How to throw a kids’ birthday party without spending a fortune
Children’s birthday parties often require a good deal of planning. Some parents get carried away and can spend thousands of dollars on their son or daughter’s party. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re scaling back budgets for everyday expenses, it makes sense to also save money on frivolous purchases, including those associated with birthday parties. But such scaling back doesn’t have to equal a bad party. Here are some tips for having a birthday party that’s both a hit and a bargain.
- Pare down the guest list. More guests means more money spent on just about everything, from party favors to food and beverages. To cut costs, make it a family-only party or just one for the kids.
- Make your own invitations. Store-bought invitations can cost $5 for a package of 8. Instead of spending a fortune on the invitations, get creative and print some from your computer or hand-craft invitations that fit the party’s theme. Homemade invitations will be less expensive and guests may appreciate your creativity.
- Host the party at home. There’s no more affordable venue than your own home. While you will have to do the set-up and clean-up yourself, you won’t have to pay for a venue or the staff involved to handle the party. Backyard parties are the easiest because the mess stays outdoors. Even if you have a winter birthday, it can still be held outdoors. Make it a winter wonderland theme but be sure to ask guests to dress accordingly.
- Keep the menu simple. Kids won’t be expecting gourmet fare. Chicken nuggets, pizza, crackers and cheese, and similar items are kid favorites. Provide a combination of healthy snacks, such as sliced fruit and vegetables, as well as standard party snacks like chips and pretzels. None of these items are expensive and all can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.
- Create your own entertainment. You don’t have to hire a clown or rent circus animals to have a good time. Kids may be just as happy with free play time, a favorite video and an arts-and-crafts table.
- Don’t overdo the details. A few colorful streamers and balloons and favors you purchased at a 99 cents store can be adequate. Or bake cupcakes and have kids take them home.
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