11 Tips for Throwing an Unforgettable Kid’s Birthday Party on a Budget

It’s no secret that kids’ birthday parties can be expensive. Between the cost of food, decorations, and entertainment, parents can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a single party. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to throw a fun and festive kid’s birthday party without breaking the bank. 

Learn how to celebrate your child’s birthday on a budget using simple tips like having a DIY photo booth, serving affordable snacks and drinks, and sending out free or inexpensive invitations. With creativity and planning, you can throw a birthday party that your child and friends will enjoy on a budget.

Have The Party at Home

One of the easiest ways to save money on a kid’s birthday party is to have it at your house, especially if you love your home and have the space. That will eliminate rental fees for venues and entertainment, and you won’t have to worry about food and drink minimums. 

Get creative if you’re worried about your home being too small or not having enough activities to keep kids entertained. There are plenty of games and activities that you can do indoors. If your child has a warm weather birthday, have it outside either in your yard or a park. 

Skip expensive venus like Skyzone trampoline parks, indoor adventure parks, and water parks.  Instead, consider places like churches, Emergency Squad buildings, and Firehouses for inside venues. They will typically allow people to use their facilities for a donation.

Pick A Simple Theme

Another way to save money on a kid’s birthday party is to pick a simple theme. You can still have all the fun of a themed party without going overboard with the decorations or activities. 

For example, forgo the gourmet picnic basket and pack a lunch from home if you’re having a teddy bear picnic. Keeping the theme simple can save money on decorations, food, and activities.

Make The Cake

If you want to save money on the cake, try making it yourself. Plenty of easy, kid-friendly cakes don’t require much time or effort. And if you’re not the baking type, you can always pick up an inexpensive cake from the grocery store and decorate it yourself. 

Consider also baking cupcakes and, as an activity, having the kids decorate their cupcakes.

Affordable Snacks and Drinks 

When it comes to food and drink, there are plenty of affordable options that will please kids and adults alike. 





Don’t have the party at meal time. This way, you can serve snacks and drinks instead of a meal.

For drinks, try serving punch or lemonade instead of soda or juice. 

For snacks, popcorn, pretzels, and chips are always popular choices. You could buy small bags of pretzels and other snacks in bulk and use the leftovers for lunches.

Related: Cheap Dinner Ideas To Save Your Budget From Rising Food Costs

Free or Inexpensive Invitation Ideas

There are plenty of ways to create invitations for a kid’s birthday party without spending much money. You can use free online invite tools like Canva or make your invitations using construction paper, markers, and glue. 

You can make invitations from recycled materials like cereal boxes or toilet paper rolls if you’re creative.

Consider online invitations or a Facebook Event.

Keep the Guest List Small

One of the best ways to save money on a kid’s birthday party is to keep the guest list small. 

Having a smaller guest list means you’ll have to buy less food and drink, and you won’t have to rent a larger space for the party. You can also save money on invitations by only inviting the people you want to come.

One trick is to invite the number of children your child is age-wise. So if your daughter is turning 5, invite five children.




Dollar Store Decorations

One of the easiest ways to save money on decorations is to head to the dollar store. You can find affordable party supplies, from streamers and balloons to tablecloths and plates. 

You can also find a variety of puzzles, games, and toys that would be perfect for goodie bags. Just be sure to shop around and compare prices before you buy anything.

Skip The Goodie Bags

Goodie bags are an excellent way to thank your guests for coming, but they can also waste money.  Many parents aren’t on board with more junky toys to clean up after the child gets bored. 

If you’re looking to save, skip the goodie bags and let your guests take home their favorite piece of cake or a balloon. You can also send your guests home with a fun activity or game to play.

Consider choosing an activity as the takeaway from the party. Consider painting on a canvas, sand art, prizes on the scavenger hunt, or candy from a pinata.

DIY As Much As Possible

One of the best ways to save money on a kid’s birthday party is to DIY as much as possible. From the invitations to the decorations, there are plenty of things you can make yourself. You can also save money on food and drink by making cake, punch, or snacks.

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to save money on a kid’s birthday party is to plan. Start by setting a budget and sticking to it. 

Then, start shopping for decorations, food, and drink a few weeks in advance. That will give you time to compare prices and find the best deals. 

And last but not least, don’t forget to send out the invitations early!

Play Simple Games

You don’t need to spend much on entertainment for a kid’s birthday party. Instead, try playing some simple games that everyone can enjoy. 




Games like charades, Simon Says, or tag is always popular choices. And if you’re looking for something more active, you can always set up an obstacle course or have a scavenger hunt.

Related: 24 Road Trip Games Everyone Will Love

Final Thoughts On Throwing Unforgettable Kid’s Birthday Parties on a Budget

Hosting kid’s birthday parties can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to save money on decorations, food, and entertainment yet still have an epic birthday party. 

You can also keep the guest list small to save on costs. And don’t forget to DIY as much as possible! With creativity and planning, you can throw a birthday party your child will enjoy.

This post originally appeared on Hello Sensible. 

Sara Conklin

Sara Conklin is a Certified Financial Coach, wife, mama, Grammie, and founder of Frozen Pennies, a site that she started after a year-long spending freeze.  She’s passionate about frugal living, budgeting, and helping others.  She writes about ways to save money, get out of debt, and intentional spending.  When Sara is not working on the business, you can find her reading, drinking coffee, and spending time with her family.






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