When planning your child’s birthday party, you want to create the most unforgettable experience while not breaking the bank. But while you may want to give your child an extravagant party, it might not be within the budget. For parents of multiple kids, this can become exponentially more expensive as children enter each age group one after the other.
To avoid breaking the bank hosting a birthday party for your child, there are some things you can try. Here are ways to plan a kid’s birthday party on a budget without skimping on the fun:
Set Your Budget Right
If you want a great birthday party without breaking the bank, then focusing on location is key. To keep the costs down, consider hosting the party at home or a nearby public park. Hosting your bash at home will likely be what’s best for the budget. But make sure it’s not on a holiday; the weather outside can enhance the fun, and if you happen to hit a rainy day, kids still have plenty of extra space and activities indoors to enjoy themselves. If you are hosting at a park, make sure there is plenty of shade. Invest in tents and tarps to help cover tables and provide cool relief from the sun for your guests. When the party is outdoors, take advantage of the natural space and let guests explore as they please. A park is a good location for a budget-friendly birthday party because it does not require an admissions fee and only requires a small deposit to rent the space. With so many indoor venues these days, if the weather won’t cooperate and your child’s birthday lands in the middle of winter, you may end up having to have an indoor kid’s birthday party on a budget. Include a small guest list to get a better cost for venue fees. If you’re booking a kid-friendly venue, consider the basic package that offers food and drinks for each child. Also, you should be careful about the extras, such as premium packages that include decorations, party favors, goody bags, balloons, or ice cream because this is where the costs can add up, and it’s generally not necessary. Kids may not notice the ancillary items like goody bags, party favors, and ice cream but they will appreciate it when you offer them a fun venue to run around at but this will be a good and economic idea.
One way to save money when planning a kid’s birthday party is: Keep an eye out for discounts and promotions online or ask the venue if they can offer a discount for hosting the party at off-peak times.
Lessons Learned: Keeping it simple may seem like less fun, but limiting costs can be just as enjoyable if not more so. Make sure that everyone who attends has a say with regards to what they want out of the party by letting them choose their own activities or games throughout the party or providing options. Figure out how much money you have set aside for this birthday party before purchasing anything else; plan accordingly while still having everything needed available on site (cake, utensils). Keep food safe by keeping raw meats separate from other foods. Also, having a party at home may save on costs, but the wear and tear on your furniture and flooring might not be worth the savings, so get ready for this.
Keep the Menu Simple
When planning a kid’s birthday party on a budget, food, and cake may wind up eating up the majority of your funds. For example, a custom cake can cost up to $5.50 per slice- an expense that may break the bank for parents looking to give their children all they want in order to have a memorable birthday party without breaking the bank. And you can multiply that by 15 guests and you could easily spend about $50-$80 on the cake alone, not to mention all the party favors. Balloon Engineers has some tips on how to keep food costs down for your budget-friendly birthday parties for kids—while still providing guests with better-than-average birthday treats.
Your first major decision when planning a party is the duration. This way you won’t be expected to feed kids all day. One way to make a birthday party affordable is by scheduling it for an hour or two before the children eat. If the party will take place from 2-4 pm, your child’s guests may be satisfied with having a snack and not lunch or dinner. The next step is to weigh the pros and cons of buying food instead of making it. At this point, you need to make a decision about what kind of party you want to have; whether or not you’re going to buy everything for it, including all the food and cake from other establishments or do some cooking yourself. If you’re a good baker, try making cakes from a cake mix. That way you won’t have to buy them at the store. When you compare the price of a basic cake mix versus the cost of a professional pastry chef, it’s easy to see there is a substantial difference in prices. However, if you’re not the best cook or do not have enough time, it might be worth it to pay for food or a cake and cut back spending in another part of your party budget.
Finally, when you’re thinking about how to plan a kid’s birthday party on a budget, consider buying food in bulk from a warehouse store. You may be able to snag party platters or kid-friendly snacks without going over budget.
Skip Fancy Invitations
Budget-friendly birthday parties for children can be enjoyable, even if you’re not spending hundreds of dollars to rent bounce houses or set up pony rides in the backyard. Entertainment options like inviting kids to swing at a pinata and test their limbo skills are simple ways to save money without sacrificing fun. Asking friends and family to contribute to activities like face painting, temporary tattoos, or organizing a scavenger hunt or bubble-blowing competition may be another way of creating an enjoyable party while staying on budget. Looking to have a budget-friendly kids’ party? Stop by the dollar store, where you can buy interesting game supplies for your child’s guests.
Kids’ birthday parties don’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead of sending kids traditional formal invitations, consider using email or social media to send them your party invitation and save it on paper. You save money and there’s no risk of one of the kids losing their invite before it reaches their parents.
Additionally, you often must also contend with the reality that they may need to invite fewer guests as well. The amount of food needed for each additional child will be exponential. Children often require a variety of snacks and drinks, as well as any party favors or activities you plan to do. If you’re worried about offending your child’s friends from the same school, consider inviting only those that attend the same school, rather than including children from outside of his or her friend group. For infants, it’s best to keep the party between family members and/or close friends. The babies will not remember how many people were at the party since their attention span is short so you don’t need to worry about invites. The intimate setting will make it feel more like a family get-together than Grandma’s big bash. Plus it’s cheaper! For a preschool party, take the child’s age and that subtracts one. For somebody who is four years old, for example, you would invite three other children to their party. But, for example, if your child is three or four years old and attending preschool with other kids of their age group, invite four or five of them to attend the party.
For older kids (ages 8+, for instance), it’s more a question of how many classmates your child is actually friends with, and how many people you can reasonably accommodate in terms of space and cost. However, if you do invite several classmates, you’ll want to avoid sending invitations to all but one or two kids, as this will alienate the uninvited kids and may cause tension
Keep The Decoration Simple
Planning a kid’s birthday party on a budget can be difficult when the child wants to do something more extravagant like host their own fairy princess ball. However, checking social media for low-budget decorating ideas may help you to be more creative. From there, you can try your hand at some bargain hunting. You can choose the birthday party theme well in advance to give yourself plenty of time to find deals. Purchasing decorations can be expensive. Instead, consider making them yourself if you want to save money on your child’s birthday party. A do-it-yourself approach can also help you save on souvenirs for guests if you choose to offer them.
Here are some ideas to do your own decoration;
- Instead of tablecloths, you can cover the tables in the cheap plain white paper. It’s a good idea to provide crayons and paper for the kids to doodle on. It won’t cost you much and it will add a fun element to your party.
- Balloons, which can be bought in bulk at a relatively low cost, are a good investment for any party as they make space and decorations much more festive.
- Placing small, low-cost party favors on the tables can add to the atmosphere. You can leave a small bowl of individually wrapped candy at the center to take, or put out a small bushel of freshly-picked apples for guests to take home.
- If your child is adamant about having a themed birthday party, you can simplify the planning process by buying plates and napkins with that theme’s design on them. You can also cut costs by buying balloons and napkins in the theme month. For example, a Spiderman party could have red and blue balloons or napkins for full effect
It may be possible to combine parties
Consider combining your child’s birthday party with one of their classmates’ – instead of having two separate parties, you get one larger, more cost-effective celebration. You’ll also be able to split the cost of a party with the other parent (if it’s a friend’s birthday) or consolidate costs. If you will be attending a number of birthday parties with your child, ask the parents whose children are celebrating when their birthdays fall. “It may also help to casually bring up the idea of combining parties. One way to do this is by saying something like, “Our child’s birthday falls not long before/after yours.” Would you be interested in combining the two parties together for a day with more than one birthday to celebrate? Just make sure the other parent isn’t planning anything too extravagant that would break your budget.
Create Your Own Entertainment
Rather than hiring a party entertainer, you can teach yourself some magic tricks or balloon shapes and provide your own entertainment. If you want to encourage an outdoor outing (weather permitting), you may want to look into having the birthday party at a nearby park, or organizing a nature walk after everyone’s had to cake. Consider discovering the natural beauty near you by exploring parks and nature walks for your child’s next birthday party. Also;
Know your child’s favorite activities. Different kids will enjoy different activities like board games, clown chasing, getting messy with paint, horseshoes, and the like. If you know of some interest that could be scaled down from a larger event to a smaller one, then consider sticking with those activities
- You can organize a board game tournament, or alternatively, have the kids play traditional party games that are easy to organize on a budget. Some easy, inexpensive activities for kids’ birthday parties include pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and musical chairs.
- You can also organize a game of bean bag toss.
- One cheap and easy game is building an obstacle course in the backyard. You could use items you already have like hula-hoops and jump ropes, or low-cost obstacles at your local hardware store. Just be sure that the different materials and obstacles you use in the installation are safe enough to avoid injuries.
- Alternatively, you can organize easy-to-play games like kickball or capture the flag. These games are fun and will cost virtually nothing to buy supplies for.
Decorate cookies using frosting and sprinkles – get creative and let children do it also! Use different color icings or add toppings like coconut shavings or chocolate chips so that each cookie is unique. You can also make temporary tattoos out of icing sheets by giving them some food coloring. Encourage children to wear their creativity proudly when they leave the party!
Serve up ice cream sundaes in ketchup cups, yogurt parfaits in banana skins, sandwiches
in egg cartons, and other fun take-home treats.
Do not include activities that are too expensive to do on a budget. Do not serve pizza if you can’t afford it – instead offer finger foods like cheese cubes or vegetables with ranch dip!
The birthday cake should be decorated with frosting in the child’s favorite color and topped with sprinkles of their favorite candy or chocolate chips they help make themselves. Buy a small ice cream cone or cupcake for each guest at the party so everyone feels included when cutting into the cake together as well as having something sweet to eat while celebrating your event afterward! It is always possible to have a good birthday party without breaking the bank!