Of course, you want to give your child the most magical, memorable birthday party they’ve ever had, especially after listening endlessly to excited recitations about what parties are like for their friends or for other neighborhood children.
If you’re afraid that you don’t have the budget for the kind of magical dream party that will make your birthday boy or girl squeal with glee, never fret! You can still throw the best-darned party your child has ever had without breaking the bank.
Read on for the top 5 strategies you should use to save valuable bucks when party planning this year:
Location — Remember the first three rules of real estate?
It’s really just one rule said three times, and it applies to children’s birthday parties as well.
You may be tempted to splurge by hosting at an amusement park or another location equally expensive.
Resist! You’ll save the most money by simply hosting at your home or a nearby park.
If you have a large backyard, your home is the ideal spot, especially if the birthday party is a spring or summer affair.
Parks are usually fairly affordable, but the biggest incentive is that they offer a free place for your child and their guests to play.
Guestlist — Don’t feel like you need to invite every single one of Little Billy’s classmates to the party.
Too many guests will be overwhelming for you and your child.
A few weeks before the party, schedule a time with your child so you can come up with a guest list together.
Encourage your child to invite only their four or five closest friends.
You’ll have fewer mouths to feed and fewer kids to supervise!
Food — Make the cake and the meal yourself.
A cake from the grocery store is going to cost you, so use your child’s toys for decorations.
They’ll love showing off for their friends! Serve finger food, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fun shapes (use a cookie cutter!).
Or you can save money by not providing a full meal for your guests at all.
Host the party between two and four o’clock: by that time, lunch is over and dinnertime is still a few hours away.
Decorations — Use whatever you have on hand! Spend some quality family time making the decorations yourself a few nights before the party.
Or you can also shop at a discount or dollar store to find cheap and easy decorations.
Make sure to save them for use at future parties!
Entertainment — Even if you want to offer super impressive entertainment, you don’t need to type “magician London” into a Google search.
Come up with party games to entertain your guests.
Use recycled items from around the house to make arts and crafts.
If the weather permits, the kids can make kites out of construction paper or grocery bags from your kitchen.
When you make sure to keep the guest list low, you can pull out the board games you have on hand and let the kids go to town.
A monopoly can eat up at least two or three hours all by itself!