Kids’ birthday parties can get ridiculous fast. Between venues and food, goody bags, games, and more, it all can really add up quickly. Last year, we had an amazing first birthday party for August (you can check out that party here). Even though it was sponsored by Mint, it still cost us a pretty penny between extra decorations, all of the food (burgers, hot dogs, salad, fruit salad, drinks, etc – all grass-fed and organic because I’m insane), and custom-made cupcakes. It was kind of worth it, but we could of had the same amount of fun for a lot less. This year, we are doing just that. We are having August’s 2nd birthday party and combining it with a gender reveal party. Oh yeah, I’m pregnant just in case you didn’t know (not many people do). So, here are some tips and things we will be doing this year to keep our costs waaaayyyy down. My goal is to spend around $100 for everything. We have much bigger financial goals than to spend it on some fancy party.
How To Have A Budget Friendly Kid’s Birthday Party
Buy things on discount: We decided to have a pineapple themed party for August this year, and it just happened that all the decor items were 40% off. Score! We ended up spending $15 on all the plates, a few decor items, bubbles, and cupcake toppers. Check the dollar store clearance section and don’t buy more than you need. Do you really even need decorations? Eh, maybe not.
Find a free or cheap place to have it: Can you find a free place to have the party like your home, your in-laws’ or parents’ house, a friends’ awesome backyard, or maybe a park, instead of having it at a gymnastics place, petting zoo, indoor bounce house, restaurant, etc? We didn’t want to have it at our house, so we decided to have it at a nearby park. We looked around and most of the parks were going to cost $80-$100 to rent. That was almost her entire birthday party budget. So, we decided to have it at a free park by our house. We can’t actually rent the space, so we will just have to get there early to claim the spot. Don’t worry, it all worked out.
Don’t have the party at meal time: Meal time food = expensive food. Even just ordering a few pizzas can get pretty expensive. This year, we decided to have it right after August’s nap time (around 3PM). This saved us from spending lots of money on food and lots of time preparing. This off meal time allowed us to keep it simple by just having appetizers (fruit/veggie tray and a cheese tray), drinks, and cupcakes.
Prepare what you can yourself: We decided to buy the fruit/veggie tray already prepared and then make a cheese and cracker tray ourselves. Cupcakes and cakes are a huge ticket item. Around here they easily sell for $2.50-3.00 a cupcake. That would be $75-90 just on cupcakes. Craziness. So, with the help of my friend that makes awesome cakes, we had a girls’ hangout and made some amazing cupcakes ahead of time, froze them, and then decorated them the day of the party. This will save us time, plus they will be made from real food ingredients.
Use Facebook or Email to invite your friends: This saves on time, stamps, and buying cards. We did buy 1 pack to send to people not on Facebook.
Keep it small: The less people at the party, the less it will cost for food and drinks. We love having parties, so we didn’t do this. We really just like to hang out with our friends. But, using these other tips still kept our budget small.
Keep it simple: For August’s first birthday, I went crazy. See above (you only turn one and not remember it once). This time around, it will be much simpler. No super fancy decor, crazy games, or animals. Just a simple party at the park with a few snacks and cupcakes.
Skip the goody bags or keep them simple: Here’s the thing. In the birthday invites, I asked that no one bring August any toys. One, she has enough. Two, she isn’t really a fan of toys, and lastly, she’s too little to remember not getting anything. The party is her present. Hang out with the people you love and get cupcakes. In return, I don’t really feel the need to HAVE to make goody bags for the kids. We will have some candy there from the gender reveal, but other than that, free food and fun! Woo.
Utilize free activities: Treasure hunts, dance parties, games, races, minute-to-win-it games (really fun for older kids and adults), etc. Get creative!
What other ideas do you have? I would love to hear them.
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