My son’s first birthday is coming up, and I have just started to plan his birthday party. It’s not going to be elaborate or anything of that nature since, well, he’s turning 1. It’s not like he’s going to remember everything about the party!
I do believe that the 1 Year birthday is pretty important, though, so I do want to have a little party for him.
As much as I would like to, I’m not going to go all out on this birthday party. I don’t want my guests to think we’re cheap by not having a lunch or dinner (we’re having the party from 2-4pm), it’s just that we really cannot afford to feed a bunch of people.
We will have finger foods and things of that nature, but that’s about it. I’ve been researching ways to save money on birthday parties and have found a lot of great ideas that I thought I would share with you.
The Invites and Guest list
- Don’t Use Paper Invitations! – With almost everyone and their grandma on the Internet these days, it’s cheaper and easier to send party invites though email. You can also call people and invite them to the party if for some reason they do not have the Internet (whaaaaaat?!).
- Make Your Own – If you really like the idea of sending out invitations, I would suggest making your own instead of buying cards from the store. You can find printable invitations online (from here, for example) or you can make your own from construction paper.
- Limit The Number Of Guests – You don’t need to invite every single one of your child’s friends to the party. Tell them they can pick 5 friends. Then stick to it. 5 only! If your party is for children who are too young to have friends (like my babe!), limit the party to only grandparents and your child’s aunts and uncles.
- Make Your Own Cake – Don’t feel intimidated! Just buy a box of cake mix and a can of frosting, if need be, and make a birthday cake yourself! No one cares if it’s beautiful – they just want to eat it! As long as it tastes good, that’s all that matters.
- You can make your own cake for $5 or less, instead of paying $50 or more for someone else to do it. Save your money and do it yourself! Cupcakes are fun and easy too!
- Serve Finger Foods – Mini sandwiches, chips & dip, popcorn, veggies, crackers & cheese, deviled eggs, fruit, pretzels, cookies – these types of foods are fairly cheap and easy to make/serve.
If you are having the party around lunch or dinner time, you can serve hamburgers and/or hot dogs (depending on the time of year) but this can get pricey if you have many guests.
If you only have a handful of people coming, this would be cheap to do, but if you have many people attending the party, I would stick with finger foods only.
The Other Stuff
- Stay Home – Rather than shelling out big bucks at a local restaurant, why not have the party at your house? If your home is much too small, you might want to consider having the birthday party at a local park, instead.
- Skip The Treat Bags – When did it become necessary to give presents to your GUESTS? They come to the party to celebrate this person’s birthday with cake and ice cream! If you just cannot fathom the idea of not having treat bags, as least be frugal and buy the goodies for the bags at the dollar store!
- Play Simple Games – Pin The Tail on the Donkey and Musical Chairs and simple, are fun games that don’t cost a lot (if anything) to set up. Buy prizes for the winners at the dollar store, too.
What are your frugal ideas for kids birthday parties?