• Donae

How to plan a kids' birthday party on a budget

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

If you are like me, I am always planning a birthday party for my sons as the years go by. I like to create memories but let's confess it. Birthday parties can get pretty expensive really quick if you are not careful, especially when planning a kids' birthday party on a budget.


Both my kids had a 1st birthday party at an event space. My eldest had his birthday at The Florida Aquarium, while my youngest had his birthday at the Glazer Children's museum. They were hefty-priced birthday parties that I splurged on for their first birthday, but don't think I want to repeat that every single year.


So, here are some ideas on how to plan a kids' birthday party on a budget.


Have you also found any tips that you could share? Please feel free to add to my list, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I would be happy to help you!


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Plan a kids' birthday party on a budget
PLAN A KIDS' BIRTHDAY PARTY ON A BUDGET

“Budget friendly way to plan kids parties!”


DECIDE ON A THEME

Deciding on a theme is the first step in planning a budget-friendly party. Without a theme, most times you may buy unnecessary items and end up spending way more than you intended to.


Picking a theme is so much easier as it gives you the ideas of what items to buy so that you can know your cost and get exactly what you need.


For my son's 6th birthday party, I decided to go with a beach ball theme. It is something really simple and surprisingly doesn't cost much to put together. The actual budget for decor was ONLY $20 (Dollar store).





SEARCH FOR IDEAS


Once you decide on a theme, search for ideas that will help you to select items that can match your theme.


For the theme above I "googled" beach ball theme birthday party. So many ideas popped up on google. It also gave me options as to what I could purchase to complete the decor.


Another of my favorite place to look for inspiration is Pinterest. Do a Pinterest search to see if others have ideas that you can use as well to get inspiration from.



BUDGET


Remember the goal is to stay within budget. Therefore we want to be able to find cost-effective decor for the party. That would include, tablecloth, tableware, favors, food, etc.


Create a list of just what is needed and where to find the items.


I like to use google search and then the shopping tab to find and compare the price for items. This lets me know who has the item for a more affordable price.



BARGAIN HUNT


Who doesn't like a bargain hunt when you're on a budget. I do!


Have you purchased expensive party supplies in the regular party supply or department store that gets expensive really quickly only to afterward make a trip to the dollar store and find the same items for 1/2 off or even more than the regular price?


That's me! And ever since that happened, I made sure to check my local Dollar store first to find anything theme-related before I go to the other stores.


FYI: The beach-themed party decor was all purchased in the Dollar store for less than $20 compared to the same items costing 2 to 3 times the price at around $60 or more.



INVITATIONS


I like to do digital invites since I think they are not only cost-effective but also easier to make and send out quickly especially the last-minute invites to friends and family. I make them quickly on my phone using APPS such as Invitation maker by Hobnob.


Canva is also a great resource to use as well. They have a free program that you can use to create beautiful cards that you can text or email right away to your guest.


If you prefer giving out the card versions of invites better than the digital, then a great way to save is to purchase a pack of cards in the dollar store or try making them from scratch at home with cardstock or by getting a printable version from resources available online.



CAKE


What is a party without a cake? Cake can however be costly especially if we choose a cake store to do a theme-specific cake. Cakes can range from a minimum of $40 to more than $100 dollars for custom cakes.


Here is my thing, I may end up spending so much more money on the cake only to end up having to throw it out later because it was a lot of cake.


I like to choose two options if it's available depending on my theme. I prefer doing a large cake from Costco which may cost me less than $15 dollars, depending on my guest count. I then choose to add theme-related decor to it.


Or I like to get pull apart cupcakes, which are so much easier to give out at a party and can definitely cut back on waste. My go-to places for those are Publix or Walmart. They cost less than $25 dollars.


Or if you are up to baking then, try doing a cake on your own, and get inspiration from Pinterest (I did that once and made an M and M cake)!





FAVORS


Favors can get expensive really quickly trying to put together a bag. I have spent more money sometimes on favors more than anything else. The way to save on favors is to purchase one single item ( for me that is the dollar store) and utilize it as favors. For example, the favors at the beach-themed party were beach ball cups for the boys and seashell cups for the girls (purchased at the Dollar store).





FOOD


The best way to save on food at a party is to purchase items in bulk at a Costco or Sam's Club. Also, I tend to prefer shopping at Publix when party items buy one get one free, just to keep the budget as low as possible.


Pizza for example is more cost-effective when purchased at Costco or Sam's club. The size is surprisingly huge for an affordable price and can feed a large number of people.


Another budget-friendly way is to purchase fruits that are in season, which most likely will cost less than if they were done out of season.


For example, watermelon, which is a great party fruit to have especially parties in the summer may cost only $5 and can feed an entire party depending on the size. Strawberry is great to purchase especially during the winter season when it's a lot cheaper to purchase.



HOW TO SAVE ON FOOD AT A PARTY
SAVING ON FOOD AT A PARTY


ENTERTAINMENT


I typically don't purchase bounce houses, slides, etc. because they can get pretty expensive really quick. I like to have games that can be made and set up for the kids right away. Read my blog post on:


You can also create DIY games that the kids can play as well. Examples of these are:

  • Pin the tail on the donkey

  • Treasure Hunt (FREE DOWNLOAD)

  • Board Games

  • If it is summertime a fun activity I like to see at parties is the ballon splatter game. You can purchase an entire group of ballon and fill them with water and have a blast with them. Also, a splash pad can be fun too for the little ones.





Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.


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