Cheap Birthday Party Ideas – A Whole Bunch of Affordable Fun!

here’s nothing more fun than planning and throwing a kid’s birthday party. Who says you have to take out a loan just to celebrate that special day. There are lots of  cheap birthday party ideas for kids and lots of ways to throw an enjoyable birthday party without breaking the bank.

Is it just me or does it seem birthday parties are getting more costly, more excessive and way more wasteful as each year passes and each party is planned. As parents, we all want to throw exactly the “happening” party our kids are wanting and wishing for. Lots of us have thrown those giant parties filled with all the birthday party bells and whistles, big ticket entertainers, pricy decorations, expensive food and other costly fun. But the sky is not the limit and the sooner we (and our kids) come to grips with that, the better. In my house, gone are the days when a great birthday party equals spending a fortune.

Cheap Birthday Party Ideas – The Dollar and Sense of It All!

There are lots of ways to organize and host a fun and entertaining birthday party without having to spend buckets of money.

Budget – The first step is to figure how much you can spend on the party. Once you nail down the figure, stick to it. A great tip is to look at and set the budget in advance. Once you have pinpointed the budget start the planning and buying process right away. By doing this, by the time the actual party arrives you will have already have done the bulk of the work and paid for the majority of it. Really there are tons of cheap kids birthday party ideas that will help plan a great party.

Guest List – The most important fact to remember when compiling the guest list is the birthday party is for your child, so the invited guests should be the kids. Plus, there should be a cap on the number of kids invited. It is not necessary to invite the entire neighborhood, class, family or the parents work friends. Find the right number for you (and your budget) and stick to it.

Invitations – Remember the day when you’d just go and buy invitations, fill them out, send them off and you’d be done. Of course you can still go that route or any economical route that works for you. Including making calls to as well as emailing the information to the parents. When looking to stay on budget, your guest list will command the size of your party. Talk with the birthday kid, get their input and get them involved. And then be creative cutting, drawing, pasting or downloading invitations, using pictures, card stock, construction paper or various crafts. This is the perfect opportunity to let the birthday kid’s uniqueness shine. One of the best ways I know to send out cheap birthday party invitations is by using Not only is one of the most inexpensive ways to invite guests, your guests can RSVP online. And it’s all free.

Location – It really makes no difference where the party is held, the kids will have fun wherever the location is. Of course, the cheapest place to hold a birthday party is to host the celebration right at home. By hosting the party at home, you eliminate all those additional costs that come up when renting a venue. By hosting the party at home you can literally save hundreds of dollars! However, there are lots of reasons why you may not be able to have the party at home. And in those cases, there are a lot of free or less expensive locations that will fit into your birthday party budget. Depending on the time of year, there are some great venues you can book for a nominal fee. What about holding it at a community play and picnic area, fast food area, movie theater, playground, rec center or gym, a friend’s backyard, church hall, daycare center, fire department private room or park playground? Many of these options are free or only charge a minor refundable deposit, so they will fit perfectly into your budget.

Years ago, when planning my eleven year old nephew’s birthday party, we asked him where he wanted to have it and his first and only choice was to have it at a local park. We decorated, had barbeque, played baseball and everybody there, kids and adults alike, had a blast. And this could easily have been called a cheap birthday party.

Cheap Birthday Party Ideas – You’ve Got Them There…Now What!?

Decorations – When trying to save money on a kid’s birthday party a great place to save money is the decorations. This is an area where you definitely don’t have to go overboard. You’ll want the decorations to be connected with the location and theme (if you have one). If you are going with a theme you can easily purchase a few crucial items and match those items by color coordinating additional cheap birthday party decorations and tableware that you can simply reuse at other celebrations. If you buy a new set of decorations for every party you host you will quickly break the budget each and every time. Why not buy a bright tablecloth and then just use regular paper plates and cups? Hit the dollar store to find birthday banners and signs, streamers, balloons, ribbons and probably every other party decoration you will need. Remember, saving money is the name of this game.

Food – Keep in mind in this blog we are talking about saving money, not time and energy. And the location, age range and time of year will always dictate the type of birthday party food you have on hand. So with that in mind, you’ll want to purchase and prepare the food yourself. Look for birthday party food that kids will love and that will be quick, easy and cheap. Go for quality but economical items and buy in bulk and on sale items along with some appropriate pre-made dishes. And why not make some of the food prep part of the party? What kid doesn’t like to make their own food, decorate their own pizza, cookies, ice cream sundae or even sandwiches.

When it comes to birthday cake and saving money, no store or bakery buying here, it’s all about making the cake yourself. I promise you the kids will not know (or care) whether the cake was homemade or bakery bought. Really, it’s cake and the kids will love it either way. Or what about preparing some birthday cupcakes so each kid gets their own along with the fixings. Make the cupcakes part of the party activities and have the guests decorate them after lunch. In a word…delicious!

Games/Activities – All you need is a bit of imagination and a conversation. Speak with the birthday boy/girl and find out the kind of games and activities they want as part of their party. There are so many inexpensive (as well as free) ideas out there that you won’t even have to break the budget. Don’t forget about those unforgettable favorites; musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, red light-green light and a scavenger hunt. And what about baseball, flag football or a  water balloon fight? Why not set up an arts and crafts table or the wrap the mummy game. All you need are some eager kids and a whole bunch of toilet paper. And my absolute (absolute!) favorite, the pinata game. Buy cheap birthday party supplies in bulk and let the kids go, it is a great way to use up some of that extra kid energy.

Goody Bags – This is where your creatively, open mindedness and resourcefulness will come in handy. Again when looking for candy, toys and prizes look for sales and buy cheap birthday party favors in bulk. Keep in mind there is a difference big difference between inferior and inexpensive. So be sure to look for items that are rich in quality but low in price or on sale. When looking for easy on the purse items, don’t forget about the Dollar Store, they have a surprising amount of great and budget conscious goodies. One mother had a terrific idea, she took a picture of each kid at the party and then presented the picture to the kid in their goodie bag. A great and cheap birthday party favor as well as a cool memory of the celebration.

While there are a lot of expensive party ideas available, there is an equal amount of cheap birthday party ideas too. Take some time to do a bit of research and you will be pleasantly surprised by what you will find and where you can save money; while at the same time throw a great celebration. Remember, birthday parties are not all about the spending, they are all about the fun and joy.

Recent Posts