For the last few months, my husband and I have been watching our wallets. When my 8-year-old’s birthday popped up last week, we had to think creatively in order to give her a budget-friendly party that didn’t break the bank, but was still a lot of fun. I’m happy to report that we spent much less on this celebration than we have in previous years. And yes, I’ve also thrown the very pricey “Perfect Pinterest Party”, so it’s easy to go both ways.
5 Tips for Throwing a Birthday Party on a Budget.
Have It at Home: I know this is some parent’s version of a nightmare, but you’ll save tons of cash by hosting at your own home instead of at a pricey venue.
Keep the Guest List Low: I know no one wants to play bouncer with a guest list for a kid’s party, but the smaller the invite list, the less stuff you have to procure: food, desserts, gift bags, etc. ***We could have done better in this category.***
Get the Timing Right: 12pm – 2pm means lunch. 4pm -6pm means dinner. But, 11am or 2pm – 4pm? That’s snack time. You can have a few little nibbles, cake, and ice cream, and done! No pizza, no hot dogs, no sushi, or whatever you’ve served at parties in the past.
Use What You Have: The party guests decorated mini pumpkins as an activity. I raided our arts and supply stash for markers and stickers, and the girls also took the pumpkins home as their party favor. We also already had garlands, chalk markers, plastic goodie bags, and pencils. This is a super budget-friendly idea and saves you a lot of time. Score one for the parents!
We had a small cupcake with a candle for the Happy Birthday. Then we served the ice cream cakes that were bought for her real birthday (and had already been sampled by family) a couple days earlier. There was plenty of dessert for everyone, and truthfully, 8-year-olds do not care about whether a cake has a slice missing.
Borrow from Friends: Your kid’s friend down the street had a superhero bash earlier this year. Now he wants the exact same party. Before you go out and buy decorations or the cupcake tower you don’t own, just ask around to see if someone has supplies or leftover decor you can borrow for the day. We borrowed tablecloths, cloth napkins, glass bowls, a table, and chairs. This allowed us to focus on the important stuff, like snack food and party favors.
How do you throw budget-friendly birthday parties? We want to hear from you.