How to Save On Birthday Parties!

save birthday party

How to Save On Birthday Parties

My oldest just turned 6 years old last week and I still can’t believe that I am getting that old! I mean that she is getting that old. I lucked out and have 2 girls so I have been able to save money on a lot of things by reusing items. Here are some ways that I save on birthday parties.

Reuse Items

I have been able to reuse items since my girls like the same things. I have been able to use some decorations 2-3 times because they like certain themes for long periods of time. I have reused items from friends and have had friends borrow my decorations also.

I have also seen people sell their decorations. This is a good way to save some money and the items are typically only used for one day so should be in new condition.


Think about the location and what that will cost. I have had several parties at my home when they were younger since it was all my friends anyway. Now that they are getting older, I don’t feel like dealing with the stress of cleaning or having strangers in my home. I have now started having their parties at a park. The fee for the park is $25, however the last party was free. They don’t take reservations before April, so I didn’t have to pay the fee. I did risk someone already being there on the day but luckily it worked out.

For older kids, consider going to do activities with a few friends. The cost of the activity is offset by the cost of decorations and cake. It will also save money to go somewhere but not do a birthday package. I have done this with bowling. I was able to find a Groupon for bowling and I brought our own cake. I didn’t have to pay an outrageous fee just because it was a birthday party.

Party Favors

It may be socially unacceptable at this point but I do not do party favors. I have a few little things for the kids to play with at the party but I’m not spending more on favors than the entire rest of the party combined. I don’t know who started this trend but I wish it would end. The toys are cheaply made but expensive, they break or get lost within hours and I end up throwing them all away. Someone please get this to END!

Food & Cake

Another way I have started saving money on birthday parties is changing the time of the party. When my first kid had her first birthday party, I went all out. I had a special ordered professional cake. I had it at dinner time and fed everyone. I quickly learned that it was too stressful to do all that. I didn’t get to enjoy anyone’s company because I was running around cooking and everything else. I now make my own cake or get a cheap one at the grocery story.

I also started having the parties around 2pm. I don’t have to provide lunch or dinner that way. I have still provided snacks on occasion but sometimes I don’t. The party we did last week at the park, I only had cupcakes, juice and water. But you know what, the kids had SO much fun because they were at the park. They ran for over 2 hours. They didn’t care they didn’t get party favors, snacks, or ice cream. They only cared that they got to play and have fun with their friends. Isn’t that what it should all be about anyway?

What are some ways that you save on birthday parties?




33 comments on “How to Save On Birthday Parties!

  1. These tips are very helpful. We’re celebrating my February son’s birthday in the summer when the pool is finished & my daughter’s birthday in July. I’ll make sure to keep these in mind when planning. Thanks!

    xo, Lynn N.
    Pinterest/Twitter: @emmaandrose
    Instagram: @emmaandroseblog

  2. I save by making my kids’ cake or cupcakes and I totally agree with party favors! I do them because everyone else does them (ha!) I’m not going to carry on with that even though the kids enjoy getting a little something at the party. It just gets expensive!

  3. These are great tips! I do reuse some of the decorations – we had our youngest’s first birthday and I found all the first birthday stuff I’d used with his brother and pulled that out again, haha! But will keep the other tips in mind for later in the year when it’s my eldest’s birthday again, especially the timing advice! πŸ™‚

    Hope you have had a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

    Away From The Blue Blog

  4. This is definitely right on time! πŸ™‚ I am currently in the process of planning my son’s first birthday party. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips.

  5. I went all out on both my children’s first birthday parties. You’d think I’d had learned with the first one! They don’t remember any of it. The time to go big is maybe 10 then 16 and then 18! Totally agree with the “favors”…

  6. These are great ideas. I have a 10yo son, and he is bemoaning the no more “whole class” parties that we had for so long. But they cost a fortune – from the venues to the food to the gift bags. And the stress? You have some great ideas!

  7. These are great ideas! We definitely save a lot by getting our cake at the grocery store. Everyone loves Wegmans cakes!

  8. These are all great tips. I totally agree with party favors – I hate them! I’ve made my own (crayons in the shape of fish for an underwater party, etc.) but these days, I just don’t do toys. They get the sweets from the piΓ±ata and that’s it (and they love the piΓ±ata, which we make ourselves, and which fills a good 20 mins as an activity).
    I also agree with between mealtimes, but I did see a mom from our class complain about that practice and call another mom cheap on FB recently! Honestly, everyone should just do what they feel like doing.

  9. I saved on my daughter’s birthday this year in a few ways. For one we did it at my house. Thankfully we have a large back yard and set up a slip n slide that we already had for the kids. I made the cupcakes instead of buying them, and we bought food in advance when it was on sale lol. I

  10. I definitely have my kids parties between lunch and dinner so we don’t need a full meal. If we do have a meal we usually do pasta and give guests the option of sauce or butter and cheese. It keeps it inexpensive but feels like a heartier meal.

  11. I love the idea of a party in the park! All kids love playing in the park and you’re totally right, if they’re running around having fun, they won’t notice if there’s not a load of food on offer. πŸ™‚

  12. These are such great tips! I’m pinning it to remind myself not to go overboard with my own kids as they grow up… my neighbor has a great idea where she lets her kid pick one friend and an activity to go do. They don’t even bother with parties and since they’ve been doing this forever it’s the norm. While I love this idea, I also love a good party so will definitely be keeping your ideas in mind. I agree, party favors should just be done with – if you’re going to a party or shower expecting a gift in return you’re clearly missing the point… just enjoy the reason you’re there to celebrate and spending time with good company! PS – Costco has the most delicious and affordable cakes! πŸ™‚

  13. I’ve done my daughter’s birthdays at the park (no fee, but like you said there was a a chance that someone would be there but people seemed to be really cool about it), which helped save me money, and a grocery store cake is totally the way to go! The couple that we’ve gotten have been delicious, so I have no problem going and getting those. I also make sure to check all the markdown racks throughout the year in party supplies, and when something that I know she’ll want is on it, I grab it then.

  14. I couldn’t agree more with you on party favors! Glad I’m not alone. Just attending the party is good enough for me.

    Again, this is awesome! xoxo

  15. This is great! I’m big on reusing, especially things like banners and decor. They’re only used for a little bit, why not use them again, especially if they’re neutral and you can build a theme around them.

  16. My oldest is 3, so we haven’t done any big parties yet, but I love the idea of timing the party around 2 so you don’t have to provide a meal. Genius!

  17. Awesome post. These are useful tips. Its been years since I had birthday parties for my kids. I usually take them out to do things they like instead. If I did start doing parties again, I’ll certainly use your tips.

  18. Raiding the cupboards for random food before buying any is a good tip. I threw a Halloween party and the food was stuff we already had jazzed up – I only spent Β£1 on a Pumpkin

  19. These are great tips. I have two girls who are pretty close in age, and EVERYONE in my family except one daughter all have birthdays around the same time, including me. So this is suuuper helpful, thank you

  20. I so agree about the party favor. It was a headache for us organised birthday party for my gal last month. And I really wish I don’t have to spend tons of money for the kids to have fun.

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