How Do You Save on Kid’s Birthday Parties?

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by on March 31, 2009

This week’s edition of Works For Me Wednesday is a “Backward Edition”- (maybe since it is April 1st?) So, my question to you, my readers, is:

How do you save on Kid’s Birthday Parties?

My little one turns 1 this month and my oldest turns 4 in August, so I’m definitely looking at ways to enjoy their birthdays, but keep it “centsable”, too!

I would love to hear all of your money saving tips, big or small, so leave me a comment, so we can all share in your tips!

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  • Leanne

    We opted for hiring a kids birthday place this year. Most of them are so desperate for the business at the moment that the offers are great and it worked out far less expensive than having a party at home for my 4 year old. The trick is to shop around and see what you can get thrown in for free (my little girl will get two free admission tickets to the Play Cafe after her party and all the kids get free food and icecream during the party. The only thing I need to bring is a cake.

  • Milehimama

    One of my fave things to do is to hold the party at a park instead of restaurant or other venue (or even home).

    You don’t have to worry about getting your house “company ready” while prepping for a party; it accomadates all ages; and if the kids get bored of games or whatever, they can run off to the playground.

    I had a tea party for my daughter for $40 when she turned 6.
    Birthday under $40

    I also make my own cake. It was a tradition when I was little that the birthday kid got to help make their own cake (and lick the spoons…) and my kids love helping. Sometimes I let them decorate it, sometimes I try it myself. I’ve never taken a class, so they’re not bakery worthy but they are tasty! Cupcakes – and letting the guests frost it – are popular around here too.

  • Tracey

    I don’t usually leave a link when I comment on someone’s post, but since I just did a post on kids’ birthdays last week, I thought it might be of some help. Here it is – http://girlstogrow.blogspot.com/2009/03/thirteen-ways-to-celebrate-childs.html
    Have a great afternoon!

  • Charlotte

    We just keep it so simple while they are young. We have pancakes for breakfast w/ candles for the birthday child. This year we signed up for Toy’s R Us Birthday club. They send you a gift card for $5 in the mail. We also had a family lunch out. (We rarely eat out.) Then we have a dinner w/ extended family w/cake and icecream.

  • caroline

    I just had my daughter’s 6th birthday last weekend.

    We limit the guest list to one child per year (this year she invited 6), but we don’t include siblings in the count.

    We have the party at home.

    I do the goodie bags myself often with things from the dollar store.

    I do a craft (this year they decorated hand held mirrors that I bought at the dollar store with stick on gems I bought at Joanne Fabrics with a 40% off coupon).

    I make the cake myself. I really haven’t had much in the way of training, but you can do a lot with the shape of a cake and I’ve got soem cooke pans. This year though the theme was Barbie Diamond Castle, so I used a Barbie Doll, and baked the cake in two bowls (which made the skirt when stacked on top of each other). It wasn’t perfect, but the girls loved it.

    Then, let the kids play. They’ll have fun even without organized games.

  • Lisa P

    I suggest a BBQ, and for favors oriental trading company!

  • Amy

    We are doing a movie night this year for my son. We’re going to have pizza, tacos or sloppey joes for dinner. Then we will just spread blankets out pop a movie in. I plan on doing the red and white striped popcorn bags with a bag of microwave popcorn, a box of candy and a thing of glow sticks (from the $ store). I think this will be one of my cheapest parties yet. Good luck!!!

  • Andrea

    We do it at home. I think that is a huge money saver in itself because I can tailor a meal to how much we can budget that month, invite as many or as few people as we’d like, and the party can go on longer than an allotted time found at museums, zoos, and other “fun” places.
    I think kids birthday parties are VERY important. There are only so many years that a person actually wants to celebrate their birthday, and as a child, each year is a huge milestone.
    That being said, we have 3 children and are expecting #4 with no end in sight as we are open to having more. Because of this, we have made the rule that there is a birthday party every other year and a family event on off years.
    As for specifics for a party at home, balloons are super inexpensive. They can be filled at any grocery store for next to nothing and children love them and think they are special. I have all girls, so a vase of inexpensive flowers also works great for decor.
    I make my own cakes, don’t buy extravagant gifts, and think that for the most part favors are a waste of money and usually get tossed anyway.
    Simplicity is the key for me!
    Also, I don’t do games and therefore don’t have to purchase supplies for that. I never liked them as a kid and it’s not really in my personality type to organize a bunch of kids for a game. As my girls get older though, I think the idea for a craft is a great idea.

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