A thrift store in my area has 30% off coupons when you make a donation. I found some of the most amazing hats that can be used for either party last night for under two dollars each! I felt just like a happy little kid to find such wonderful things!! I also found new feather boa's and new Easter bonnets that I will decorate for the event.
My local Goodwill a 75% of yellow tag items every week on Tuesdays. This is how I have been collecting an array of different teapots, dishes and serving pieces. The average cup has cost me about $.25. I have 11 girls and one boy in my daycare. The girls have been asking and asking if they could please have a "real" tea party with "real" dishes. Since I love everything fancy I told them of course! ( under my supervision of course).
My community has a local Facebook garage sale page. I often put requests in there for things that I need and many times people give them to me for free because they like to donate to daycares. This is how I've been collecting pairs of cowboy boots. I made stick horses for my kids and we will use those for our Kentucky derby theme, as well as playing horse ranch. When I am finished I will have enough for everyone to wear a pair… Even though some may be a bit big, the kids don't care. If The boots aren't "fancy"
enough I paint them and decorate them for my fancy group!
The kids love the special events and thanks to the thrift stores and Facebook I can do it for very little money.