Birthday parties are not just about the kids anymore. They have evolved into a kind of unspoken competition between parents where each one is bent upon out-performing the other. It is natural for a parent to make their child’s birthday as memorable as possible. So, if you want to throw a big bash, then you are not an exception. The good news is that you can easily achieve this feat while remaining within your budget. With efficient party planning and clever cost-cutting techniques, you can make sure that your birthday party costs don’t come as a shock to you. Here is how you can plan a perfect birthday party on a budget while maximizing the fun.


  • Timing

Yes, there is no specific time to have fun. However, timing plays an important role in a birthday party. For instance, planning a birthday party during lunch or dinner time can substantially increase your expenditure on food and beverages as you are catering for meals. It will seem rude if you wrap up a lunch or dinner birthday party with just snacks. Therefore, etiquette requires you to serve the meal associated with the respective time. In order to cut down on your catering expenditure, it is best to host a mid-morning birthday party. With simple food and light snacks, this works like a charm for guests and hosts alike. Whether you decide on a mid-morning or a mid-afternoon party, make sure that your invitation clearly states the duration of your event. This is essential so that you don’t end up feeding guests all day long.


  • Location

Location, location, location. The 2nd rule of throwing a birthday party on a budget is to look for free or inexpensive location. Partying at home is one of the most popular options. Of course, the weather needs to be in your favor. Home parties are safe and fun if you have enough indoor and outdoor space to accommodate everyone. However, if you have an elaborate guest list, then managing at home can become a challenge, not to mention the potential damage to your furniture and floor.

If partying at home is not a viable option for you, then consider taking the party to the park. Parks are excellent locations to have a birthday party on a budget. If you have the fun things needed for a party, then who wouldn’t love a park.

  • Go Digital

Shop online for everything. You are likely to get more discounts, and you will save up on all those tedious trips to the party store. Plus, it is easier to hunt for bargains online. You can set alerts and gather stuff months in advance. These can include decorations, party favors, costumes, etc.

Online invitations are another way to go digital. With free online design websites like Canva, you can design the perfect party invite, absolutely free. Skip the fancy paper invitations altogether. They are not only expensive, but you also run the risk of misplacing them. 

  • Baking and Saving

Cakes, cupcakes, jellies, muffins, the list is endless. Get your mixing bowls out and start baking. We all have that one friend who is a skilled baker. It is time to ask her for help or call in a favor.

Once you have weighed the pros and cons of home baking vs. store-bought cake, you will begin to see the benefits. You can save a tremendous amount of money with cake and treats baked at home. It is not rocket science. Even without any help, you can buy a reliable cake mix and give it a go. You can use pre-mixed icing and decorate it at a fraction of the price of the original. Hunt online for inspiration. 

  • Reuse and Recycle

Whether you are throwing a party at home or opting for an indoor/outdoor venue, decorations are a must. The best way to keep the budget under control is by designing a theme around things that you already have. For example, if you are thinking of a blue and white winter wonderland theme, then you can reuse some of your Christmas decorations. Likewise, decorations from a rainbow theme can be used in a carnival theme. It is time to wear your creativity hat and get cracking with DIY projects. Think about upscaling the basic decorative items, and you will be surprised by the results. For example, you can reuse all the birthday candy that your kids have collected from other birthday parties to fill the piñata. 

  • Crafts

Crafts are useful to keep children engaged and under control for at least some duration of the party. Crafts can also double as party favors. Include a treasure hunt in your party planning stage and hide stuff matching your theme in the garden or around the house. Leave enough clues to keep the children engaged and make sure that everyone finds something that they can take home. For indoor fun, have children create a birthday theme-related figure from playdoh that they can take back home.

  • Entertainment

Don’t spend money on hiring entertainment. Instead, tap your network for entertainment. For instance, I once attended a 5-year-old boy’s birthday party where the parents had requested a fireman friend to come dressed in his uniform. You can also eliminate the expenditure on entertainment by incorporating fun activities that don’t cost anything. For example, musical chairs, freeze dance, keep the balloon, Simon says, etc. Dress-up story time at a preschooler’s birthday party can also keep the kids mesmerized for a while. 

  • Co-partying

Sharing a party is also an excellent idea to cut costs without reducing the fun. If your child’s birthday coincides or comes close to your friend’s kid, then a dual party is an excellent option. You can decide on a combined guest list and split the costs on the venue and other things needed for the party. The only thing separate should be the cake which you can bake and decorate at home. Sharing a party with a friend is ideal if the kids are young, and you have a common set to invite. Along with a reduction in cost, it also reduces your workload in half.

  • Skip It

Does your child really need a big bash birthday party? No doubt that birthdays are special occasions, but do you require a large scale over-the-top event every year? Instead, use alternate years to spend the day with family or plan to take your annual family holiday around the time of your child’s birthday. Combining 2 occasions can only make the day more memorable.

Final Thoughts!

Your child’s birthday party need not burn a deep hole in your pocket. You can throw a memorable birthday bash and remain within budget with the simple cost-saving ideas mentioned above!