Life demands celebration! In fact, I believe life was meant to be much more of a party than a drag. And every parent loves to celebrate their own kids. However, the balloons, the streamers, the cake, the invitation, and oh yeah, the gifts – all of those traditional celebration tools can really add up to a lot of money before you even make your way out of the birthday aisle at your favorite big box retailer. But take heart! These 7 surefire ways to save money on your kids’ birthday parties will keep the celebration alive without rendering your bank account lifeless.
Reusable Party Goods
Instead of purchasing paper goods that will be thrown away after a day or two of celebrating the birthday boy or girl, find items you can reuse year after year. Not only does this practice create a fun tradition, it cuts down on the expense. Our family owns a special birthday plate, a birthday sash, and a birthday headband. For every birthday, they find their way into the decor. Consider purchasing items that could coordinate with a number of themes and solid color reusable dishes, too.
Decorate With Primary Colors
When you do purchase items like balloons, crepe paper, plates, and napkins, stick with red, blue, and yellow. These primary colors can be used with multiple themes and other holidays. Red especially lends itself to a wide variety of children’s characters, sports, teams, and holidays. Think: 4th of July, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Memorial Day, and more! You can always find a coordinating character napkin to pair with your solid color party goods. Be sure to store the leftover supplies in a central location where they’ll be protected from being smashed or bent.
Every year, my grandmother made my birthday cakes. The woman was a wizard with a Wilton piping bag. If you can, opt for a homemade cake over the bakery bought variety. If you’re not the ace of cakes, choose to keep the frosting plain and add a toy that matches the theme of your party. You can also nix the cake all together and serve birthday milkshakes, birthday root beer floats, or birthday strawberry shortcake! Think outside of the cake box.
Decorate with Gifts
Last year, my daughter Zoe celebrated turning 8 with a Mary Poppins theme. There were not very many decor options even online. So we chose to make a Mary Poppins hat of our own, decorated with flowers from the dollar store. And I found a Mary Poppins Funko Pop, too. Instead of buying throw away decor, she had toys that she still plays with now.
Celebrate the Big Ones
We don’t host big friend parties every year for our girls. We always gather family and a couple of close friends to do something special, but have reserved friend experiences for 5, 10, and eventually 16. The girls spend years dreaming about what they want to do and we really try to make the experience super special.
Sign Up for Freebies
There are plenty of great FREE offerings for kids on their birthdays. If you’re not a member already, check out the following programs:
- Toys ‘r Us Geoffrey’s Birthday Club: Birthday card and gift from Geoffrey
- Baskin Robbins’ Birthday Club
- The Children’s Place Birthday Club
- The Old Spaghetti Factory Birthday Club
- California Pizza Kitchen Kids’ Birthday Club
- Chuck E. Cheese Email Club
Hit Pinterest or Ask Your Friends
Not sure how to decorate your home for the party? Hit Pinterest or ask your friends on social media for ideas that fit your theme. Be sure to mention that you’re looking to spend as little as possible. You’d be shocked at the number of very creative people who would like to help you save money and have great ideas! Plus Pinterest always has plenty of great FREE printable decor and coloring sheets.
Celebrating your child and sticking to your budget don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Be smart. Set a budget. And spend time, not money making memories! In the end your child would be better off having the extra dollars in their College 529 Account instead of spent on a day they might not even remember!
For more birthday ideas, check out:
- The Best 10 Birthday Freebies
- How to Save Money on Birthday Parties
- Money Saving Birthday Ideas
- 15 Great Birthday Freebies
My book is now available: Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After. You can also check out The Debt Free Devotional on Kindle.
This post contains an affiliate link. That means when you get a great deal or maybe even something for free, you also help our family pay off our mortgage early. And for that, we royally thank you!