates, napkins, leis, table cloths, straws – $9
  • luau cds – $5
  • cupcake supplies (I made two batches.) – $9
  • hotdogs and buns – $10
  • chili – $0 (my aunt brought this)
  • potato salad – $0 (my aunt brought this)
  • chips – $3 (bogo)
  • veggies (carrots, cucumbers, celery) and dip (used triple coupon sale for the dip)- $4
  • sodas – $3
  • pasta salad – $3

All in all, I spent less than $50 on everything and fed lots of people, plus we had leftovers to eat.  By taking advantage of clearance deals, July cookout savings, making the cupcakes myself, and taking advantage of other sale promotions, I was able to give a nice party for a small fraction of what others might have paid.

How do you save money when throwing a party?


July 17, 2010

Easy Do-It-Yourself Luau/Beach Cupcakes

We had a birthday party yesterday for my two youngest. Both of their birthdays are in July and because they are still young, we have a joint party for them.  Now that we have a pool, it seemed like a good idea to have a swim party.  With that came the luau theme.

You all know that I’m not about to go out and pay $50 for a cake, so each year I surf the internet looking for easy ideas that I can do myself.  I found ideas for a beach theme, flipflops, palm trees, pineapples, and more.  These teddy bear cupcakes drew my attention though.  They looked kid friendly and fun.

For these cupcakes I cheated a bit. I didn’t make homemade icing. I simply bought the vanilla icing in a can and added a few drops of blue food coloring. I found the food coloring made the icing a little runny, so I put it in the freezer for a few minutes.

For these, I put icing on the cupcakes and used crushed graham crackers for the sand. Also used were miniature Teddy Graham crackers, fruit roll ups for beach towels and rafts, tiny paper umbrellas (found these at Hobby Lobby), sour gummy Lifesavers for tubes, and Lemon Heads for beach balls. You could use gum balls instead for the beach balls, but I already had the Lemon Heads.

Here are a few more pictures. Sorry for the poor quality.  I was in a hurry because the party was starting.

Other luau cake ideas:

Luau Party Cupcake with umbrella
Shark and Beach Cupcakes from Martha Stewart
Palm Trees/Beach cupcakes from Cake Central
Palm Trees, Pineapples, and Flower cupcakes
Hawaiian Luau cupcakes/cake
Flip Flop Cake from Better Homes and Gardens
Flip Flop Cake from Better Crocker

Enjoy! 🙂

images (c) Karen Weideman