· Make your own invitations and party decorations.  Your kids will love this special project, which will ultimately make the party more memorable. A computer can be used to make fun and colorful invitations, banners, and decorations.

· Plan the party around non-meal times.  The price of food will increase the cost of the party by two or three times.  Kids really only want the cake and ice cream, anyway. 

· Instead of party bags, check out a couple of craft books from the local library. For just a few dollars, you can get the supplies for a couple of different projects.  Kids will love making the crafts and will have something to take home with them.

· Set up a backyard Olympics.  Kids love to play games and you can find out their favorites by asking other parents or teachers.  Hand out stickers to the winners (try to make sure that everyone wins at least one game).  See FUN PARTY GAMES later in this book for suggestions.