I have 3 children and have been doing years of birthday parties...most of their first 10 year ones at home due to budgetary constraints. I have found some of the most enjoyable parties for the little girls which are quite economical...dress up tea parties...with a trunk full of mom's closet items, or thrift store goodies, a couple of feather boas and some cheap costume dollar store jewelry. This also makes for fun pictures. If you have access to a polaroid or could print out digital pics right away, you could send a picture home in a construction paper folder the girls could decorate w/ stickers as a party favor. Teddy bear parties are fun where you invite them to invite their bear and have bear punch, teddy grahams, etc...Also big girl parties where they get to use makeup & finger nail polish are fun. If you are a little creative, you can do simple face painting. Just get the .87 washable non toxic acrylic paint in the bottles @ Walmart craft dept. Dilute 50/50 ratio w/ liquid kitchen soap. Stays on well, washes off well, gentle to the skin. Pick her favorite character & go with that... some of our favorite theme parties have been my little pony, troll parties, power ranger parties, blues clues parties, toy story parties. Most of these are pretty easy to decorate for or create games w/ the existing things you already have relating the that theme, since it's your child's favorite. Outdoor park parties are always fun too, as long as you have a back up provision or rain date pre scheduled due to inclement weather. In our area, the parks & rec dept. reserves the pavillions in our park system if you call in advance. The service is free, and the kids love the great outdoors. After they play, and eat cake, you could spread out a blanket and read your child's favorite story. Kids really appreciate these simple things. It's something different than another inflatable. You can still be the coolest mom on the block even if you can't spend a lot, as long as your are creative. Good luck, have fun, and don't stress. They only turn 3 once.