Life Tips

How to Throw A Luau Birthday Party for Under $30

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A luau party that doesn’t break the bank.


I’m going to be honest and say this party and its decorations, as well as its execution, was all my daughter, Sadie’s idea. She turned 12 in June and wanted a luau birthday party for a few close friends. She had her list all made of who was going to be invited, what kind of decorations she wanted and the food. Sadie even made her own invitations.

Birthdays are usually planned together, especially parties with friends, since the girls usually opt for a family only party where they get to choose anything they want to do or anyplace they want to go, within reason.

But this time, Sadie wanted to do it all on her own. That’s her thing, planning. And I have to admit, it was kinda nice to only have to say “yay” or “nay” and not have to think everything out. Sadie did it all. And she nailed it!


At the time Sadie began talks of planning her party, Grandma Hammond was visiting and gave her $20 to put towards her decorations. Sadie was ecstatic and begged me to take her to the Dollar Tree right away. Off we went. Sadie was able to get everything off her list.

Thankfully, we went when they were having their luau stuff out. I just love the Dollar Tree! We would have easily spent $60 going anywhere else for the same decorations.

Then Sadie enlisted her sisters and the three of them decorated the dining room:


The day before the party, I took Sadie to my favorite grocery store: Aldi’s. We picked up fresh pineapple, oranges, grapes, ham, pudding cups and Taquitos chips. That was Sadie’s grocery list. 🙂

We cut up the fruit and made this cute little dish:

I cut up the ham and, along with some leftover pineapple, fried them in some brown sugar and mustard. Sadie took the pudding cups and crushed some vanilla wafers over the top to mimic sand and added gum balls for beach balls. (Sadie and I both don’t care for cake so she wanted something different.)

Because guests started arriving, I forgot to get pictures of the food. 🙁


Sadie thoroughly enjoyed her party and having her friends and sisters there to share her special day with her.

After the day was nearing an end, I asked Sadie what her favorite part of her birthday was. She said it was getting to plan her own party. 🙂 I have to say, I was quite impressed with Sadie’s creativity and willingness to do it all and actually that she pulled it off without a hitch.

I see this becoming a yearly thing…

Have you ever let your kids plan their own party? Did they surprise you with their creativity?


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