A Frugal Kids’ Birthday Party.
Elliott turned 2 in July and we celebrated his 2nd birthday last month. We had a budget of $100 for his party, and vowed not to spend a penny more.
Kids birthday parties can be extremely expensive. We love our kids, and want to spoil them and give them everything their little heart’s desire, but financially, this can be a big mistake. Also, by giving our kids everything, we are teaching them that they don’t have to work for the things they want – and that’s not good at all.
It’s time to take a different approach to birthdays.
Here are some ways to save money on kids’ birthday parties.
Start planning early.
The earlier you start planning your party, the easier it will be to stay on budget and to get everything completed before your party guests show up.
I like to start planning our parties at least 2 months before the actual event. I do a bit of light planning for the first month and then send out invitations and do the bulk of the work in the second month.
By planning early, you have a chance to catch great sales in party supplies, food, and even birthday gifts for the guest of honour.
Have a small party.
Keep your guests to a minimum. You don’t need to invite every single person that you child knows – only invite those that are special to him or her.
Close friends and family members are the only people that need to be around to celebrate your child’s birthday.
We tend to keep our birthday party guest list to 15 people or less. Sometimes a few more people show up, and sometimes we get a few less than expected, but it usually averages out to about 15 people.
Because we keep our guest list small, we are able to save a tremendous amount of money on food and beverages.
Forget paper invitations.
One easy way to save money on your birthday party celebration is to avoid sending paper invitations.
Take advantage of the internet and send invites via email or instant messaging. Many people do this now, and I’m quite sure that people will not be offended if you invite them this way.
If someone you would like to invite does not use computers, invite them over the phone. This is just as easy as shooting off an email and will usually provide you with a yes or no answer right away.
Buy everything possible from the dollar store.
You can find so many great things from dollar stores nowadays, including an abundance of birthday party supplies.
Things like birthday decor, platters for serving food, and even little toys that you can put into loot bags for your guests are all things that are widely available at most dollar stores.
Many items are under $2 and the quality is rather impressive for most things.
We spent just under $20 (with taxes) on the following items from the dollar store, for Elliott’s birthday:
- 40 Paper Plates @ $2
- 100 Napkins @ $1
- Streamers @ $1
- 25 Balloons @ $1
- 2 Large Platters for Fruit & Veggies @ $2 each = $4
- 5 Various Platters & Serving Dishes @ $1-$2 each = $7
Keep your menu simple.
We try to have our birthday parties between 2pm-4pm. Most people will have eaten lunch by this point and many won’t be ready for dinner during these times. This saves us from having to serve more food.
We have a snack buffet set up for guests that includes things such as peanut butter & jam and tuna sandwiches, raw veggies and dip, fruit, crackers and cheese and a few bowls of chips and pretzels.
Since our parties are usually between 2pm-4pm, we almost always end up with leftover food, because people simply aren’t that hungry while they are there.
This saves us quite a bit of money on food!
We spent a total of $82 on Elliott’s birthday party and wound up with plenty of leftover food, as well as decor and serving dishes for our next party.
It’s not hard to throw a frugal kids’ birthday party. Just remember to stick to your budget and don’t forget that the most important thing of all is creating a memorable experience for your child.