If you are a parent with a super tight budget this article is for you. Birthday parties can get rather expensive. With my daughter’s birthday quickly approaching I decided that I would write down seven simple steps to have a BIG, but still have frugal birthday bash!
- Use your home. I spent several years renting out places and that would cost me at least $200 if not more. The last venue I rented out was $400 just for the venue. I don’t know about you but I find that price to be ridiculous. If I had used my own home I could have saved that money and put it elsewhere, such as a 529 plan which in the long run will have a better usage than a party my daughter may not even remember.
- Skip the entertainer. Instead have family members pitch in. For my nephew’s birthday party my husband dressed up as spider man. For my daughter’s birthday my aunt did face painting for each of the kids. This year for my oldest birthday my husband will be the DJ and will entertain the kids with games such as musical chairs. This cut the cost on actually hiring a DJ.
- Buy in bulk. I have two daughters. Both of their favorite colors are pink which happens to go with the theme for almost every party. Last year I bought party gift bag favors and also plates and utensils in bulk. This helped me to save money in the long run. If you have kiddos who do not like the same color you can always buy neutral color plates and utensils. If you go for the color white you will also save money!
- Cook instead of ordering. When you are having a big party it could be tempting to take some things off of your plate. Instead plan ahead and you can begin your cooking in advance so that you are not so overwhelmed the day of. For example I make fruit and veggie trays. Both of these options can be prepped the night before. With cooking you are able to feed more people with less of the cost. Plus it does not hurt to give it a personal touch. In regards to cake you can consider making your own cake. If you are not good with baking consider going to COSTCO. Their sheet cakes or ridiculously cheap, but also very yummy!
- Change the time of the party. This goes with the last strategy. If you have a mid-day party (i.e. 2pm- 4pm) you will not have to purchase as much food. Many people have already eaten lunch by 2pm and most people will not plan to eat dinner until at least 5pm. Therefore during your party you will only need to serve snacks and beverages.
- Make your own invitations. I typically spend at least $50 on personalized invites. While it looks nice most people only keep them for a short while and then they are tossed in the trash. If you spend time making your own invites you can usually do this for a quarter of the cost and it also does not hurt as bad when you think about them being thrown away. Also technology has become my new best friend. I often send out evites, which is an online invitation. This is sent to the persons email directly and is completely FREE. It does not get any better than this.
- Save in advance. I am a big advocate for the envelope system. This is where money is set aside for different expenses. I typically start saving three months in advance for my girls’ birthday parties. My goal is to set aside $50 each check. This helps me not to feel so overwhelmed when the date approaches. My aunt saves $1 a day to prepare for her son’s birthday party. By the time her child’s party comes around she already has $365 to spend. This is a very probable way to get the money you need without breaking the bank.