He also hates shopping. I mean so much that I think he might actually be allergic to being within ten feet of a store. Don’t get me wrong though, he puts up with it to get groceries and even occasionally takes me on short shopping trips but for the most part he would much rather steer clear of any type of store.You would think this would make shopping for him easier since he rarely buys himself anything but I can assure you, it does not.
So as I have been thinking about what to do about my predicament, I remembered his birthday last year and thought it would be fun to share what I did for him.
Four Thrifty Birthday Ideas
Last year my husband had just been laid off from his job two months prior to his birthday, so money was super tight. I knew I couldn’t spend much if anything so I tried coming up with some sort of creative idea to celebrate him on his birthday. He’s never seemed to care a lot about getting gifts anyway. But I really wanted to find a way to make him feel special, especially since he was dealing with being jobless again (for more about our story with unemployment read these posts: Trusting God Even When Your Plans Get Shattered and Why Joyful Thrifty Home Part Two).
I spent some time searching Pinterest to find inexpensive birthday ideas. I used what I found to come up with four simple, thrifty and DIY birthday ideas. All I needed to buy was a some things from the dollar store; two bags of balloons, construction paper, candy and candles. The other supplies like markers, note cards and cake ingredients I already had. So essentially I only spent about five dollars!
1. Balloon Notes:
Since it was his 31st birthday, I wrote 31 different notes and placed each one inside a balloon. I blew all the balloons and used a marker to write a number on each one. Then I tied string to the ends and tied all the strings together so it made one big bunch of balloons. I hid them in the bathtub hoping he wouldn’t look in there until he went to bed. Then I taped the bunch to the ceiling in front of the bedroom door so he would see it when he got up in the morning.
I wrote each number on a small slip of paper and put the papers into a small box with a note explaining that each number corresponded to a balloon. I had him draw a few numbers at a time throughout the day. When he picked a number he got to find that balloon and pop it to see what was inside. The notes contained quotes, encouraging bible verses, things I love about him and coupons he could use to redeem things like a meal of his choice.
2. You hit the Jackpot:
Since money was so tight I decided to make a lighthearted and fun way to give him some extra “cash”. I picked up a package of 100 Grand candy bars from the dollar store and wrote a few notes about how I knew he would probably want some extra money for his birthday so I gave him 600 Grand, or six fun sized candy bars.
3. King for a day:
I also made him a paper crown as a way to tell him that he could be king for a day. I let him choose what he wanted to do and I made him whatever he wanted for meals, that sort of thing. He didn’t wear it all day, but I had him put it on so I could take a picture with the cake.
4. Homemade Cake:
Lastly, I made him a cake from scratch. I had all the ingredients so it didn’t cost anything extra. I wanted to make it like a confetti cake so I searched recipes on Pinterest. It seemed like all you needed to do was put sprinkles in a homemade cake mix so that is what I did, but it did not turn out so well. The sprinkles all sunk to the bottom and made it rather difficult to get out of the cake pans. With a little help I was able to salvage most of it so it wasn’t a total disaster. It did taste pretty good however it was quite sweet so if I make another cake I think I’ll find a new recipe.
What other thrifty birthday ideas do you have?
Do you have a spouse, relative or friend that is hard to shop for?