Birthday

April 16

How To Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday Frugally

Posted by on April 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How To Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday Frugally

Birthday celebrations for children are quickly becoming more and more expensive. Custom cakes, themed loot bags, entertainment, catered food, decorations; the list of “necessary” items is long. According to Yahoo Canada, on loot bags alone some Canadian parents are shelling out $15 to $20 per kid. According Slate magazine, seven out of ten parents are spending over $300 on their child’s birthday party in 2013. If you were to spend $300 per year from your child’s first birthday until your child’s 17th birthday, you will spend $5,100 over the course of their childhood. Add on if you have multiple kids, those expenses can add up even more quickly.

Consider The Location

If you choose to throw a party for your child, pricey packages at entertainment venues such as movie theatres, museums, trampoline parks and zoos are lots of fun, but they are costing parents big money. By carefully considering your location, you set the budget for your celebrations.

Low-cost options include your own home and parks if the weather is nice. Look for other alternative locations in your community that you may not have thought of. In my community, the city has a community chalet that is available for rent at a very low price. My young daughter is a member of a local playgroup in a church that rents space to members and has a bounce house they rent to members for a very low cost. The local YMCA in my community also rents out space to members for a lower rate. Check out some of the places you frequent. You may find you can have a space for very little money or even free if you already have a membership.

We went blueberry picking for one friend’s birthday. Everyone had an amazing time picking (and eating) their weight in blueberries, plus not many party snacks were necessary. We sat on a few picnic blankets and had homemade cupcakes in the grass after the berry picking. Check out this article from Parents.com for more creative location ideas.

Have a location, but not sure how to entertain the kids? Consider party games or even a simple craft activity before you book an entertainer. Check out some of the classic party games ideas on this website created by the University of Minnesota.

Who To Invite To Your Celebration

How To Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday Frugally

Consider your child more carefully when you decide how often to have a party. If your child is not a social butterfly, a small gathering of just a few close friends might be a better option. A day with only your child’s close friends can be even more fun. When I was a kid, I only had a bigger birthday party roughly every three years. A bigger party for me was a party in my home with several friends and my cousin.

One option would be to alternate one year with a friend birthday party and the next year with a party with family only. This can help to both reduce costs and to bring your family closer together with traditions. On the alternate years that you have a family only celebration, take the time to truly celebrate and make some memories as a family.

Birthday Traditions

Birthdays do not have to be all about the party. Little gestures can add up to big memories for both you and your kid. For my kid, we put birthday candles in at least one food item from every meal throughout the day. She picks her favourite dinner, and I cook it for her. We also currently let her pick out a helium balloon.

Here are some other ideas you could try that are almost free:

  • Make pancakes with sprinkles and candles.
  • Tape balloons to the door so they pop out when your child wakes up.
  • Sing “Happy Birthday” once for every year of your child’s age throughout the day.
  • Create a birthday banner, either a new paper version or a special banner you use every year.
  • Play a family game or watch a movie that is the birthday kid’s choice.
  • A friend of mine throws a whipped cream pie at the birthday person. They have this tradition for all family birthdays, including adults.

Over at Calgary’s Child, there is a list of eight birthday traditions to start. Half of the ideas listed would cost you absolutely no money.

Make Your Own Cake

How To Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday Frugally

Whether you choose a boxed cake or a cake from scratch, baking your own cake or birthday treat can save you a chunk of change. Birthday cakes start at around $40 and can easily go up to $100 if you are feeding a larger group.

For cupcakes that look more professional, try one of my favourite tricks detailed at A Baker’s House. Add icing to a plastic sandwich bag. Snip a very small corner off the bag, keeping the hole small. Use the bag to pipe a swirl on your cupcakes or even a full cake. Add a few sprinkles and any mistakes you did make virtually disappear.

This year my daughter wanted a butterfly themed birthday party. I was lucky enough to have a butterfly pan. If you do not have a shaped pan, I know my local Bulk Barn rents specialty pans for a very low rate. I had images of this perfectly piped cake, but I ended up letting my daughter have a blast with the sprinkles. She loved her cake, and so did her guests seeing how proud she was of the crazy decorations.

Check out the previous article written by Clare, 4 Frugal Dos and DO Nots for your Child’s Birthday Party. She has some additional ideas to keep your child’s birthday fun while being frugal.

Bargainmoosers, how do you celebrate birthdays without busting your budget?

Image Credits: Victor, gomagoti, simple up

Moose Rating (2 votes)
April 28

Thrifty Foods Canada Freebie: Free Cake For Child’s 1st Birthday

Posted by on April 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Thrifty Foods Canada Freebie: Free Cake For Childs 1st Birthday

When a child turns one year old, parents tend to celebrate huge and go a little overboard.  Most people don’t really stay inside their budget because it is an exciting time, so anywhere you can save money is a bonus. Thrifty Foods wants to celebrate this milestone with you and help you save money in the process.  They are offering a free birthday cake for your child’s first birthday at all locations in store!

To order for your little one, stop by any one of the in-store bakeries to order your free 8″ x 12″ first birthday cake.  You will be allowed one per child and you can choose between a blue for a boy or pink for a girl. Make sure to give your local store at least 24 hours notice to get your free cake. You won’t even need to make any purchase to get this deal!

It doesn’t matter if you have envisioned some spectacular cake for your child’s first birthday, a freebie is a freebie.  I know so many people that make an extra cake for the first birthday just to put it in front of their little one to tear apart for a photo.  Why spend the time and money getting two cakes when you can get one for free?  This is the perfect freebie to take advantage of!

The picture above is from my youngest son’s first birthday, tearing apart the extra cake I made him.  I wish I had know about this deal back then to save me some time and money!

(Expiry: Ongoing)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
March 17

How To Save Money On Your Birthday

Posted by on March 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM

How To Save Money On Your Birthday

Last week it was National Heather Day, no it’s not an actual public holiday, but March 10 does mark my birthday!  I absolutely love my birthday, and I try my best to make the celebrations last an entire week each year.  I enjoy most aspects of my birthday: the parties, the people, the cake, the presents, the attention, the list goes on.  I don’t even mind getting older either.  I truly feel it is a privilege to live a long and healthy life.  Being the incredibly frugal person that I am, however, I do not enjoy spending mass amounts of money on my birthday festivities.  My husband and I are foodies, and my husband is an excellent chef.  We generally don’t eat out very often, and when we do we save our meals for special occasions or vacations when we have the time and money to dine at nice restaurants.  So unless we can afford to spend $150 on a meal (plus the cost of a babysitter), we do some of the things listed below for a birthday.  Here are some ways to cut down on birthday costs.

Homemade vs. bought     

Unless you prefer something special like an ice cream or frozen yogurt cake, try making a homemade birthday cake.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborately decorated, it all goes into your cake hole!  As long as the taste is good, who cares what it looks like?  That being said, if you enjoy taking the time to decorate cakes, there are many options available to learn that skill.  Try your city’s local classes, there are usually some inexpensive classes throughout the year.  With the average birthday cake costing about $50 for a cake from the bakery, making your own could be worth it.  Personally, I absolutely love a good boxed devil’s food cake with peanut butter chips and dark chocolate icing… soooo yummy!  And at a cost of less than $5 to make, that is my cake of choice.

“Free” day

Google “birthday freebies” and you will have a long list of freebies you can take advantage of on your birthday.  Note that you need to sign up to be on each company’s mailing list to be eligible for the birthday freebie, it’s easy to do, and you will be the first to hear about other great offers. My favourite birthday freebie is from Sephora.  They email you a coupon for a freebie on your birthday.  Simply bring it into your nearest Sephora and you will receive a birthday treat.  Usually you receive a mini mascara and lip gloss. I’m not a huge shopper, so I love the opportunity to browse through the store with my hubby.  I usually give myself a budget for the day, and I try to get as much free stuff as possible for my birthday.  Another good birthday freebie is the free coffee at Starbucks when you register your Starbucks card online.

Gift certificates/reward miles/free coupons

In addition to being foodies, my hubby and I also love movies.  Before my birthday I always research the movies I want to see, and the hubs and I decide on what we want to see most.  I cash in 200 Air Miles and get a Cineplex movie experience, which includes 2 general admissions, a popcorn and 2 drinks.  The cost of this outing?  Absolutely free!  Additionally, I dig up any freebie or “try me” coupons that were either direct mailed to us, or that we received from a promotion of some sort.  For example, 2 years ago a new wings restaurant opened in our neighbourhood, and we were mailed a coupon for 5 free wings.  We’re not normally wing fans, but for my birthday we decided to have some fun and give them a try.  We bought a few drinks and some other snacks, and it was a fun experience, all for less than $20.

House party

Every year I toy with the idea of organizing a girls night or dinner out for my birthday, but in the end, it’s just too time-consuming and expensive, and we usually end up having a small birthday gathering at our house for family.  This is what I prefer, and I get to see my favourite people.  We have bought decorations and a special “birthday girl” pin, so now that these are purchased the price of subsequent parties will be much less.

Last year I Iearned a valuable lesson the hard way, that spending money doesn’t always pay off on your birthday.  My husband booked a babysitter for our kids ($50), and we went to a neighbourhood chain restaurant ($75), which I have been to many, many times with my girlfriends for drinks and appetizers.  Our evening cost about $125, the food was terrible, and I was very upset that we had wasted money on food and an atmosphere that was not enjoyable, nor was it celebratory for my birthday.  This year we did everything I mentioned in the article above, although we did spend about $30 at our local Five Guys Burger and Fries, which is our absolutely favourite treat place to eat (we eat there about twice a year, mainly due to the high calorie counts in their foods).   We had so much fun, and we really, really enjoyed our food, and the experience.  We got home and my parents (who were looking after my kids for free!) had baked me a cake, and everyone sang me happy birthday together.  It was the best!   Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a nice birthday, or to enjoy yourself.   Surround yourself with people you love, and bask in the simple joys of life.  Remember that every day above ground is a good day.

Bargainmoosers, how do you celebrate your birthday frugally?

Photo credit: Omer Wazir

Moose Rating (1 votes)
March 10

Freebies for your Birthday

Posted by on March 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Freebies for your Birthday

My best friend and I were talking this week about what freebies she could get for her birthday.  She asked me if I knew of any good websites to sign up for and coupon codes that are available for your birthday.  It got me thinking about all of the great deals out there that we could be getting for our birthdays so I thought I would research it and do a post about it.

I found a number of websites that if you sign up for their email, (no purchase necessary), they will send you coupons for freebies or discounts in honor of your birthday.  Here are a few of the ones that stuck out to me that I thought I would share with you.

Old Navy Canada: Sign up for their emails and get a coupon to use the week of your birthday

Starbucks: Get a free beverage from Starbucks for your birthday when you register for their rewards card

Sephora: Get a free gift for your birthday when you sign up for their free rewards card

Orange Julius: Sign up for their club and get a free smoothie or fruit drink

The Body Shop Canada: Free “Love Your Body” membership (which entitles you to 10% off all year). If you already have the card, you will receive a $10 off coupon to use instead.

Restaurants- Montanas, Dennys, Boston Pizza and a few others will give you either a free dessert, appetizer or even a free meal.  It may vary from store to store so check your local stores.

Coupon Codes: A lot of stores are jumping on the coupon code bandwagon and well send you a special coupon code for your birthday to save at their store.  Make sure to check out our coupon forum for new coupons daily.

These are just a few of many great birthday freebies out there.  If you know of some great birthday freebies let us know! A special Happy Birthday shout out to the one who inspired this post Happy Birthday Heather!

(Thanks to Will for the image)

Moose Rating (5 votes)
December 11

Free eBook: Free Stuff on your Birthday

Posted by on December 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Free eBook: Free Stuff on your Birthday

Steven and Lina, the authors of GroceryAlerts, dropped me a line about an eBook they’ve penned. I rarely post this kind of thing on Bargainmoose, but they’ve done a lot of hard work and come up with a good resource for Canadians. The eBook details a lot of the freebies you can get on your birthday.

These offers are the kind of thing you’ll see here on Bargainmoose tagged with birthday, but Steve and Lina have gone into a lot of detail, covering various categories and digging into deals for various provinces. Some of the nation-wide examples:

Some of the restaurant and dining offer tend to be BOGO (buy one get one) or a free gift with purchase. But that’s all clearly explained in the eBook. A lot of them are totally free, like the 4 deals I mentioned above.

Moose Rating (7 votes)
December 1

FREE Starbucks Beverage For Your Birthday

Posted by on December 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM

FREE Starbucks Beverage For Your Birthday

Sign up for the My Starbucks Rewards, and you will get a coupon in the mail for a FREE beverage for your birthday.

All you have to do is buy at least one Starbucks beverage within 12 months of registering and they will send you a Starbucks postcard within a few days of your birthday.  Bring it in to any Starbucks Canada before the expiry date and get your FREE beverage. I can’t wait to sign up for this one to get a free drink!

Thank you to our Mooser MLBR in the Barginmoose Forum for letting us know about his deal. (Pic credit to tompagenet)

Moose Rating (5 votes)
October 5

Starbucks My Rewards Program

Posted by on October 5, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Starbucks My Rewards Program

Starbucks has launched a new, free Rewards Program in Canada. My Starbucks Rewards is a program that rewards customers for visiting Starbucks.

To join My Starbucks Rewards,  create an account and activate and register at least one Starbucks Card to your account worth $5 or more, either in store on online .

If you already have a registered Starbucks Card that you have used within the last two years and are a current member of Starbucks Card Rewards, you will be automatically enrolled in the Green Level of My Starbucks Rewards and you’ve probably received an email with program information.

You can earn rewards by using your activated card to pay for your order at Starbucks. You’ll get one Star for each visit.

There are three levels in My Starbucks Rewards depending on the number of Stars in your account.

In the first Welcome Level, you’ll get a postcard for a free beverage of your choice as a birthday gift. To move up to the second Green Level, you’ll have to make 5 visits in one year. The Green level offers everything from the Welcome Level, free beverage customization (free select syrups and soy/lactose free milk), unlimited in store refills on brewed coffee or tea, and free tall beverage of choice when you buy one pound of Whole Bean Starbucks Coffee. You’ll also receive special email offers.

After 30 visits in one year, you’ll move up to The Gold Level. Here you’ll get everything from the Welcome and Green Levels as well as a personalized Starbucks Card, additional offers and coupons through email, and a free drink of choice after 15 additional visits.

If you are a frequent Starbucks visitor, this free program will definitely benefit you. Just for the free birthday drink alone, it’s worth buying a $5 Starbucks card!

I’m a little scared to see how many stars I’ll reach in one year. Starbucks is definitely somewhere I just can’t resist. Love, love, love the Chai Lattes there! Oh, and the frappacinos aren’t too bad either Starbucks My Rewards Program

Moose Rating (7 votes)
June 22

Booster Juice: Birthday Freebie

Posted by on June 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Booster Juice: Birthday Freebie

If you sign up for the email newsletters at BoosterJuice.com, they will send you a coupon for a free birthday smoothie, when your birthday comes around.

When you click the above link, click on the orange circle called “nation.” In there, fill in the form with all your details, making sure to select your local Booster Juice store. Once you’ve done that, they will send you a confirmation email with a link to click.

I’d recommend adding your correct date of birth, don’t try and spoof it. Some stores would ask for ID when you’re redeeming a birthday coupon, as they don’t want people taking advantage of the freebies.

The free coupon can only be redeemed on the actual date of your birthday, at the store you name in the sign-up process.

There are loads of Canadian locations for Booster Juice – you can see them at the green circle with the world in it, titled “where.”

 

Moose Rating (4 votes)
August 15

Happy 2nd Birthday Bargainmoose!

Posted by on August 15, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Happy 2nd Birthday Bargainmoose!

Tomorrow, the 16th of August 2010, is the official 2nd birthday of Bargainmoose Canada! Hooray!

I cannot believe I have been blogging for 2 years now! On that first day, I did a welcome post, a Bounce freebie, a Sears coupon, so I started exactly as I meant to… and continued that trend to this day. From posting 50 deals back in August 2008, Bargainmoose now has over 200 deals each month.

We’ve grown from just a few Moosers, and we’re now in the thousands, as you can see by the daily stats over there >>> under my RSS icon (over 6k daily Moosers at last count).

On a personal note, I love logging on to Bargainmoose every day to see lovely comments from the Moosers, and sometimes I even get thankful emails stating how much money I’ve saved someone. It makes me happy to hear how much you guys save!

So here’s to many more years of The Moose!

EXCITING NEWS:


Starting tomorrow, I am going to be starting a HUGE contest, the biggest I have ever undertaken on Bargainmoose. Please check in on the site tomorrow for all the juicy details, and you might be able to get your hands on some loot! You’ll be able to follow all our birthday antics on the Birthday tag. Come back and see us soon!

Moose Rating (28 votes)
June 29

Birthday Deals

Posted by on June 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Birthday Deals

As my birthday just recently passed I bathed in the attention (or lack there of) of family, friends, and franchises. I’ll admit, I am a very gifty person, I really like giving them, and I really like receiving them. I subscribe to several newsletters, am a member of a few ‘clubs’ and here are some noteable ones you might want to join before your birthday comes around, and why:

  • Disney Movie Rewards: They gave me a choice between 5 diff Blu-Ray DVDs to pick 1 for free, all I had to pay was the shipping cost of $2.95. A Blu Ray copy of National Treasure is on its way!
  • Swarovski: I’m on their mailing list and as a gift they sent me a $15 CAN online voucher good for 3 months.

I know there are many restaurants that give free food to the birthday celebrating individual, but of course they make money off the rest of the Birthday Party. I like the above 3 because they are really birthday person oriented, and one is completely free, one very reduced, and one a nice little voucher for a place I already shop.

I would love to expand this list, so does anyone else have any other items you can get for free for your birthday, or vouchers or get at a reduced price like this? Drop us a line!!

Moose Rating (12 votes)
May 13

Boston Pizza Canada Coupons

Posted by on May 13, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Boston Pizza Canada Coupons

Did you know that if you join their email list, they will email you Boston Pizza coupons, including totally free food!?

Initially, they will send you a coupon for a free starter with your meal.

On my recent 1 year anniversary of joining the email newsletter, I received a printable coupon for  a free 2 topping individual pizza. The coupon was valid for a week from the date of receipt. But sadly, I cannot share the offer with you as it is a unique email – you’ll have to sign up to receive these kind of offers yourself!

On my birthday, they emailed a coupon for a free gourmet pizza or dessert. And there was also an email on Valentine’s Day, so they really don’t contact you very much.

Remember, if you’re going to be signing up to the mailing lists of companies so you can get deals in newsletters, I recommend setting up a new disposable email address, which you can use just for this purpose. For example, I use a spare gmail address where all the junk (and deals) go to!

Moose Rating (7 votes)
April 18

Dairy Queen Blizzard Buy 1 Get 1

Posted by on April 18, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Dairy Queen Blizzard Buy 1 Get 1 Buy one Blizzard at regular price and get the second for 25 cents at Dairy Queen.

It’s the Blizzard’s 25th Birthday, so from April 19 to April 25, Dairy Queen Blizzards are “Buy One Get One” for only 25 cents. The second Blizzard must be of equal of smaller size.

Yum! Give me one cookie dough blizzard, and a second cookie dough blizzard! With 25 mouth watering flavours, which one is your favourite?

Moose Rating (9 votes)
February 12

Williams Coffee Pub: Free Drink!

Posted by on February 12, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Williams Coffee Pub: Free Drink!

If you join the e-newsletter from William Coffee Pub Canada, they will email you a voucher for a free regular size specialty hot or specialty cold drink just for joining!

You also get birthday gifts, as I mentioned in the past. I’ve joined with one of my email addresses, so I will see if the voucher can be shared, but it’s likely to have my personal details on it.

Moose Rating (5 votes)
February 3

Canadian Freebies: Baskin Robbins Birthday Club

Posted by on February 3, 2010 at 10:00 PM

This is an easy-peasy freebie! Sign up to the Baskin Robbins Canada mailing list online, and get a coupon for a free ice-cream on your birthday!

They will email you 5 days before your birthday.

I haven’t received this yet, so I am not entirely sure what format it comes in, and if the coupon is only valid on the exact date of your birthday.

Some companies are aware that people take advantage of these kind of offers, so they might ask to see ID when you present your coupon – keep that in mind.

Moose Rating (4 votes)
January 13

Milestones Coupon: Free Entrée on Your Birthday (EXPIRED)

Posted by on January 13, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Milestones Coupon: Free Entrée on Your Birthday (EXPIRED)

If you live in Alberta, BC or Ontario, there may be a Milestones restaurant near you. On their website, they’ve uploaded a coupon to enable you to claim a free entrée on the week of your birthday!

This is the deal: you can get the free entrée on your birthday week as long as you bring 3 paying friends with you!

The free coupon is valid to the 31st December 2010 – ages left to make use of it!

Moose Rating (7 votes)