How to Save Money on Your Child’s Birthday Party

children celebrate at a birthday party by eating birthday cake

A child's birthday party can get expensive, especially if your kid wants to invite all their classmates or neighborhood friends. You want your child to have the party of their dreams, but you need to stay within a budget. With a little planning and creativity, you can do both. Here are some tips on how to save money on your child’s birthday party.

Invitations

Those cute little cards with your child's favorite cartoon character or sport on them can be very expensive. These invitations come in packs of eight, so if you're inviting a large number of children, you're going to shell out a lot of money before anyone even shows up for the party.

Consider designing and printing your invitations. If you're a creative person and now a little about computer programs, you can whip up an adorable invitation on your laptop. You can print these invitations in color and on cardstock paper for less than a pack of invitations.

You can also send out your invitation as an email. You can ask your child's teacher to forward the invitation to the class email list. Creating your invitations can save you a lot of money, and your child will love their special, one-of-a-kind invitation.

Activities

One of the easiest ways to save money on your child’s birthday party is to be creative with the activities. From bouncy houses to magic acts, birthday parties have become elaborate and expensive. You can throw a retro birthday party to avoid some of the more costly activities. Instead of a bouncy house, hold your child's birthday party at a local party with playground equipment.

You can bring a pinata for the kids to break open for candy. You can probably find a pinata in the shape of your child's favorite cartoon character. Pin the tail on the donkey (dinosaur, unicorn, or mermaid) is another fun game for kids. From relay races to a scavenger hunt, there are many activities that kids will love, and your budget will appreciate it.

Food

Feeding a roomful of kids can become very expensive, depending on the menu. On the plus side, they aren't looking for steaks and five-star cuisine. If you're having a party at your home or local park, consider having a picnic with burgers and hot dogs.

You can bring chips, baked beans, and coleslaws to serve with the main dish, and fill up a cooler with drinks. A cookout provides your guests with a choice of main dishes, and kids love burgers and hotdogs.

If your child has their heart set on a pizza party, call a couple of pizza places to see if they can give you a deal on a large number of pies. You might be able to save money by having someone pick up the pizzas during the party instead of asking for delivery.

Cake

Ordering a cake from a local grocery store or big box store can put a dent in your budget. When your child wants certain characters from the movies or television on the cake, it'll cost even more. If you enjoy baking, one of the best ways to save money on your child’s birthday party is to make the cake at home.

Several baking channels and experts offer online video tutorials on how to decorate a cake like a professional. After you decide to make the cake yourself, you can look around the toy section of your local store. You might find mini figurines of your kid's favorite characters to place on the cake. The cake will probably taste better than a store-bought, mass-produced cake.

You can have the best of both worlds — your child's birthday party and stay within your budget. With a little work and planning, it is super easy to save money on your child’s birthday party without sacrificing fun.