How to Save Money on Your Child’s Birthday Party

Estimated Monthly Savings: $300

Birthday parties for children can be expensive. Destination parties at arcades, inflatable playgrounds, or other child-friendly venues can cost upwards of $300–and that’s before you add in food, drinks, decorations, and party favors! Many parents would like to give their little one a memorable party without breaking the bank. Here are 6 tips for giving your child a party they’ll love while sticking to a budget.

1. Trim the guest list. The more children you invite, the more money your party will cost. If your child has three or four close friends, consider inviting just them. Small parties can be more fun, and they can be less overwhelming for some children. Or, if you have a son, consider inviting just the boys from his class. If you have a daughter, you could opt to just invite girls. This kind of limiting leaves less hard feelings, particularly for younger children.

2. Scout free locations. Your own home may be the cheapest and easiest place to throw a party. But what if your place isn’t big enough? Ask friends and relatives if you could host a party at their house. A grandparent’s house with a pool would be perfect for a summer pool party. Or check out parks in your area. Many will let you reserve a picnic shelter for a small cost or even for free. Many parks also feature playgrounds, which are perfect choices for free entertainment.

3. Timing is everything. To save money on food, don’t plan a party at mealtimes. Choose a time when most guests will have already eaten, such as 2 pm. That way, no one will expect to be served a meal.

4. Keep food and drinks simple. Easy, inexpensive snacks are perfect for children’s parties. Think cheese and crackers, pretzels, chips, and fruit. There’s no need to offer hundreds of drink options. Bottled water and juice boxes or soda will keep kids from getting thirsty. Buy drinks from warehouse savings stores and scout ads for the best deals.

5. Make your own invitations and decorations. Designing and printing your own invitations can help you save money and personalize your party. You can also print your own banners and pictures for your child’s chosen theme. Add a few inexpensive balloons, and your location will look party-ready in no time.

6. Be creative with favors. Party favors thank your guests for attending. But they don’t have to cost the earth! Kids will appreciate fun items, such as small stuffed animals, jewelry, candy, or other small toys related to your theme. Look online for the best deals on these bulk items.

Children’s birthday parties don’t have to be over-the-top to be fun, memorable events. Saving money on your child’s party will help you and your child enjoy their special day.