It’s easy to get carried away and spend a lot of money on throwing your child a birthday party especially when you see some of the kids’ birthday parties featured on Instagram or Tik Tok. And especially after a couple of years of a pandemic, most of us are wanting to throw our kids a great birthday party to celebrate their special day and make up for what they missed.
Before you max out the dollars, remember you can still have a fun and memorable kids party on a budget. Whether you’re on a strict budget or just want to curtail excess birthday party spending, here are our best tips to help you save money on a kids birthday party.
Stick to a party budget
If you’re watching your pennies, choose a budget and stick to it. For some families, that might be $100 or less while for others, it’s a lot more. Choose the figure that works for your family and stick to it. This will help you avoid spending money on things you can’t really afford but are tempted to buy. (So easy when you see all the party stuff!)
To save money and headaches, do your party planning ahead of time. Stock up on supplies ahead of time, preferably on sale. Avoid specialty party stores as they can be expensive. Instead, shop at dollar stores like The Reject Shop or Dollar Tree for birthday party supplies or shop for party supplies after events. E.g. Red napkins after Valentines Day or green party supplies after St Patricks Day.
Ask around for party supplies
Ask your friends if they have any party supplies that you can borrow like reusable tablecloths, party decor, cake stand, party games or even a marquee if you’re having the party in your backyard. This helps you save money on a birthday party.
Don’t invite everyone
It’s tempting to invite lots of people to a kids birthday party. In fact, in primary school, it’s encouraged to invite the whole class so that no one feels left out but that can add up quick. Instead, use a formula to keep the number of party guests to a minimum. Use the age of the birthday child plus 1 to come up witha number of kids to invite. E.g. A six-year old invites seven kids.
Have a party every other year
To save time and money, some families throw a birthday party on alternate years. One year, the kids get to have a kids birthday party and the next year, it’s a family birthday celebration.
Avoid party venues
It’s tempting to book a party venue for a kids birthday party. They take care of everything and there’s no cleanup but the costs can really add up especially. Instead, host your party at home, in a local park or at a local community centre. This is a much cheaper option.
Make your own invites
Don’t spend money on expensive party invitations. If you have a printer, make some DIY invites using Canva or get kids to make their own invitations. You can even send digital invitations via text or email.
Limit number of balloons
You don’t need to go all out and buy lots of balloons. Blow up and decorate with some balloons. If you do want helium balloons, Big W Party Stores offer a helium balloon inflation service and can create balloon bouquets. You can also check and see if any friends or family members have a balloon pump or helium tank that you can use to inflate balloons.
Forget the expensive themed party decor
You can end up spending tons of money on special party gear for a themed birthday party. Instead, purchase party supplies on sale or buy plain coloured supplies which can be used for another occasion.
It can be tempting to purchase lots of supplies to do a Bluey, Marvel or Star Wars themed party but stop yourself. If you do want to have a party theme, choose one or two themed items like table centrepieces or cake topper and then use generic party items like hats, tablecloths, napkins etc.
You can also print off free party decorations from websites. If you want to throw a Bluey themed party, head to the Bluey website to find templates for invitations, party buntingm cakes, balloons and even a Bluey scavenger hunt. There are tons more free party templates available on Pinterest no matter what your kids are interested in
Avoid meal times for a kids party
Schedule a kids birthday party after lunch and before dinner so that you don’t have to feed kids a full meal. Trying to organise lunch for kids can be expensive and difficult, especially with picky eaters.
Skip the expensive cake
Make and decorate your own birthday cake. You can make it from scratch or use a cake mix box complete with icing. Just add sprinkles or sweets on top to make it extra special. If you don’t want to make a cake and are inviting lots of people, find someone with a Costco card and order a decorated slab Costco birthday cake. They cost $29.99 and serves 48 (5cm x 5cm servings).
Don’t go overboard with party food
For most kids parties, you don’t need to have too much food. Kids are too excited to sit down and eat. Fairybread, lollies, and fruit platters are sufficient along with water and cordial. If parents are hanging around, put out some dips and chips for them.
Organise party games
Keep kids entertained with retro party games like pin the tail on the donkey, three-legged race, pass the parcel, musical chairs or do a scavenger hunt in the backyard. Have yard games like quoits, finsta, or totem tennis or balloon volleyball.
DIY party entertainer
You can spend money on party entertainers who come to your house and entertain kids. If you want to save some money, find a talented friend or family member who can dress up as a clown or princess and do balloon twisting, face painting or magic tricks.
Skip the goody bag
You can end up spending lots on goody bags but do kids really need more stuff like sweets, party favors or small plastic toys? Instead either skip the bag or do a fun activity at the party that kids can take home as their party treat. E.g. Get them to make painted rocks, plant a seedling or decorate cupcakes.
Want more money-saving tips? Check out Money Saving Tips: 250+ Ideas to Cut Your Spending & Make Your Money Go Further. It’s a series of guides to help you cut costs.
Started in late 2012 by a local mum, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.