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How to Do Answers VBS on A Budget

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Budget—now there’s a word that doesn’t get most people excited. But a budget is important, even when it comes to your VBS planning. One of the first things most churches do after they’ve decided to host a VBS is create a budget. Answers VBS is designed to work for churches with a limited budget and, depending on what you include, costs $10-$15 per child for the basics.

Whether you have a big or small budget, it’s important to stick to the number the church committee gave you.

Looking to keep your VBS budget on track? Whether you have a big or small budget, it’s important to stick to the number the church committee gave you. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Compile your list of snack, game, and craft items well in advance and ask church members to collect them. This can save money and/or allow you and others to shop sales.
  • Start preparing right away. As soon as you find out the theme for next year’s VBS, start planning and see what you can save from this year’s VBS to repurpose for next year. Starting early, and during the summer, allows you to shop yard sales for great deals. Also check out thrift stores, discount shops, and seasonal clearance.
  • Ask local businesses for donations of needed items. Include the names of the companies that gave in your church bulletin and remember to send them a thank you card with a picture from VBS afterward.
  • Have an extreme couponer or other bargain hunters in the church? Enlist them to help sniff out good deals.
  • Borrow décor items from church members. Be sure to label each piece so it can quickly be returned to its rightful owner.
  • Fill out paperwork for tax-exempt status at the stores where you will be making VBS purchases. Check with your church treasurer about this.
  • Encourage the least expensive form of advertising: word of mouth.
  • Limit the set. If your budget is tight, scale back on what you include as part of your main set in the Assembly area. Kids love the set, and it can really help bring the VBS to life, but it can still be an incredible VBS with just a simple set. (Find budget-friendly decorating tips on our YouTube channel).
  • Use the drama video instead of doing the drama yourself. This is also a good tip if you’re short on volunteers (or volunteers that are excited to do a drama!).

How do you keep your VBS on budget? Let us know by joining our Answers VBS discussion group and leaving a comment.

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