Planning a kid’s birthday party can be hard work and a lot of stress, both mentally and financially. That being said, the ultimate birthday party doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg!

Check out these 20 tips & tricks to save you money and a headache when planning the big day!

Party at Home

You don’t need to go to the hottest birthday party venue in town to have a great time, kids will love a fun day of play at home or in the backyard!

This is also a great way to truly customize your kid’s party to your heart’s content.

20 Tips & Tricks to Throwing the Best Kid’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Choose Your Theme Wisely

A great way to save money on a theme is picking one your kid already loves!

For instance, if your kid adores all things Star Wars, we’ll go ahead and assume they already have quite a few Star Wars related toys and accessories. Utilize these when decorating to save money and throw a party you know your kid will love!

Utilize Imagination

More money doesn’t mean more fun for kids! One of the most magical things about being a kid is having a vivid imagination and being able to entertain themselves for hours just playing and pretending.

Utilize this imagination at your kids party! Activities like treasure hunts and games of “cops and robbers” can keep kids entertained all day.

Team Up

Does your child have a friend who has a similar birthday? Doing a joint birthday bash with a friend will cut your costs in half and be just as fun for the kids.

If this is an option for you, consider a small get-together for your child’s actual birthday, and a joint-celebration with another child to save money and double the fun!

Plan Early

Nothing breaks your budget like last-minute costs that cost you an arm and a leg when you could have gotten it in advance for cheaper.

Make sure to plan your party as early as possible to not only save money, but a headache too!

Do Free Activities

There’s lots of free games and activities you can take advantage of that kids will love!

Classic games like musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, Simon says, three legged races, charades and more have been party staples for decades for good reason. These activities are a blast for kids and won’t cost you a dime!

20 Tips & Tricks to Throwing the Best Kid’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Bake Your Own Cake

Birthday cakes can be expensive! Even if you’re not a champion baker, you can save money by building your own cake from home.

Cake mix is cheap and comes with directions to make the perfect cake for your child. Not only will it be less expensive than the bakery, but it will add a great personal touch to your child’s birthday celebration.

Digital Invitations

No need for snail mail invitations in this day and age!

Save money, time and go green by sending digital invitations. Not only are digital invitations easier to send, but they can also be much more customizable and save you a TON of time!

Goodie Bags in Bulk

If you decide to go the goodie bag route, make sure to buy the toys and trinkets in bulk to save cash!

When filling up the bags, find items you can buy in bulk like yo-yo’s, coloring books, bouncy balls, etc.

Decorate for Cheap

There’s lots of ways you can decorate for cheap!

If you decide to buy decorations from the party store, make them generic so you can use them over and over again (for instance, “Happy Birthday” vs “Happy 7th Birthday”). You can also get craft and make decorations out of scissors and construction paper!

Shop Year-Round

If you see a great deal on birthday accessories while shopping around, snag them!

It doesn’t matter if your kids birthday is weeks away or many months, scoring good deals year-round will not only save you work and time, but money too!

Communicate With Your Child

If you’re on a tight budget, your child might want to opt to have a small family party instead of a big one.

You can ask your kid if they want more presents and a small party, or to spend their present money on a large party with friends.

Use Your Local Library

Your library has a variety of awesome material you can check out for birthday fun!

You can get a multitude of movies that will entertain the kiddos, and many libraries also rent out board games and other fun activities!

Use Your Connections

Do you have a family member or friend that has a fun career that your kid might be interested in?

For instance, maybe you are friends with a police officer or firefighter who wouldn’t mind stopping by in uniform for a quick visit, or welcoming the kids to tour their facilities.

Use the Dollar Store

When it comes to decorations, goodie bag toys, snacks, plates, and so much more, the dollar store can be a great place to shop!

You can save lots of cash by skipping the big name stores and hitting your local dollar store for the best deals.

Skip the Younger Years

If your child is too young to possibly remember their party, consider doing a small get-together with family and close friends instead.

There’s no need to break the bank on a child’s first or second birthday, save that money for when they’ll really enjoy themselves and remember the fun.

Small Guest List

It can be tempting to invite the entire school to your kids party, but don’t think that it’s always necessary!

Your child will have just as much fun with a small group of close friends than having the biggest party on the block. The less guests you have, the cheaper your party is going to be.

Themed Crafts

A great way to spend time and have fun at a party is a personalized craft time! Have your guests make something fun and unique that they can take home with them afterwards.

You can buy things for kids to customize like blank puzzles, plain white t-shirts, etc. If you take this route, you could also consider forgoing the gift bags as this gives everyone something to leave with.

Plan timing correctly

The best time to plan a birthday party is after lunch and before dinner!

By making your party around the times of 1 PM – 5 PM, guests won’t expect to be fed large meals and would be fine with light snacks instead, saving you a bunch of money and giving the kids more time to play!

Keep It Simple

Last but not least, the simple idea of “keeping it simple” can go miles when planning a kids party. It’s easy to get carried away in wanting the best of the best for our kids, and birthday parties are no exception.

That being said, it won’t take much for kids to have a great birthday. Good friends and fun times are all they need to have a memorable birthday that everyone will love.