10 cheap birthday party ideas

We have a friend who was all set to hire a gourmet food truck to cater her child’s birthday party when she happened to stumble upon my cheaper third birthday post. Stacey said that I totally de-stressed the birthday party situation for her.

“I was about to place a $350+ order with a local taqueria when I read Heather’s post, and had an a-ha moment. I went to Safeway and ended up spending $25 on sandwiches instead.”

If that’s true, then I win at this blogging thing.

I want to help you save money by learning from my mistakes (and successes). Focus on what your child really wants on her special day to be creative where it counts.

Cheaper birthday party ideas

Done wrong, birthday parties are exhausting, expensive and stressful for the parents behind them. Been there, done that. Here is an excerpt from my ten tips to keep you from feeling broke and burned-out after the next kidlet turns a digit older:

1. Skip the party outright. Would your child be happier to celebrate with a special movie, pinball, or mini golf outing with one or two friends? If so, there’s no need to throw a party too. Stick a candle in an ice cream cone and let him make a wish afterward. For my oldest son’s 8th birthday, we brought his two best buds to a pinball arcade and then out for ice cream sundaes. Done and done.

4. Choose a free venue. Some super fun parties can be held in a backyard or public park. Over the years, I have learned that it stresses me out more to have a bunch of people at my house than to lug a few supplies to the park and squat for a table. Decide if you prefer the convenience of one over the other.

6. Schedule the party between meals. Even better than a low-key meal is a party held when no food is expected. 2pm to 4pm is perfect timing to serve healthy snacks before a birthday dessert.Colourful Baloons

9. Replace the birthday cake. What about a tower of donuts or a tray of homemade cupcakes instead of a big cake? Decorating cupcakes can also double as an activity!

{Read the whole post Streamline your child’s next birthday party to save money and stress on JeanChatzky.com}

If you believe that saving money at a birthday party can actually be MORE fun for everyone, share your best tips in the comments!