5 Ways to Save Money on Birthday Parties for Your Kids!
I have to confess: I love throwing birthday parties for my kids! I love creating magical days of fun for them and their friends that are easy to pull together–days that don't cost a lot of money, yet create special memories for them. And with six kids, I would say that I now consider myself a bit of an expert on how to throw a super fun birthday party at home. And one of the great things about throwing a birthday party at home is that you are free to invite more kids because you aren't shelling out $25 per guest. So it's easy to include all of the girls in the class vs. having to narrow it down to just six girls and risk someone feeling left out.
An at-home birthday party does not need to be a Pinterest-worthy affair! It really should just be about celebrating your child's special day in a way that is meaningful and fun for them. And it certainly shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.
Here are 5 ways to save money on birthday parties for your kids!
I'll be the first to admit that it is easy, and certainly takes a load off of your mind, to call the local gymnastics center, trampoline place, or pizza place and just book your party there, especially if they offer a party package where food, cake, and entertainment are all included! But if you want to save some money (and if you want your party to be unique and not like every other party you've been to at the gymnastics/trampoline/pizza place), then consider throwing your party at home or at a local park.
Some of my kids have winter birthdays, so we just push back the living room furniture or clear out a section of the basement to make room for our party games. Food and cake can be eaten at the dining room table or even on the floor, picnic style. And if you are fortunate enough to have a warm-weather birthday, the backyard or a local park gives you even more room to spread out and have fun!
Before shelling out $150 or more to hire someone to entertain the kids, give some thought as to what you can do first. My husband and I have each taken turns teaching origami and giving drawing lessons to party guests (after first teaching ourselves on YouTube!). We've also been the “head baker” for a cupcake party, taught card games or magic tricks, and have even been game show hosts a few times for our family's favorite “Minute to Win It” parties!
Think about it. You are just leading a group of 7-, 8-, and 9-year olds through a birthday party activity. You don't need to be a certified instructor; you just need a game plan!
Another way to save money is to create and print your own invitations and thank-you cards. Personally, I prefer to send out the invites via email, as it saves on stamps, and it allows the recipient to easily respond by just replying to your email. But I also like to have a nice printable copy of the invite as well. That way, I can print it out and display it on our kitchen bulletin board so the birthday boy (or girl) can look forward to their special day each time they see it! You can use my Momof6 tutorial on how to create birthday party invitations easily using the free photo editing site PicMonkey, or you can use a site such as Smilebox that allows you to select from sample templates, making the process easy-peasy.
When it comes to thank-you notes, I like to create printed versions where the birthday child can just fill in the blanks. I love that it teaches them the (often-forgotten) art of how to write a proper thank-you note, and I know that it delights family members to see how much their gift was appreciated.
I love to have the guests work on a craft as one of the party activities; we've decoupaged picture frames, made bracelets, baked cookies, decorated cupcakes, assembled Lego holiday ornaments, heck, we've even decorated kids' bikes! And if you've come up with a really great craft activity for the kids, the item that they create can and should definitely be the party favor that the kids take home. They will be proud that they made it themselves, and it will be something that the kids will actually want to save.
And when your child comes home with something cool like this from a party, isn't it a million times better than a bag full of cheap plastic toys that break right away and end up in the garbage?
One of the traditions at my house is that I always bake the birthday cake for the kids. And while sometimes their requests have been a little over the top (and I'll admit that I have spent way too much time on them in the past!), a simple sheet cake made from a store-bought mix, decorated in your son or daughter's favorite colors, and adorned with plastic figures that fit the theme is perfect! And baking my own saves me at least $40 for each party!
For lunch, instead of ordering a stack of pizzas to feed the guests, cook a few boxes of pasta right before the party. Then right before it's time to eat, simply run hot water over the pasta and then serve at a “pasta bar” where kids can add their own toppings such as butter, sauce, meatballs, etc. This is waaaayyyy cheaper than pizza and a lot of fun for the guests, too!
What is your best tip of saving money on kids birthday parties?Read More