Note: This post was written in 2012 by the previous owner of this blog.
It seems that nowadays, it is the norm to have a theme, matching plates/cups/napkins, hire entertainment, mail invitations, invest in goodie bags, and hold it at a commercial venue. Planning a birthday party is almost as stressful and expensive as planning for a wedding. Okay, maybe not as expensive, but you get my point.
So I wanted to offer some practical tips to help save some money for those who may not be able to afford big extravagant kids birthday parties.
Stop caring what other people think
I could care less what other people think, but my wife and I invest in these parties mainly because we can afford it. I know that many families feel the pressure to have extravagant parties because their neighbors just threw a similar party for their child, but your child will not care. If they do care, then they’ve already developed a “keep up with the Jones” mentality that will ruin them financially as adults.
Remember your childhood
How many of you had themed parties growing up? I know I didn’t, but I was happy none-the-less. What matters most and what makes children feel special is knowing that they are surrounded by people they know and love, and presents, yes, lots of presents.
Ditch the invitations
Did you know that those fancy invitations you mail out are for you, not for the child? Yes, that’s just you trying to show off. In today’s world, send a text or a Facebook invitation. If you must (because some people insist on receiving an invitation on paper by the mail) then use Shutterfly or TinyPrints, you can usually find 35% off coupons at RetailMeNot so it won’t break the bank.
Who doesn’t like pizza
Pizza and soda can go a long way in terms of cost and happiness. Order up a few pies and you’re good. You can get them for only $6 each at Little Caesars. Then head over the Sams Club or Walmart and get the 2 liter bottles of soda and some foam/plastic cups. Forget about the more expensive catered options and go with what is tried and true: delicious pizza.
Don’t invite the world
I know, the more people you invite the more presents you receive. But then again, the more people you invite then the bigger the venue has to be and the more food you’ll have to serve. Think about it, is it really necessary to invite the entire 1st grade?
Forget the commercial venue
Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars to rent a fancy banquet, consider having your party at the park. Most parks I’ve heard of don’t charge a fee, you just have to reserve your spot a few weeks (or months) in advance.
You don’t have to take the fun out of the birthday party to save money. With these money-saving tips and with careful planning well you will realize that less can really be more and your child’s birthday party will be successful and affordable.
How much do you typically spend on your kid’s birthday parties?