One of the most expensive things about having a kid (well, after diapers and food and college) is birthday parties. How to throw a raging bash that’s thrifty, healthy, exciting, and not (Chuck E.) cheesy?

This week’s contest:

Send us your approach to an amazing b-day bash that’ll blow little minds without breaking the bank.

Theme? Decorations? Food? Party favors?

We’re looking for a creative, thrifty, and child-friendly (duh) entries.

Submit yours in Drop a Dime box by Jan. 17. Winner gets her entry posted and her very own copy of Bitches on a Budget.

(And don’t worry,  on Tuesday we start a contest about throwing a great bash for the grown-ups, complete with awesome cocktails—yes, we know you’ll need a drink after the gang of kids leave.)