Frugal Ways to Cut Costs on Birthday Parties

 Frugal Ways to Cut Costs on Birthday Parties

Your baby is turning another year older. As the Mother (and Party Planner!) you are just drowning in ideas and stressing about how you are going to have a memorable party without draining the bank account. When it comes to the party planning relax and plan a inexpensive birthday party by utilizing these frugal ways to cut costs on birthday parties that we’ve listed below.


Let’s start with the invitations. You have a few options here:

  • Let the birthday child create their own invites. You can scour the internet for free printable birthday party invitations that you can print from your home computer. One great website to take advantage of is
  • Have the birthday child draw or color their own invitations. Then allow the child to hand deliver the invitation to their guests.
  • Save money on postage by utilizing the internet. Create a event on Facebook, make a Birthday Newsletter with or get your party started with creating a online invitation on
  • Have the birthday boy (or girl) create a video on your smart phone and upload to your guests on Social Media websites. One of my children did this for our last birthday party. The guests were alerted that donations were being collected for a local charity and  there was no need for gifts. It truly was a big hit!
  • If mailing a invitation is a must check your local Dollar Tree and Dollar Stores. But, stop there! DO NOT go buying party favors…more on that later.


The decor is one us Mothers tend to get carried away. In order to save money on decorations be ready to get crafty or keep it simple! While we love those attention to details the only people who are going to oooohhh and ahhh over it is you. Here’s a few ways to go the extra mile, without breaking the bank:

  • Create a banner on your computer. Open up Microsoft Office and grab the font and text size you like. Print out on card stock, cut and hang. For an extra touch you can glue the letter to card stock or scrapbook paper. To attach the birthday banner together, simply grab a roll of colored string (or fishing line works too!). Use tape to attach the letter to the string and you’ve got a DIY birthday banner!
  • Decorating the food is an easy and inexpensive way to personalize any party. By simply adding pictures of the birthday child onto toothpicks and then inserting into cupcakes and food trays is a great option. You can even wrap the utensils in a napkin with a 2” wide piece of construction paper in the party colors with the birthday child’s initials secured with a small piece of tape or glue.
  • Chances are you are going to be playing games at your child’s birthday party. If that’s the case, let the games also serve as the decorations.
  • Utilizing craft store coupons is a great way to cut costs on decorations, crafts for the party and everything in between. Sign up for Michael’ newsletter  and Hobby Lobby’s Email sign up obtain coupons often resulting in 40% off your purchase. Keep an eye out in your Sunday paper for Michaels coupons as well. You can also check with your local craft store for coupon savings or if they accept competitor coupons. For instance, I know Hobby Lobby will accept Michaels coupons in my area.
  • Look in the playroom for decorations. Chances are the theme your child picked for their birthday party can be found in your playroom. Get out the swords and eye patches for the Pirate Party, gather the magic wands and pretty dresses for the Princess party.
  • Tape brown grocery bags together to create a place mat where your guests will be eating. You may consider leaving crayons, markers or chalk on the table for the guests to draw on or even write a special note to the birthday child.


Where we all go wrong, when planning a party, is the food. We get all these great ideas from Pinterest and believe now is the time to impress the guests with these recipes. However, by keeping it simple and using frugal ingredients you can stretch your dollars further. You may consider:

  • Pasta Dish – A box of noodles often cost around $1 a box and they go far. Add a homemade spaghetti sauce and/or meatballs to kick it up a notch. Serve along side a baguette with butter for a delicious meal all your guests will eat.
  • A Taco or Chili Bar – Who doesn’t love tacos or chili? These are versatile foods that can be made with Chicken or Hamburger that you’ve found on sale at your local Grocery Store.
  • Homemade Pizzas  – A few simple ingredients is all you need to let guests create their own pizzas. Start with a English Muffin, Pizza Sauce and your favorite toppings (pepperoni, cheese, black olives, tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc.). The kids will get a kick out of making their own pizza.

If you simply don’t have it in your budget to feed your guests consider a time slot in between meal time. For instance, 1-3 pm is a great time for a afternoon party that gets you away from providing a large meal!

Birthday Cake 

Often times the biggest expense is the birthday cake. A typical cake costs about $25-$50 depending on where the cake is purchased from and how many guests you are feeding. However, to cut costs consider making your own birthday cake or cupcakes from a box. Here is a great article to read on how you can make any boxed cake or brownie mix fabulous. You can also allow the birthday child to decorate his (or hers) own cake. If it’s not perfect, no worries, it’s perfect to the child!

Another fun option to consider is to get the guests involved by letting them decorate their own cupcakes. This is just one less thing you have to stress over and the decorations the guests will put on their cupcakes can also serve as decoration on the tables.

If you are opting for DIY Cupcakes a great tip is to dip the edges of a white cupcake holder into a bowl of food coloring and water mixture. Allow the cupcake holder to soak up a little bit of the food coloring and to dry before placing your cupcake mixture in.

Gift Bags 

Now as a Mom we often feel obligated to give a “Thank You” gift to the guests who came to our party. Skip the $1 bins at Target and Walmart as well as the Dollar Store. These items are a complete  waste of money! Instead, either make a craft during the party for the kids to take home. A few ideas for Kids Birthday Party crafts are:

To give the older guests a Party Favor be sure to take a photo with the birthday child. Be sure to include the photo when you send out the Thank You card. With photos often being hung on refrigerator doors your special birthday child will love seeing themselves on their special guests fridges!

You can spend hours on Pinterest looking for great craft ideas that can be made at your child’s upcoming birthday party.

Party Venue 

Hosting your child’s birthday party at home will save you at least a hundred dollars. If your home isn’t an option, here’s a few ideas to keep in mind when party planning:

  1. A local park or picnic shelter
  2. Family Members Home
  3. Church – Offer a small donation.
  4. VA Hall
  5. Family Member’s Apartment Rental Room
  6. Membership Perks – If you are a member of a gymnastics club, local Y, etc. ask about birthday party options. Often times they are included with your membership.

Do you need some inspiration for your next birthday party? Check out our inspiration on the Pinterest Birthday Board and let your imagination run free!

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