Many parents tend to go overboard when planning parties for their kids, but there are great ways to have a memorable party that does not include spending too much money. Often it’s the parents who are perhaps trying to make a great impression to other parents, but in reality the kids will have a great time at any party so long as the usual suspects of party food and friends are there. Oh, and of course the presents! Below are some great tips and examples for budget-friendly kids party planning.
When planning any party, it is essential to set a budget and stick to it. While you may need a little wiggle room for unexpected costs, it is vital to stick to your guns and stay within your budget. The main point of the party is to have fun and celebrate, and no one is going to notice if you opted for plain coloured napkins instead of ones with a saying on them, they will wipe their hands with them either way so why not save some money and stick within your budget. Of course it’s always nice to buy whatever you want to and be extravagant, but if your bank balance won’t allow this then you are going to have to stick to what you can afford. Your kids will have a great time regardless of the colours of napkins and such things.
Keep invitations inexpensive and straightforward. We live in a digital world so why not save yourself some time and money and send digital invitations. By sending digital invitations, you can save on the purchase of the invitations and the postage and will most likely get a quicker response via email or text, so you know how many will be attending. If you want to forgo the digital and have more personalised invitations make them yourself and hand them out instead of mailing them. When it comes to invitations, you can be creative and still keep the cost to a minimum. There are numerous templates online ready for you to fill in and be able to print your own invites instead of paying high prices for a professional to create them for you.
Are you throwing a birthday party and your child shares the birthday with someone else? Then double up! You can keep costs low by planning parties with others who share the same birthday or for an event that coincides with someone else’s. By doubling up, you can make sure you keep the party costs down, and two imaginations are better than one so you may end up with a better party in the end. You’ll get to split costs and won’t have to do all the hard work yourself.
Photo by Adi Goldstein
Make your own cake
Don't fall into the store bought cake trap. You can make your own cake or cakes at home for much cheaper, and everyone loves them just the same. With boxed mixes and frosting with readymade cake decorations you are sure to create a stunning cake that will make everyone happy and for a fraction of the cost. In fact, you can make two types of cake to make sure that everyone has something they like and still have less cost than with a store made cake. If you really can’t make a cake then an alternative idea is to buy a plain sponge and simply decorate yourself. That’s still a much cheaper idea than buying a readymade party cake – they’re sometimes a tenth of the price, or less!
Often at kids parties we make way too much food. We worry we don’t have enough, but there’s always a huge pile of excess at the end. Kids have small tummies and with the excitement of the party they don’t always eat as much as normal as they’re too excited to play. To save making way too much food and wasting money by having excess, instead make a lunch box for each child. That way you know exactly how much each child has and how much food you need to buy. One sandwich each, one yoghurt, one piece or fruit or box of raisins, one pudding and a drink each. Easy! That was there should be nothing wasted and anything that isn’t eaten can be taken home in their lunch box. It’s possible to buy cheap flat packed cardboard lunchboxes for parties online or to buy striped candy style bags that be used as a lunch bag for each child.
A great way to minimize your expenses is to shop online. Going to party stores can be overwhelming, and you may end up walking out buying more than you wanted to. Shopping online ensures that you can find the lowest cost for the items you wish to purchase and you may find that there is a greater selection of items to choose from. There are many great online party stores you can choose from, and they offer great prices and low shipping costs that are sure to fit any budget.
Below are two examples of themed birthday parties that are budget-friendly:
Photo by Mariana Yarritu
What little girl doesn't want to be a princess? Throwing a princess themed party does not mean having to spend a lot of money. You can find many items you need online for a relatively low cost. From table clothes to party favours you are sure to find everything you need. If you can’t afford printed party ware then plain pink works great for a princess theme and sprinkle glitter over a pink table cloth. A plain sponge cake can be decorated with pink icing, ‘Princess’ and the name of your child, then a plastic silver tiara which the birthday girl can keep afterwards. Send out pink invites saying to come as your favourite princess.
Boys of all ages love building and creating a construction themed party can be simple and budget friendly. From plates and napkins to bubbles and decorations you are sure to find everything you need to make your party a success, whether you choose for printed items or not. If you need to opt for plain items then choose yellow! Yellow plates, napkins and balloons to really give the party a JCB digger feel! Make sure there’s lots of LEGO and construction toys left out to play with and ask everyone to come dressed as a builder – white t-shirts, jeans and a yellow plastic dress-up hard hat will do.
No matter what type of party you are throwing, there are ways to keep your costs low. It is essential to set a budget and stick with it. Being creative is more important than how much money you spend. From making your own invitations and cake to searching online for the best prices, it only takes a little time and creativity to throw a great kids party on even the smallest of budgets.