Friday, August 7, 2009

Saving on Birthday Parties

Last week I published a great guest post by Laura about how to save money when planning a birthday party. She really had so many great ideas, so be sure to check it out if you missed it.

Right now I am planning both my girls' birthday parties, and I am planning to use many of her ideas, including using some generic paper products, using the girls' toys as decorations, and making my own food and cake. I also thought I would share some additional ideas that I have been using or have used in the past for planning a fun birthday party without spending too much.

- Save for the party - Even a very frugal party usually requires a little extra money, and I do like to make holidays and birthdays special. Therefore I try to plan ahead of time and save up some extra money or otherwise work the party into my budget.

- Buy gifts ahead of time - I have several gifts for my older daughter hidden away in my "present stash" in my closet that I bought when I saw them on clearance. I always have my eye out for presents for the girls, even when their birthdays or Christmas are far off.

- Use the internet - As you know, there are websites and blogs out there for every topic under the sun, and there are so many creative ideas that don't necessarily cost much money. One website I have found useful is They have a huge collection of party ideas submitted by readers using every theme you can think of. Also, after your party you can submit your party idea for a chance to win a cash prize!

- Serve simple food - Sometimes the best party foods are the simplest - cake, ice cream, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers. Kids, especially, usually don't need elaborate food to be happy. Dressing up the food in shapes, with garnishes or sprinkles, or in festive dishes can make ordinary fare seem really special.

- Don't go overboard - My kids are at the age where they really don't need much to make them excited and happy. Balloons? Sprinkles? Candles? Happy. I think that even older kids are often just as happy with less than we think. Try to do the things that are really important to them, and don't worry about the rest.

Check out more frugal tips at Frugal Fridays!


  1. great ideas we will have grandbabies birthday next month

  2. I think its all about the theme! If you can find a good theme you can make it cheap.

    For my daughter's 4th, Curious George makes Pancakes, read the story, made fruit loop necklaces (which took a while as 3.5-4 year olds can't put a lot of loops on quickly), colored pictures made pancakes and watched a curious George video (we had to buy this but we did giver it to DD for part of her gift). All told, party was less than $45 that was for 12 kids and included gift bags (also before I really got into couponing)

    5th party, halloween theme, pancakes again but we put red food coloring to make them orange and look like pumpkins. Easy and cheap again!


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