Inexpensive Birthday Party Ideas

frugal birthday party ideas
For many people, certain childhood memories stand out more than others — a family vacation, learning to ride a bike, and especially birthday parties. Birthdays hold a special place in the heart because it is one of the few times during childhood that family and friends get together for the express purpose of celebrating a little one. And most of these occasions are well documented for posterity.

But just because that little one may be a prince or princess in the eyes of the parents doesn’t mean he or she needs a royal birthday party. In fact, the great thing about throwing a fun b-day bash for kids is that their idea of “lavish” is on a decidedly smaller scale than that of many adults.

So with that in mind, here are three fun and festive tips to throw a memorable birthday party for that special little guy or girl without breaking the bank.


Inexpensive Birthday Party Ideas


Trim the guest list

The best way to keep the cost of a birthday bash down is to keep the guest list down as well. Parents may just be surprised at how few invites are required to have a truly fulfilling birthday party. In fact, the general rule of thumb is to allow the child in question to invite one friend for each of his or her years. After all, how many six-year-olds have more than six close friends? Besides, after factoring in all the parents of the invited guests, the bash will prove to be anything but small.

Concentrate on inexpensive foods

This is one of the best, and easiest, ways to save money on a child’s birthday party. For the simple reason that oftentimes children’s favorite foods are also the least expensive. By concentrating on laying out a spread that includes such kid-friendly staples as hot dogs and pizza, parents can save cash. After all, prosciutto-wrapped prawns and white bean tapenade don’t exactly suit the palates of most children.

And what about those who don’t have the cash to order a half-dozen pizzas? No problem; parents can take on the role of cook themselves. Pasta, such as spaghetti, is always a crowd pleaser and it can be had for a steal. Sandwiches are also simple and inexpensive menu solutions. Because while a plate of P B & J may not scream sophistication to adults, the kids will clean their plates.

Opt for minimal decorations

The tendency for most parents designing the look of a child’s birthday is to go big. But while decorations such as huge banners, streamers, bright tablecloths, custom outfits and all manner of other festive accouterments are all well and good, all most kids care about are the balloons. Therefore, parents who cut as much of the design scheme as possible while focusing on a few dozen balloons will have perfectly happy kids at the party.

The above list represents a smattering of budget birthday ideas. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With even more ingenuity parents without a lot of ready cash can come up with a number of other perfect – and cheap – ideas, as long as they err on the side of frugality.


written by: Jennifer Palmer


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

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