One of the things I’m known for is my love of parties. I especially love to plan and throw birthday parties. But, between food, games, activities, crafts, decorations, invitations and favors, it can get expensive in a hurry. So, today I am sharing with you 7 of my favorite ways to save money on a child's birthday party.
1. Start Early and Have a Plan– I have found it so helpful to have a basic birthday plan 3-9 months in advance. Before you think I’m crazy, I’m just talking about considering (with your child if they are old enough) if they will have a big friend party or just Grandma and Grandpa over for dinner. If there is going to be a party, start thinking of themes based on your child’s interests. (Don’t forget to make yourself a note on your calendar or in your phone so that you will remember what was decided.)
2. Shop for Deals – One of the reasons to start early is that you can save big when you know what you are looking for. If you know that your child wants a piñata, you can buy candy on clearance after Halloween. If you know your child wants to go to a trampoline warehouse, you can find some great deals on Groupon to buy now and save for later. Don’t forget the dollar store and clearance areas have some great party goods and favors. I have found some super cheap party favors on clearance in the dollar area at Target and Michaels making them between .25-.50 cents each.
3. Use Pinterest – Pinterest and parties were to made to go together. I like to start a new board for each upcoming party and pin ideas that I see around the internet. It’s like a list that I can’t lose! Pinterest can save you money too. Pinterest is a great place to search for free printable invitations and decorations. ***Be sure to follow Coupons4Utah on Pinterest. We pin lots of fun party ideas!
4. Get Creative – If you own a glue gun and a cupcake pan then you can save a lot of money by getting crafty and making your own decorations, food, games and favors. Creativity also includes thinking outside the box. Instead of hiring a professional clown, rent a clown costume and pay a neighborhood teen $20 to be the entertainment. Be creative by combining costs. Have the kids make a craft as part of the party activities that can double as a take home favor. Another creative way to reduce costs is to invite one or two besties instead of 20 kids.
5. Use Things You Already Own – I love shopping my own stuff to see what I can find to use at our birthday parties. I often use things like white serving dishes, Mason jars and picture frames to decorate with. Some of the weirder things I have used include a picture of the Eiffel tower from my daughter’s bedroom for a Parisian Picnic theme, old CD’s and Records for a Rock and Roll theme and Dr. Seuss books for a Seuss themed 1st birthday party.
6. Budget For Birthday Fun – After realizing how much I was spending on birthdays for my family of 7 each year, I realized it was a large enough chunk that I needed to actually make it part of my budget. I now have as one of my automatic monthly transfers, a transfer that goes to a savings I’ve labeled “Birthday Savings”. This is especially useful if you have several birthdays within a short time or a large family.
I think even if you have a smaller family, it’s a great idea to budget and save a small amount for birthdays, all year long. Knowing I have a certain amount to spend also helps me to make sure I don’t “go overboard”.
7. Simplify – I feel like since the invention of social media, throwing big, elaborate parties has become more common. To some Mom’s, Birthday parties have become a competition to see who can throw the better party for their child. Don’t be afraid to simplify and go back to basics (think balloons, streamers and pin the tail on the donkey). It’s not a competition, it’s about creating some fun memories for and with your child. They will not remember if you spent $50 or $250 but they will remember that they felt special.