Who doesn’t love a great birthday party? But who really wants the headache that usually goes with it? All the planning, the buying supplies, the invites, the crowds, and of course…THE COST! Wouldn’t it be easier if we had a top 10 list of ways to have a fun and frugal birthday party? Oh wait! We do! We found a few tricks and tips that help make your children’s birthday parties be an enjoyable event for both the child and you! Mostly, tips that help you save money; but still have the day be special for your child and something they will enjoy!
Top 10 Frugal Birthday party tips
Frugal birthday party Tip 1-Buy Used items! Does your child really care if the item is BRAND NEW or used if it is the same item, and still in great shape? We get a good portion of our Birthday presents from thrift stores, garage sales, used items on amazon.com and ebay! Including this adorable “Minion” we purchased for our daughter’s birthday (she has this crazy obsession with Despicable Me) at 70% off retail price, because we purchased it USED from Amazon.com It still had tags attached and looks brand new!
Frugal birthday party Tip 2-Create your own. If you have any creative ability; think about possibly MAKING your own birthday present for your child. Last Christmas I was able to Crochet winter Scarves for our boys for Christmas and they LOVED them. This last week, I made Jade these socks for her birthday..again..she LOVES them. And all it required was a very little cost for supplies, a little time and some love.
Frugal birthday party Tip 3-Hand me downs! These are fantastic because you can get them for FREE! Ask your family or friends if you can do a Toy swap or if they have anything they no longer want/need that they’d be willing to offer as a gift for your child. Jade’s Aunt gave her this amazing BUNNY that she no longer wanted in her room for Jade’s birthday last week; and this bunny is now one of her favorite toys!
Frugal birthday party Tip 4-Think outside the box–Children don’t always need TOYS! Sometimes they are quite happy with a shirt, or new outfit or new shoes. And Sometimes you can find some AMAZING items on Etsy.com! It’s a handmade community of work at home moms and dads that create some amazing items like this stunning Photography prop hat for Jade made by Photoprops and More!
Frugal birthday party Tip 5-Bake the cake yourself! If you have ANY baking experience this alone can save you a TON of money! Simply find your child’s favorite flavor of Cake and frosting and create that. You can even use our Red Devil’s Chocolate Food Cake Recipe and Cream Cheese Frosting recipes, which we used for Jade’s 2nd birthday party–which was a HUGE success. If you are like me and want to make the cake super cute but have NO cake decorating experience, you can simply find a small toy and place it on top of the cake to take an ordinary cake and turn it into a super cute birthday cake! PLUS; hey! A Toy! Your child will LOVE it! Simply frost the cake, sprinkle with Sprinkles in the child’s favorite color and top with a Toy!
Frugal birthday party Tip 6-Shop Sales! Don’t wait until it is almost the child’s birthday to start birthday shopping. Save your budget for those HUGE sales that happen every year..Black Friday, Day after Christmas, etc. You know prices will be dropped dramatically; and you can get some truly amazing presents for very little. And if you slowly work on collecting these presents throughout the year, then when it comes time for the birthday event, you will find you don’t have to spend very much; as you already have a great supply of presents in your secret hiding place! PLUS, this works amazing for Christmas too! Simply collect ON SALE presents through out the year; it saves Money AND time closer to the deadline. And it helps dramatically lessen the stress.
Frugal birthday party Tip 7-Birthday clubs. Many stores have “birthday Clubs” where when it is the child’s birthday, they can get a balloon and you will be mailed a coupon for a certain $ amount OFF anything in the store. A Great way to get an instant discount on toys! ToysRus is one of these stores which have the Birthday Club! We took Jade there on her birthday to pick out the My little Pony for her birthday cake; and she was able to get a Paper Birthday Crown and this super fun Helium balloon. Honestly; the balloon is her favorite part of her entire birthday and she didn’t pay much attention to anything else. lol. But we also got a coupon for $3 off any toy in stock. $3!! When the little pony was only $5, that’s a huge discount!
Frugal birthday party Tip 8-Cater to your child’s age. a Good rule of thumb for birthday parties is to keep both you and your child from being overwhelmed is to only invite 1 friend for each year your child is old, ie..if your child is turning 5 years, invite 5 friends. For 1 yr olds, it is still best to keep the party to just close friends and family. In many party planning guides it recommends not starting having friends over for Birthday parties until your child can communicate that they even WANT to have friends at their birthday party. But for older ages, when you only invite 1 child for each age of your child, it helps keep the crowds low, and saves you in cost for party supplies, foods, etc. And your child still gets the same turn out, a fun party with friends and exciting presents from their friends, and without the stress of trying to keep track of a lot of children. As your child gets older and more independent (ie–teenagers) this rule can definitely be changed to allow for more friends if they so wish, because they are more able to HELP you with the party planning and games, food, etc.
Frugal birthday party Tip 9-Save on the wrapping paper and other party supplies! For many items in decorating, get gender and seasonal neutral colors (table cloths, banners, etc) as then you are able to save and reuse the same decorations year after year until they wear out. If your child wants a special theme; get maybe 1-2 items in that theme to make the party special for that child. Oh and of course coordinate the toy on top of the cake with that theme too! As for Presents; we rarely wrap Birthday presents. (we do however wrap Christmas) but for Birthday presents we always play a game for the opening of presents. We place the present in a bag (usually just a grocery bag we have lying around) and hold it over the child’s head and say “heavy heavy hang over your head. What do you think it is?” (we never “bump” on the head) and then we create silly ideas of what that present could be used for. It is silly, but fun and always good for a laugh at some of the options picked. ie: “Heavy heavy hang over your head, what do you think it is? Something to eat, Something to sleep on, something to read, or something to give to your brother?” The birthday kid picks a choice and then they are given the bag with the present inside. He pulls the present out and we all laugh at how a DVD was selected to be a gift for the cat, or a bottle of perfume was picked to be used on the brother. IT makes opening presents a fun Party game in itself and saves on Wrapping paper as well.
Frugal birthday party Tip 10-Budget–Pay with Cash. For each birthday, create a budget. Figure out how much money you have to spend on that birthday party/presents/etc and STICK TO IT! To help with that, use Cash wherever possible! After your budget is figured out, set aside that amount of money IN CASH. If you have to purchase something online, or not in cash form, be sure to immediately go to your “cash stash” and withdraw that amount, so you always know how much money you have left to spend on that Birthday. Most people have a harder time letting go of their hard earned cash vs just swiping an easy piece of plastic. Thus it makes you think more “is this really want we want to get our child for their birthday, or are we getting caught up in the excitement of it all?” It will help you spend less and have more meaningful presents, as you’ve had to think about them more. And then once the money is gone..You are done! If you end up coming in under budget for a birthday party, consider giving the extra money to your child as a present in which they can then go to the store and select a present of their OWN choice OR place the extra money in the child’s saving account for the future.
How do you have a frugal birthday party?