Having just thrown a party for my son’s 1st birthday, I now completely understand a parent’s desire to throw the biggest, best, and most amazing birthday party for their favorite little person.
As exciting as party planning can be, it can also be stressful when you have to factor in that one annoying detail: the budget.
You might have the most genius ideas to make your kid’s birthday the best ever, but they may not be entirely realistic given your budgetary constraints.
I knew I had gone overboard when I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to hire a fireworks company to launch a blast worthy of the Fourth of July.
My husband thought that was a bit over the top, especially for a little man who wouldn’t remember any of it. I told him I’ll hold off on the fireworks…at least until his 5th birthday.
If you are faced with a similar dilemma of wanting your kid to party like a rockstar (without breaking the bank), here are my best tips on how to save money while still throwing a super fab party.
Go to the dollar store and get inexpensive party decorations and party favors.
Crepe paper is cheap but effective way to set a festive mood, so go crazy with it.
Don’t order pizza — make your own! It’s delicious, healthy, and a fun activity for the kids.
Do the math. If you have coupons for a restaurant that can cater run the numbers to see how much it would cost per person.
Is it cheaper to have the party catered instead of buying all the ingredients and slaving in the kitchen for days beforehand?
If you love baking and making your kid a homemade birthday cake is an important tradition for you then by all means go for it. If not, then price around your options.
I actually saved big on my son’s cake by having a local culinary school make it. Sure it was made by students, but I was perfectly pleased with the results and I saved a bundle in the process.
Make them up. Kids will have fun doing most any competitive game that lets them win a cool prize.
For my son’s party I hid a little ball in three different boxes and had them chose which box the ball was in. Another game I had them play was to guess how many cotton balls were in a large jar.
By the way, you don’t have to use cotton balls — it would probably be even more fun with candy, but I’m cheap and the kids didn’t need more sugar.
Regardless of what party games you play, just be sure they are age appropriate so the kids don’t get bored.
Oh, and the prizes? They can be something simple from the dollar store.
Skip expensive one-stop-shop party places!
If the party will take place during warm weather, consider having it at a local park. You may have to play a small fee to reserve a shelter with picnic tables but the kids will play for hours on the playground equipment.
If you’ve got a fun backyard, that can be the perfect location for the party.
A swing set, lots of room to run around, a kiddie pool (depending on age), and maybe even some sprinkles to run through will all keep the kids busy and having fun.
Kelli Bhattacharjee runs the blog, FreebieFindingMom.com, which offers the hottest freebies, coupons, bargains and money saving advice. Kelli shares several of her best savvy money tips in her free ebook titled, Saving Beyond the Coupon.