Turn five for $40

My little girl turned five yesterday. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. It hardly seems possible. Her getting older has a different affect on me than when Adrienne and Nick were babies. Maybe because I’m older. I look at how fast the last five years flew by, and think of how old I will be in five more. Maybe because I know that I will likely not have another four-year-old again. So it’s a little bit sad to watch my baby grow up. But it’s also exhilerating, because this girl–this girl is so amazing. Yes, yes I am biased. But that’s okay.

Okay…enough sappiness. I want to share with you how we celebrated Ruby’s fifth birthday.

First, we signed up a long time ago for a free bithday cake from the local grocery store. Every place I’ve ever lived, at least one grocery store offered this. It’s just a small, round cake that they usually write something on. Ruby requested chocolate on the inside and white on the outside. The girl is obsessed with writing (awww…the apple didn’t fall far from the tree did it?), especially her own name. In every medium known to man. So I figured, why not icing? For less than $5 I was able to get a box of four different colors of icing with writing tips. I ordered the cake plain with sprinkles (another request…lots of sprinkles) and let Ruby write her own name on it. She also drew clouds and flowers.

She also requested hats and balloons. I got both from the dollar aisle at the grocery store. Also some little party horns. She was beside herself with happiness. Here’s the thing about December birthdays. The house is already decorated. Kevin has complained before that he never got distinct birthday decorations, or even wrapping paper on his presents (always Christmas paper) because his birthday is on the 23rd. I did get a roll of the cutest ever birthday wrapping paper for $1.15, but we kind of go all out decorating inside for Christmas and birthday stuff on top of it would have been a little much.

The $10 easel was the best birthday present in the history of birthday presents. For those who don’t remember or didn’t read that post–I bought Ruby an easel at the local toy store for about $30. When we got it home, we found it was missing a screw and had a dinged up corner. Kevin returned it, and was told he could have it for $10. Otherwise it would have been destroyed. This made me happy on two fronts. One, I really really wanted to give Ruby an easel and was having a hard time finding a good deal on one. Can’t beat $10. And two, knowing that the thing would have gone to the local landfill made me feel less guilty about buying a plastic toy. It was made in the US as well, which eased that guilt some since it didn’t have to be shipped over seas. So there you go–a $10, guilt-reduced birthday present.

I also picked up some crayons, markers, water paints, a big pad of 9X12  drawing paper, and a pack of 20 HUGE Snow White coloring pages all for about $15. Yes. I do see the irony that the implements were more than the gift itself. The coloring pages were really too expensive (about half that budget), but I couldn’t resist them. And seeing Ruby’s little face light up when she saw them was well worth the money.

Lastly, she got the most adorable white Pound Puppy. I couldn’t resist it…which might be why they sell toys from the 80s 25 years later. I had a Pound Puppy when I was a kid. Ruby named her’s Dee. Dee cost about $7.

When I was at Family Dollar shopping for the wrapping paper, I found a pair of footed pajamas in her size. It’s super rare for me to find these big enough for my tall little girl. I never ever find them at the thrift stores. I went ahead and bought them, and since it was her birthday I wrapped them up so she could have the joy of opening them. But I would have bought them no matter the date, so I’m not counting the price toward the cost of her birthday party.

In my family growing up, everyone got to have their favorite dinner on their birthday. I always, ALWAYS picked my grandma’s Shepard’s Pie. I’ll have to post the recipe sometime. Scrumptious. Ruby wanted bacon and eggs. So we had bacon and eggs. I made the yummiest ever egg and potato casserole that everyone loved. I’ll make sure to post that recipe this week. And also some gluten-free chocolate chip–well the recipe called them scones. Believe it or not, scones are a regional food in Northern Nevada…and these just so were NOT scones. More like a cross between a pancake and a cookie. I used the Gluten-free Pantry  muffin and scone mix. The taste wasn’t bad. I’d make them again. My gluten-eating kids loved them. The box had a recipe for making pancakes, with I’ll try next time.

Okay…so there you have it. How to celebrate turning five on…well, let’s figure it out:

  • icing, $4
  • cake, free
  • bacon and eggs dinner, part of food budget for the week
  • present with huge impact, $25
  • present with a little bit of nostalgia, $7
  • birthday hats, balloons, and blowers, $4

Total: $40

Pictures to come a little later–I’m late for work!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Turn five for $40

  1. That’s interesting that you can get a cake for free at that age. The stores down here in Southern Nevada offer them for 1st birthdays, but I’ve never seen them for older ages. Where did you go to find that?

    I have a daughter with a December birthday coming up. I am making her dresses, which she needs, and headbands to match (the headbands are done! the dresses are almost done). My family likes brownies so she has requested a brownie “cake.” I am also giving her a set of American Girl books purchased used on half.com for 1/3 the price of new ones (and they look brand-new).

    She also wants streamers, so we put up some for her birthday. She loves having the Christmas tree up on her birthday. We have a family party–5 grandparents (including one great) on the child’s birthday in our family.

    I am thinking of making a Happy Birthday cloth banner that I can hang for each birthday instead of buying streamers all the time.

    • The cloth banner sounds like a good idea.

      I’m trying to remember where exactly I got the free cakes when we lived in Vegas. I’m going to say Albertsons. But it’s been a good 10 years. Maybe more. Nick will be 16 this year. Our little local store up here in Ely does free cakes to age 8 I believe.

      Every year I try to learn how to do something new. This year it’s sewing. I’ve wanted to learn before, but my mother in law is a really fantastic seamstress and makes Ruby the most beautiful clothes, so it hasn’t been a priority. But I’m making it one!

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