Planning children’s parties is something we all love and dread at the same time. Iit seems the pressure to put on a good bash is huge, especially now when everyone’s tightening their belts. So how do you do it when your Birthday Party is on a Budget?
As a parent, you want to make your child’s birthday as memorable as possible. But sometimes, throwing a lavish party just doesn’t fit into your financial picture.
Thankfully, these cost-cutting keys guarantee to help you throw a bash they’ll remember.
One of the easiest ways to cut your party-related expenses is to skip the paper invites entirely. Thanks to sites like Evite, you can create your own free electronic invite and save yourself the hassle of addressing envelopes. As an added benefit, the site allows you to constantly check your guest list and send reminders to those who have yet to RSVP.
If you really want to give physical invitations, sites like Greetings Island lets you create your own printable invites for free. Doing so is cheaper than buying invitations, and if the majority of your guests live close by, you can save money on postage by handing out your invites instead of sending them through mail.
Taking the party to a park gives guests a place to spread out and play. Parks are great locations for budget-friendly birthday parties for kids because they typically don’t require an admission fee or only require a small deposit to rent a space for the day.
Another tip for how to plan a kid’s birthday party on a budget: Check deal websites for discounts and promotions, or ask the venue about a discount for hosting the party at an off-peak time or day—say 10 a.m. on a Saturday or on a weekday afternoon.
Plan a theme for your child’s party but don’t feel compelled to purchase only branded items. For example, if your child is really into Frozen you can throw a winter-themed party using blue and white décor items. Similarly, for a superhero-themed party, use bright, primary colours in the decorating instead of items with images of branded characters.
One good way to save money on food is to avoid serving a meal. Between food allergies and general child pickiness, feeding a room full of kids is a challenging prospect no matter what, so instead of serving a meal, throw a party from 2:00 to 4:00 or from 2:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon so there’s no expectation of lunch or dinner.
If you opt to serve a meal, the best way to keep your costs down is to prepare it yourself. Homemade macaroni and cheese is an easy kid-friendly meal to make in bulk.
If you really don’t have the time or energy to cook, do some research to find the cheapest pizza store.. Most kids only need a single slice of pizza for a meal, especially if you’re serving cake and other goodies.
Decorations are nice, but ultimately, your guests are going to appreciate cake and entertainment more than some interesting decorations. It’s okay to keep things simple by sticking to basics like streamers and latex balloons, and avoid customized decorations, which can be a huge budget-buster. You can also skip the character-themed tableware and instead buy basic plastic cups, napkins, plates, and utensils.
If your children are old enough, you can put them to work by having them help with the setup. They might enjoy it, and it can help get them into the party spirit.
If you’re hosting a spring, summertime, or fall party, take advantage of the weather by organizing a number of outdoor activities for your guests. You can organize a series of fun relay races, set up games like ring toss and tug-of-war, or tell your guests to bring swimsuits and let them have a water balloon fight. If the weather isn’t on your side and you need to keep the party indoors, you’ve still got plenty of options for keeping your guests entertained:
- Scavenger or Treasure Hunts. As long as you’re willing to let a bunch of kids search in between your couch cushions or under your bed, you can treat them to a fun scavenger or treasure hunt.
- Crafts. Check Pinterest or similar sites for low-cost craft ideas. Some classic options include making picture frames out of Popsicle sticks or having each guest bring a plain white t-shirt to decorate
- Movie Screenings. It may seem like an easy way out, but if you’re stuck indoors and have a large-screen TV, you can gather up the kids and put on a popular new release.
- Talent Shows. Why not make your guests do all the work? Buy a modest prize for the winner, ask a couple of adult guests to judge, and let the kids entertain themselves and each other by showing off their respective talents.
While a low-cost birthday party likely requires more time, effort, and legwork than a party where you’re paying someone else to take care of the details, the savings can be pretty significant. If you’re torn between a modest at-home bash versus a pricier party at a local recreation center, consider what you might do with the amount you save by hosting at home.