5 Ways to Plan a Child's Party on a Budget

Posted: 03/27/13 3:00 PM (Modified: 03/27/13 3:00 PM)

Does your child have a birthday coming up? Don’t worry, planning a child’s birthday party does not have to break the bank. In fact, I’ve got a few tips to help you out and some of our readers have sent in their tips too!

1. Frugal Invites: Send out invitations through Evite.com. Evite.com offers free online invitations that are cute and easy to create. You can also create simple invitations directly from your computer. Pick up fancy paper from stores such as Hobby Lobby when it is on sale then create an easy invitation at home on your own computer.

2. Pick your theme: Children are very theme orientated, so try to choose a theme that allows for the most creativity. For example, if you are throwing a summer birthday party, try an ice cream party! Set up homemade ice cream makers and allow the children to make their own ice cream and create root beer floats. Provide outdoor games and even water activities for the kids. If you know your child will be requesting a specific theme, seek out clearance deals after Christmas or other holidays and stock up on favors and supplies during those times.

And, you can print FREE birthday printables from PBS to help your theme stay budget friendly.

3. Location: Summer parties are easy to throw at splash pads, neighborhood pools, parks, etc. For a winter party, turn your house into a fun zone. Pitch tents in your living room for boys; turn a bedroom into a dressing room for little girls. The trick is to use the space you have available to its best ability. A church fellowship hall can make for a great frugal location too.

4. Food: Be sure to plan your party at snack time, not dinnertime. Stick to the basics: drinks, ice cream, cake or cupcakes. Plan your party during a time when people would not expect to be eating lunch or dinner.Providing a full meal for 30 adults and their kids will break the bank quickly.

5. Decorations: Balloons are cheap and easy decorations that can fill a room quickly. One of the best investments we made was to purchase a bubble machine. Not only can we use it at birthday parties but also for cookouts, weddings, etc. Bubbles are very inexpensive and they bring excitement to every adult and child. Table decorations can be simple flowers from your garden, candy decorations or even using the goody bags to decorate the tables then letting the children grab one when the party is over.

Once you’ve got the structure of the party down, it’s easy to throw in activities and goodies to make it all go smooth. It cost me $34 to rent some space at our neighborhood pool, I made all the cupcakes and provided a bowl full of pool activities (I bought them at the Dollar Tree). My son loved his party and I loved the price!

Here are a few great tips from our readers:

Jamie on Facebook said this, “make homemade playdough as a party gift for all the kids who come. I love this idea and plan on making playdough from ingredients we all usually have in our kitchen and handing them to my sons friends at his bday party.” (Get the Homemade Playdough Recipe)

Princess Brandi O mentioned planning the party around clearance items. She found a ton of clearance items at Homeland which made for a perfect football party.

Celeste on Facebook suggested having a scavenger hunt especially for a teen birthday party.

What are your favorite tips for a frugal party?

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