Birthday Parties on a Budget

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Planning your child’s birthday party can cause more than the usual amount of stress when you’re on a budget. You don’t have to throw a party right out of Pinterest for your child and their guests to enjoy themselves.  Try these tricks to save money and stress on your kids’ party this year:

Send Electronic Invitations

Instead of having to buy invitations or make them and mail or hand them out, collect the email addresses of the parents of the children invited and mail out online invitations (e-vites). There are quite a few e-vite websites out now with a wide price ranges, ranging from free to designer invite pricing. has a nice, large selection of free online invites to choose from.

Keep the Guest Count Low

Instead of inviting the whole fifth grade class, consider having your child only invite 5 to 10 of their friends. That way you can have more food and goodies per child and still save money. An added perk is that you have less of a mess to clean up at the end.

Pick a Free or Low Cost Location

If possible, have the party at your home or the home of a friend or family member. If this isn’t possible or you’d like to have more space, parks and recreation centers are a great idea, with built in entertainment (playground, basketball courts).

Make Food and Cake Yourself

Bake your child’s cake and cook lunch at home. To save even more money, you can have the party later in the afternoon to avoid having to serve lunch. As a cake alternative, bake plain cupcakes and have guests decorate their own for a fun activity that saves you from having to decorate them yourself.

Pick a Theme

Having a theme is a nice way to tie the whole party together, but makes for a more streamlined approach to planning. Once you have a theme, food, games, and activities are easier to come up with. Keep in mind that color decorations are less expensive than licensed character decorations. Trying using a color theme that goes with the character, such as using light blues for a Frozen birthday party.

Find Low Cost Games and Activities

Find games and activities can print out or make yourself. Classic games like Simon Says and Red Rover cost absolutely nothing. The Mummy Wrap game only costs a few dollars for dollar store toilet paper.

Crafts as Goodie Bags

Instead of buying cheap plastic toys and candy, have guests make crafts to take home in the place of goodie bags. You can find bags of craft supplies for a few dollars each at most craft stores. Tie-dying shirts, decorating their own pair of sunglasses, or making masks are just a few ideas.

Remember that you aren’t competing with anyone when it comes to your child’s birthday party. If you feel like someone may judge your scaled down party, don’t invite them. All that’s important is that your child enjoys their special day.


By: Alecia Stanton

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