10 Tips on Throwing a
Birthday Party on a Budget

Are you preparing to celebrate your child’s next birthday? Are you concerned that it’s going to cost too much? Creating a memorable day doesn’t mean blowing your budget. Here are 10 simple ways to save on your child’s birthday party.

1. Limit the Number of Guests
Try to keep the party small.
Keeping your party costs within your budget means resisting the urge to invite 40 or 50 people your your child’s party. The more people that you invite, the more food and supplies you need to buy.

A good rule of thumb is to have your child invite the same number of guests as they'll be turning. For example, if your daughter is turning 8, she can invite 8 guests to her party.
2. Choose a Free or Inexpensive Location
The location can take large chunk of your budget if you rent out a party space. Opt for a free or inexpensive location to host your party. If the weather permits it, you can have it at a local park (but check first if there is a shelter fee and reservation required) where you might have access to a grill and picnic tables. If the weather isn’t favorable, try a local gym, recreation center, neighborhood clubhouse or YMCA. Here is a list of 15 inexpensive birthday party venues.

3. Simple Games and Activities
are Kids' Favorites
Simple games like softball, soccer, hula hooping, blowing bubbles and playing on the playground. Scavenger hunts are always popular with kids of all ages and you can have them indoors or outdoors. Obstacle courses are always a lot of fun and can easily be set up using what you already have such as boxes or small pieces of furniture.

Crafts is another popular activity and most of them can be made from what you already have or can find at the dollar store, including paint, markers, construction paper, glitter, and glue.

Here are a list of fun games that are always a big hit:
Freeze Dance
Freeze Tag
Simon Says
Musical Chairs

Duck, Duck, Goose
Hot Potato
Three-Legged Race

4. For Food, Timing is Everything
The time of day you host a birthday party is a huge factor in how much food you need to serve your guests. If you host a party over meal time, such as lunch or dinner, it’s proper etiquette to provide this meal to your guests. On the other hand, if you have a mid-morning or mid-afternoon party, light snacks and simple food will do the trick.
Have the party mid-afternoon.

If you want to serve a meal, pizza is usually the cheapest option and will eliminate a lot of extra work and stress for you.

5. Use Dollar Store Decorations

You don't have to use themed decorations. Most themed decorations are quite pricey. Solid color tablecloths and tableware work fine and you can reuse them in the future. 

A great place to buy party supplies is the dollar store.  They have everything from balloons, streamers, paper plates, cups, napkins and utensils, and even snacks. I’ve even picked up small toys for the party favors.

You can also purchase these items in bulk at online stores.

6. Send Digital Invitations
Electronic invitations will save you time, supplies, postage and are completely free. You can use a free email services like evite.com to create, send and track RSVPs.

If you enjoy making your own invitations like my daughters and I, you can also save money by having your child help you. For instance, we had a Disney princess party for my daughter once, so I downloaded princess images and my daughter placed them on pretty paper and I typed in the details.

7. Streamline the Party Favors
You don't have to spend a lot on favors. You can have the kids make a craft that can serve as a favor, such a pipe cleaner flowers or cookies that they decorated. I had a birthday party for my daughter with an art theme, and I had the kids decorate foam picture frames and they were very happy to take them home as favors.

8. Theme with Things You Already Have
Shop around your home first, before buying party decorations, activities and games. Does your child like art? Gather up your collection of paint and paper, create cardboard easels for a mini art studio and let the kids create their own masterpiece. Does your family love camping? Pull out your tents and chairs, set up a campsite in your backyard, and do food picnic style. And don’t forget the s’mores! Get creative and use supplies that you already have to make the party fun and affordable.

9. Shop Deals All Year Long
Whenever I see a good deal on birthday party supplies and gifts, I stock up so I don’t have to splurge or them right before the big day. When you see items on sale—especially those that come in general colors or a theme that your child is obsessed with—make sure to snag them.

10. DIY as Much as Possible
You can save a lot of money by doing a little leg work and using your craft skills—or asking for help from a friend who has them!

Invitations, decorations, baking your own cake, cupcakes or dessert and making the food and snacks helps with saving money.

Let the food double as an activity. Have the kids create their own mini pizzas by providing the toppings. Bake cupcakes and let the kids decorate their own with frosting and miniature candies.

What tips do you have for saving on birthday parties?

Hello, I’m Kelly, a regular contributor on this blog. I live in Pennsylvania with my loving husband and our five beautiful children. I have a background in early childhood education, but I am currently homeschooling my kids. From pregnancy to postpartum to toddler life, I love sharing advice with other moms who are having a challenging time with this crazy but wonderful role of motherhood.

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