You might have been able to get away with a simple cake and a few balloons with your toddler, but now when your kid knows the difference, it can be pricier to make a memorable birthday party. Many parents go overboard with the birthday extravaganza, and as a result, children’s birthday parties have grown into a $38 billion industry in the United States alone. That’s a lot of streamers and snacks, people.
But, despite what the companies profiting from the birthday party craze would like to pressure you into believing, you don’t have to spend big $$$ for your kid and his friends to have a grand ole time for their birthday. Once you know where you can cut costs without ruining the fun in the process, you’ll be golden.
To help you stay on budget and still manage to organize a fun birthday party for your kid, we put together a list of 5 money-saving tips and tricks.
#1 Home is Where the Party’s At
Or at least, it could be. Renting out space for your kid’s birthday might sound tempting, but it usually eats up the biggest chunk of the birthday party budget. However, if you opt for throwing the party in your own backyard, you won’t have to dole out money for the venue- but you are risking mess and the potential damage a bunch of kids can make when high on cake and sodas. So make sure to kid-proof your home or yard, or, alternatively, organize the party at a local park or another local party-friendly venue.
#2 Use What You Have and Do It Yourself
For decoration, party theme, entertainment- don’t be afraid to go the DIY way or repurpose what you already have. Pinterest has a ton of great ideas on make-it-yourself kid party decorations, so grab the scissors and get going. And as for entertainment, kids don’t need a professional animator to have fun. Doing crafts or having impromptu talent competitions or playing sports are all good and cheap options.
#3 Time is Money- Literally
If you choose the time of the party wisely, you can end up saving a lot of money, both on food and entertainment. Kid birthday parties that last for the better part of the day require a lot of food and fun to keep everyone happy, so make sure to limit the duration to 2-3 hours tops. Also, when you host a birthday party for kids during lunchtime or dinnertime, it’s only fair to make sure they eat at your home. So, to avoid having to overspend, schedule the party in mid-afternoon or mid-morning, when snacks and cake will be all you need to serve.
#4 Don’t Splurge on Party Favors
A nicely wrapped cookie or a homemade mix for hot chocolate can be cute party favors for kids and making them will cost you next to nothing. To boot, it gives them a personal touch that you lose with unnecessarily extravagant goodie bags. In case you are unsure about homemade party favors, raid the dollar store. Coloring books, cartoon stickers, friendship bracelets, etc- there are many different choices, just pick something suitable for your child’s age.
#5 Prepare Months In Advance
You might think it’s too much work for a simple kid’s birthday party, but buying in advance can save you a significant sum. For instance, you might stock up on party supplies during a seasonal sale and cut back the costs on decoration, or come across someone selling their never used or barely used birthday supplies on VarageSale.com and snap it up months before the party. It pays off to be the early bird!