10 ways to save on birthday parties {from a mom who has thrown over 75 parties}


Birthday parties are something we do at our house almost all year round!  8 months out of the year we are throwing a party for one of the kids!  (that’s NOT including adults or extended family!)  That adds up to a lot of parties through out the years!   I don’t know about you….but I look for  ways to save money when it comes to parties.  (not that I’m a party pooper…..I just try and be frugal as much as possible)

Now there are occasions of “special” birthdays like First birthdays, 16th birthdays etc. that we will make a bit more extravagant or put more detail to, but I try and keep them nice but cost effective.

Over the years I have thrown just about every kind of party and I have learned over these years some tricks of how to save money when throwing a party.  Keep in mind everyone’s budget is different!

Here are 10 ways you can save money on your next birthday party:

  1.  Make your own cake/cupcakes.   I understand not everyone is the Cake Boss and has big decorating talents.  I’m NOT GIFTED in that area either but I’ve learned to be creative.   There are thousands or more ideas and “how-to’s” on line in magazines and cookbooks.   Using a simple cake mix and frosting costs only a few dollars compared to ordering one from a bakery.  (on a side note….most little ones don’t notice if the cake was lopped sided or if Elmo has an eye bigger than the other, they just know that Mom made their cake)


    Here are just a few of the many I made…..like I said NOTHING fancy at all…..I just tried to be creative and have fun!!!!

  2. Find a Dollar store/discount store.   These places are excellent for party decorations.   On occasion you get a “themed” decoration at Walmart or on line but you don’t have to purchase the whole set.  Learning to coordinate colors that match that design that are plain color napkin or plate you get save a bundle.   Look for table covers, decorative napkins, plates, balloons, banners etc.  There is some really cute stuff now a days!
  3. Re-Use Decorations.   Being we have multiple kids these comes in handy if you have “general” decorations that you can store and re-use at another time.  (Such as:  banners, signs, games, wall decorations, left over party napkins or plates, etc.)  I’ve even saved a few number candles and reused for another child that was having an up coming birthday soon.  Remember not all decorations can be re-used but the ones that are general or neutral can be stored in a tote or container for the next party.
  4. Ask family to bring a side dish.   Now this may not apply to every party or you may not have family you can ask but for bigger parties like the first birthday or 16th, etc.  If you have close family you can ask if they’d be willing to bring a small side dish if your doing a cook-out or something.  Every little bit helps!
  5. Pinterest, Pinterest Pinterest.   If you aren’t on Pinterest you need to try it.  As most of your know there is a wealth of information from how to save money to decorating ideas!   Be prepared to be on there awhile because there is a lot to look at!  (remember you can find pins on how to make decorations as well)
  6. Party at home.   Now I’ve got to say I haven’t always done their parties at home.  We’ve done them at the park, a community pool, bowling alley, hair dressers, etc.  There is nothing wrong with celebrating somewhere else but doing a party at home does save money for many reasons.party
  7. Look for connections.   With this I mean do you know someone who owns or works at a cool place?  Bowling?  Hair dressers?  trampoline park?  Baseball field?   skating rink?    Sometimes just asking your person that has a connection can help you get a lower price or an avenue to doing something different for your kids party.   It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  8. Adjust the party time.   I’ve have not always done this, but at times depending on what is happening you can still throw a nice party but doing it during an “off time” (not lunch or dinner time) you can just celebrate with cake/ice cream and not a big huge meal to go with it.   Or have little appetizers with chips and dips and finish off with your cake!party2
  9. NO goodie bags.   I have done parties with goodie bags and most of them with out.  Not that I don’t like giving to others, it just adds up in the cost.   Now if you trip a crossed a steal of a deal….then it maybe a no brainer to stock up on little trinkets or candies to throw into a bag.  But in the long run….it’s usually something you can do with out.
  10. Plan ahead.   This one is HUGE in my book.  Just like any other big holiday you know your kids birthday is happening the same time every year…..so when your out shopping in July and you see a 75% off sale on something and your child’s birthday isn’t until December it’s best to put it away, save the money and then your ahead of the game.   Whether it’s decorations, gifts, etc.  always keep your eyes peeled for deals.

With anything if you try hard enough and plan ahead you can save money in many different ways.  Like I said before I have done pretty much every birthday party with goodie bags, with out goodie bags  with big meals and some with just appetizers and these are things I’ve seen and tried over the years.

If you are trying to stick to a budget and pinch a few pennies, some of these ideas may work for you.  Remember just because you stick to a budget doesn’t mean the birthday party won’t be awesome.   It is what you make it!  Cutting costs by doing things yourself and finding discounts can make for a nice savings and a special party your child will always remember!

Here is a few suggested books:

Betty Crocker Birthdays 

Birthday Parties on a Budget

Easy Cut up Cakes for Kids

 How do you save money when throwing birthday parties?  Do youhave any tricks and tips YOU can share?



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1 Response to 10 ways to save on birthday parties {from a mom who has thrown over 75 parties}

  1. I already do most of these things (especially reusing decorations, supplementing theme with just colorful plates, and doing the party at home), but I can’t make the cake. After burning it two years in a row, I gave up. Instead, I get a CHEAP sheet cake at the grocery store.


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