Inside: Learn all the insider secrets on how to throw an awesome kids birthday party on a budget!
If you spend more than 2.3 seconds looking for party ideas for kids on Pinterest, then you know there’s an epidemic of exorbitant parties for children.
Custom birthday cakes mingling with expensive hourly entertainment for kids and goody bags worth their weight in gold.
It’s alluring, to say the least.
I mean, what parent doesn’t want to give their child a memorable party they’ll treasure all year?
But, I’m here to reassure you that throwing an awesome party for your kid, doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune.
After years of throwing parties for my two boys, I’ve learned some insider tricks on how to save money without sacrificing style or entertainment.
Read on to learn all my secrets!
Throw An Amazing Kids Birthday Party On A Budget
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Choose A Free Venue
I have to admit last year, I spent way more money than I wanted to on my 7 year old’s birthday party.
In an attempt to make party planning stress free, I decided to have his birthday at a local kids’ arcade.
Not only did I spend a few extra hundred dollars on the venue, I still had to provide decorations, party favors and a treat.
On top of that, I only had a few minutes to set up everything before the party started and I had to keep an eye on all the kids in a much bigger location.
I definitely learned my lesson: Hosting your kid’s party at home or at a local park is an excellent way to save yourself loads of cash.
Send Electronic Invitations
Sending your invitations electronically will not only save you money on printing invitations, but also on postage and envelopes.
To keep it simple, you can attach your invitation to a mass email.
If you want to spruce up the presentation, use a service like Paperless Post that allows you to choose envelopes, see RSVP replies and more.
DIY The Decorations
Use Party Printables
Creating the decorations is really one of my favorite parts of planning the party. It’s what takes a party from blah to breathtaking!
Party printables are the best bang for your buck when it comes to decorating a budget kids party. You can buy party printable packs that include everything from cake toppers, party signs, invitations, party games and more!
I have several available on my site for free and to purchase including the following:
- Dreamy Unicorn Party Printables
- Terrific T-Rex Dinosaur Party Printables
- Very Hungry Caterpillar Party Printables
- Awesome Airplane Party Printables
- Adorable Finding Dory Party Printables
- Colorful Puppy Party Printables
- Rustic Woodland Party Printables
- Modern Star Wars Party Printables
You can also browse hundreds of different designs on Etsy.
Save On Balloons
Buying lots of balloons can be costly, especially if you have to go to a party store to get them filled.
Instead, save some cash on balloons by considering the following:
- save on helium by filling balloons with air and taping them to the wall for a background decoration
- skip the helium and hang balloons to the ceiling with tape
- buy a few oversized round balloons and use strategically to make a statement
- buy balloons from the dollar store to save
- check around for prices and rent or buy your own helium tank to use for future parties
Skip The Themed Decorations
Personally, I find themed decorations like the licensed characters plates, cups, and tablecloths too matchy-matchy.
Instead, I like to pick colors or a color and a pattern (like pink and polka dots) for decorations.
Not only does it create a unique theme, but you can also save any leftover napkins, cups, plates, etc. for future parties.
Over the years, I’ve amassed a small store’s worth of party supplies. Whenever I begin planning a new party, I take a look at all the old supplies and see if there’s anything I can fit into the new theme.
Go White & Reuse
Almost 10 years ago, when I got married, I bought a ton of white plates, bowls, platters and serving ware.
It has been one of the best purchases I’ve made!
Not only do I use them for everyday use, but every year I use them to display the desserts, the party favors or the snacks for all the parties I host.
If you don’t have white dinnerware, I highly suggest you purchase some at HomeGoods, TJ Maxx etc.
You can also buy realistic-looking plastic dinnerware and even wash and reuse it for next time!
Pick The Right Party Time
You can save a ton of money by simply planning a party in between meal times.
I always like to have young kids parties early in the morning, before nap time and lunch time (usually around 9:30 or 10 am). For older kids, right after lunch, but before dinner works great.
When you have parties between meal times, you won’t be expected to feed the guests. Dessert and a few snacks work perfectly!
You can also save a lot of money by baking your own cake or cupcakes. I hate being in the kitchen, so I get an inexpensive, plain white cake at Target (Walmart and other grocery stores work well too) and customize it with cake toppers (like the ones in this party pack).
If you want to serve snacks, Costco, Winco, and other bulk food stores are perfect for buying inexpensive snack foods.
Think Double Duty
With a little creative thinking, there are a few ways to save money by using double-duty ideas.
- Have some prepared cupcakes for adults, but allow each child to frost and decorate their own for an activity and treat in one. This is especially good for park-based parties so you don’t have a huge mess inside the house.
- As one of the activities, have kids do a related craft. Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, Michaels and online places like Oriental Trading have a great selection of crafts that can double as party favors.
- If you have kids with birthdays close to each other, save time and money by throwing one party to celebrate both children.
Play Party Games
While backyard inflatables or hired entertainment are certainly enjoyable, there are other fun ways to keep kids entertained for next to nothing.
Some great options include:
- Printable party games (like Bingo, pin the tail on the donkey, Don’t Eat Pete)
- Coloring pages for younger kids
- Musical chairs
- Playing at the playground or neighborhood splash pad
- Board games
- Scavenger hunts
Finally, never underestimate good old fashioned playtime with toys. The birthday kid and their guests will have loads of fun playing with the new toys that were just unwrapped!
Keep Party Favors Simple & Small
I believe party favors are completely optional, so if there’s no room in the budget, this is the first thing to go.
I do, however, love putting together party favors for kids, so here are few ways to keep them inexpensive:
- Use candy
- Check dollar store or Target dollar spot for themed favor ideas. I like to keep an eye out year round for things I think my kids will like playing with.
- Order from a bulk source like Oriental Trading if you’re inviting more than 10 guests
- Clearance toys: If you really plan ahead, you can find awesome, end of season clearance deals on toys in the seasonal section. One secret spot I recently discovered is World Market’s post-Christmas stocking stuffers- it’s a gold mine!
Now you have all the secrets I’ve collected over years of party planning. I’m certain if you follow these tips, you’ll throw a spectacular kids birthday party on a budget!
And, if you know some secrets I haven’t shared, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!!
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