5 Tips for Throwing a Fabulous Kid’s Birthday Party on a Budget

by Alexa Mason · 5 comments

kids parties

Sometimes, throwing a kid’s birthday party can be a real pain. You have to prepare a bunch of food for your guests, entertain a house full of kids, and pull it all together with a little style.

It can be expensive and stressful — but it doesn’t have to be!

Here are five tips for throwing an awesome kids birthday party on the cheap:

cheap kids party1. Choose a theme

While choosing a theme isn’t a necessity, it can help you pull your party together.

When you choose a theme, you can come up with snack ideas, games, and décor more easily. Choose a simple theme that your kid is sure to love, and use it as your party guide.

For example, my youngest daughter has a birthday just around the corner. When trying to come up with a theme, she jumped from rainbows to flowers to ladybugs. My solution was to just have a “spring adventure” theme, for which I could pull all of her ideas together.

2. Prepare simple food

Food and drink can be the most expensive part of the party. That’s why keeping your menu simple is the best way to keep costs down. Instead of trying to please everyone, just offer bottled water, freshly brewed tea, and juice boxes. As for the food, classics like hamburgers and hot dogs will work just fine.

3. Buy supplies at the dollar store

The Dollar Tree is my party supply store, but you can visit any of your local dollar stores. You’ll find so many party supplies for only one dollar — go elsewhere, and you’ll spend at least triple the price. Some of my favorite party supplies to buy from The Dollar Tree are plates, balloons, snacks, napkins, cups, and decorations.

4. Play free games

You can’t put a price on fun — but you don’t have to pay for it either!

Some of the best party games won’t cost you a penny. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Hot Potato
  • Red Rover
  • Egg Toss
  • Duck, Duck, Goose
  • Treasure Dig

Since my daughter’s party is a spring adventure theme, our big game will be a treasure hunt. To successfully pull this off for young children, I’ve bought a six-piece puzzle and will hide the puzzle pieces all over the backyard. The kids will receive clues that guide them to the next puzzle piece, and when they put all of the pieces together, they’ll be told where they can find the hidden treasure!

5. Choose your party favors wisely

One of my family members goes all out on goody bags, which makes me feel bad for throwing many of its contents away. Today’s goody bags (which aren’t cheap to make) mostly consist of cheap plastic toys that never get played with, plus tons of candy.

Think outside of the box when it comes to party favors. For instance, if you’re having a cowboy-themed party, give each kid a bandana. If you’re having a beach party, give kids a sand pail. For my spring adventure party, we’re giving away bug-catching kits (bought at The Dollar Tree, of course!).

If you start planning your child’s birthday party a month or so in advance, you can look for good deals, let your creativity flow, and have a great birthday party — without the high cost.

How do you save money on kids’ birthday parties? 

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Sameer says:

    Wow….couldn’t expect an articles on topic like this but must say very valuable suggestions. I think, even if parents does have a better budget then the left over money should be used for charity.

  • Alex says:

    I must admit I haven’t had the joy of hosting a party full of excited children – oh the chaos! But I do have a couple of thoughts that may be worthwhile.
    1) You could host the party as a picnic in a local park. This may not be ideal for all parents but the advantages would be no mess in your home and the kids can entertain themselves on swings and play games and this way you won’t have to offer buckets full of food etc. Also, nothing valuable and expensive can get broken.
    2) Make food for the party. If one is to be a keen baker and cook then for a fraction of the price you can produce healthier treats and side dishes for people to pick at, instead of ramming a load of sodium-filled junk food bought from the shops. A good example is within home-made cookies, and my mum makes great pitta bread that would be liked by all ages.

    • David @ MoneyNing.com says:

      The local park is a great idea. My kids are 4 and 1 and they probably have more fun at the park than at someone’s house anyway!

  • Savvy Saver says:

    It depends a lot on the age, but boys and girls alike absolutely love a dance party. You can get a cheap disco ball and have all the kids bring their favorite dance music.

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