Rate my birthday party spending: Mom bloggers weigh in

I didn't start out with a budget number in mind for my daughter's 3rd birthday party, but in my head, spending any more than $300 seemed too much. In reality, that's hardly a drop in the bucket for what a party could cost, especially in New York. When I had a surprise 40th for my husband a few years ago at a local fencing center, it was $350 just for the activity for 20 people -- we had to bring our own pizza, drinks and cake. A party for 15 kids at our neighborhood Little Gym would have run $475 for 90 minutes, no food included.

To do a budget party, I had to do it at home, since an outdoor location wouldn't be good for our older relatives or our frequent potty-going little ones. Luckily, we live in Brooklyn and have a backyard and fairly spacious apartment. Our only complicating condition was that my husband's side of the family keeps kosher (and we don't, so I had to buy all prepared items), and to further make things difficult, my brother-in-law has a gluten allergy. So while I wanted to try to hit $300, I needed some wiggle room to achieve a Glatt kosher party (meaning, no Hebrew National cocktail franks because they aren't kosher enough).

How did I do? Not quite $300, but not too bad overall. My total: $409 for 50 people -- 16 children under 12 and 34 adults(detailed budget below).