Arranging kids' parties puts most parents, myself included, into a feverish frenzy of planning. Whether everything comes from CostCo or is made at home with painstaking care, all parents seem to be caught in the fervour of trying to do as much as possible as frugally as possible.
Normally in these situations, I would turn to Oriental Trading Company. They offer a powerhouse of inventory from party supplies to do-it-yourself craft kits plus scrapbooking supplies and more. Plus, if you order through ebates.com, you get 3% of your purchases back in cash. But, not only did they require me to purchase in increments of 12 for what I needed, but they were going to charge $8.95 for ground shipping (12 calendar days). Shipping alone was about 15% of my total purchase, and all that extra stuff purchased would've just been wasted. Now it's not such a good deal after all!
Then I found Celebrate Express. First, they have a coupon good until 12/31/2008 for free shipping on purchases of $50+ (MWAT2008). Score! Next, they allow you to purchase many things individually. Hooray! Finally, a totally unexpected perk, they have a Thomas Play Tent available for $14.99 - normally $40. Bonus!
So, while I'm still an OTC customer, Celebrate Express is definitely getting some of my business.
How about you? Are you aware of any good alternatives to OTC or Celebrate Express?