Raise your hand if you’re looking to save money on your kiddos next birthday bash!
Birthday parties can get expensive am I right?
When you factor in the cost of food, invites, entertainment and venues you can easily set yourself up to spend a small fortune on a kiddo’s birthday party if you aren’t careful.
Today, I’m going to share some frugal kids birthday party ideas with you fine folks.
M turned 2 way back in December.
And, we hosted a lovely frugal second birthday party on a strict budget for our little girl. We managed to feed well over 20 people, eat delicious cake and have heaps of fun without spending a fortune.
I’m telling you, it’s totally possible to host an awesome party without breaking the bank.
And, here’s exactly how we did it.
10 Frugal Kids Birthday Party Ideas
frugal kids birthday party Ideas: Set a budget and stick to it
Like all things frugal living it’s important to establish a realistic budget that your family can manage when hosting a frugal kids birthday party.
Whether it’s $500, $200 or even $50 it’s vital that you know exactly how much you have to spend.
This way, you wont be frantically trying to put together a party that is unrealistic for your budget.
The goal here is to have a budget that you can afford and find ways to stretch every dollar as far as you can to make sure that every penny is being used wisely.
If you don’t currently have the budget to host a party have a look at my super easy $1000 savings plan.
Plan ahead and start saving small amounts of cash today that you can use to host a spectacular frugal kids birthday party when the times comes.
frugal kids birthday party Ideas: Plan ahead
Leaving party planning to the very last minute is what ends up inflating the total cost.
When you’re frantically putting together a party without having a solid plan you’re guaranteeing that you are over spending. Think ahead (3 months maybe?) and think about what your ideal birthday party looks like and start planning.
Key questions you should be asking yourself are:
- How many people are we inviting?
- Are we planning on serving a full meal or snacks?
- Will the party take place at home or at a venue?
- What is the theme of my planned party?
Use free E-Vites
Ditch paper invites and start collecting email addresses folks.
We sent out free E-Vites using PunchBowl to save on the cost of buying traditional paper invitations.
Not only did we save on the invites themselves but the postage on those invitations that needed to be sent by mail. E-Vites are absolutely the best frugal and environmental choice.
Opt for a free or cheap venue
We hosted our little’s party at home because we opted to save on venue costs by hosting our friends and family.
I totally get why people would opt to choose a venue instead. And, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to find an affordable (maybe even free!) venue to host your kiddos frugal kids birthday party if that’s what you are looking to do.
Before committing to a costly venue explore non-traditional places. If you’re dealing with a summer birthday look at local parks, outdoor spaces and community pools.
For winter birthdays, indoor community pools, local skating rinks and community centers are great places to explore when hosting a frugal kids birthday party.
Schedule your party outside of meal times
Feeding a whole meal isn’t necessary! If you schedule your party outside of meal times you can really stretch your food budget by serving delicious finger foods and snacks!
Scheduling a kids birthday party between 1-4pm puts you clearly outside of the lunch and dinner zone which gives you the opportunity to serve fun, delicious and frugal snacks and appetizers instead of a costly meal.
Make your own snacks
Speaking of snacks and appetizers – make your own!
Buying prepackaged foods to serve at your kids birthday party is guaranteed to eat up your food budget far more quickly than buying the individual ingredients and making it yourself.
Awesome frugal birthday party snacks and apps include vegetables with dip, chips with salsa and guacamole, mini-pizzas, ham and cheese wraps, chicken fingers and bruschetta to name a few.
Kids birthday parties don’t need to be about fancy food folks! It’s all about kids so keep it super simple!
frugal kids birthday party Ideas: Get crafty
Don’t spend a ton of money on decorations.
Hit up your local dollar world and stock up on cheap decorations that you can add your personal touch to! Bonus if you can reuse them next year!
We hung photos of our little throughout our house so our guests could see how much our little girl has changed over the last two years!
Make it fun, be creative and think outside the box.
frugal kids birthday party Ideas: Plan your own birthday party games
Pin the tail on the donkey is not dead!
We played traditional birthday games at M’s birthday party and adults and kids alike had a blast. Check out this super awesome list of cheap and entertaining kids birthday party games.
Save yourself the cost of hired entertainment and plan a bunch of games yourself. It’s much cheaper and loads and loads of fun!
frugal kids birthday party Ideas: Make your own cake
We love baking our own cakes for our birthdays!
It’s a fun family tradition that we look forward to. M is still small so she doesn’t quite get that mommy made her cake but as she gets older we hope she’ll be super pumped by the idea that I take the time to make her a special cake every year.
To make things extra special we each have a favorite cake and it’s only made for our respective birthdays. Mer gets a mocha coffee cake each year, I get a strawberry shortcake (yes my husband can make that!) and M is all about funfetti and chocolate.
Making your own cake is a delicious and fun way to save a heap of money and build super fun traditions at the same time because custom cakes are crazy expensive folks!
If you’re not much of a baker that’s fine too! Use boxed cake mix and store bought frosting. Add sprinkles to make it extra fun and voila, you’ve got an awesome frugal birthday cake to serve to your guests.
frugal kids birthday party Ideas: Give treats instead of loot bags
What kid doesn’t LOVE cookies and sweets am I right?
Rather than putting together traditional loot bags filled with toys and other costly items why not bake a couple of different types of cookies and gift your guests with delicious edibles to take home?
Wrap them in dollar store cellophane wrap and ribbons and your homemade goodies will not only taste great but look awesome too!
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19 thoughts on “10 Frugal Kids Birthday Party Ideas”
Great post Jenny! My daughter’s birthday was Tuesday…we went for hot chocolate after school and had pizza delivery and a supermarket cake (regular not a birthday one) for tea. My parents like to see her on or around birthday so they often pay for an experience (we went for Italian on Saturday ) so she’s still had an outing.
Love your ideas x
I LOVE the hot chocolate idea! So cute! Happy belated birthday to your little!
Thanks….she’s not that little…almost as tall as me (I’m 5’9″!!) We enjoyed our hot chocolate in a cafe we’ve never been in before ☺ will definitely go again
Awwww. I bet she LOVED it too! <3
It amazes me how much we can spend on our children’s birthday parties. Especially when everything is going to end up as a mess anyway. Make your own games and get crafty are two of my favorite ideas!
Absolutely! Making your own games and being crafty with decortations can be so much fun right?
My twins 4th Birthday is on Sunday! We opted for a venue with kid games etc but they don’t charge for the room! I think we will be saving money though this year bc we are expecting like 15 inches of snow!
Love the ideas:) and I may be making cookies now instead of treat bags!
We made cookie treat bags and it was a HUGE hit! Sounds like you’ve got an awesome party lined up! Have fun and I hope your twins enjoy their special day!
This really helps! This is something we have started to do for both are kids birthdays. To go even more frugal, we have been thinking of just taking the kids out for their birthdays. I started to realize that we were worried more about our family and guest enjoying the day rather than the kids. Thanks for this awesome inspiration.
You bring up such a valid point. A lot of time the cost and stress involved isn’t even about the kiddos. It’s aboute societal expectations right? Thank you for reading Taylor! Glad you took a minute to stop in and share this with me!
Great ideas! I have a young niece who lives near/on the beach, so her mom always plans a party there. I think mermaid themes are all the rage right now?! 😉
This is such a cool idea! I sadly live incredibly far from the beach otherwise I’d be all over this idea!
Great tips! When I was little my parents always took us to the local pizza arcade. The pizza was cheap and the games were just a quarter
What a neat idea! Love it!
These are great ideas! I’m so glad we started simplifying our birthday parties! I used to break the bank and burn myself out! Not anymore!
So glad to hear it! It can become incredibly stressful both on your and the budget am I right!?
Excellent tips! This year we had to rent a place for my son’s birthday since we sold our old home and haven’t closed on our new home so we just didn’t have the space. It can be so expensive. Can’t wait to go back to parties at home!!
Great tips! I’ll definitely be making a treat instead of a loot bag for my daughters next birthday!
Great Post! It is so easy to drop hundreds of dollars on kids birthday parties now a days ON TOP OF presents and cakes and goodie bags, etc. I will take all the tips I can get to keep it within my budget! 🙂