So, here's the thing. If you're looking for a party blog who's main goal is to help you keep up with the Jones's, this isn't it. While I love an elaborate gathering, with all of the details, and all of the beautiful photos and Pinterest perfect extra touches, I simply don't think it's necessary to have a good time. If that's what you really, really like and want to do for your party, you should! And I am more than happy to help you create the decor of your dreams. But if you feel like you have to go all out and think of every intricate, creative detail to impress people, or to ensure that your child has a good birthday, well....I am here to tell you that you don't have to do that. You can have a good day, create great memories, and have a happy kid with a simple, budget friendly party. I'm here to tell you how to do it with a few tips, and some ideas for your budget!
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission, which helps keep this blog running!
1. Use your own house, or a park if you have warm weather, instead of renting a space for a party, or having it somewhere like Chuck E. Cheese, a bowling alley, or somewhere else that costs money. Bonus of going to a park: kids have somewhere to get out their energy!
2. If you use your own house, of course, you will have to limit your guest list. For kid's parties, this works fine. Let go of the idea that you have to invite every single person your child knows, and keep it small. Allow 4-6 close friends to come over. This is good for the level of stress, chaos and work as well as the budget.
3. Don't have your party at a meal time. You could do a morning get together before lunch- especially great at a park! - or something in between lunch and dinner. If you decide to forgo a meal, make sure that you don't sugar up the kids too much before dinner! You could also choose snacks like cheese and crackers, and chopped fruits and veggies. There's nothing wrong with a simple cake and ice cream party over a full buffet.
4. Utilize the dollar store! Dollar Tree is a treasure trove of solid tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, and utensils. Get ALL of your basics here and save your dollars for other creative touches. They even have some decor that is really nice!
5. Spend time, instead of money on the extra touches you want. This is where Pinterest comes in! You can learn just about anything on the internet! Do you have any idea how cheap it can be to make a pinata? Or tissue tassel garlands? Or simple games? And if you're not the crafty type, don't worry. You don't HAVE to have fancy, creative ideas. Believe me, they are more for the adults than the kids. And if you're doing all of this work just to impress other moms....don't.
6. Make your cake/cupcakes, or get store bought packages of cupcakes. Let's be real- kids throw cake in the trash. Simple, store bought mini cupcakes with sprinkles are just fine. Chances are, they will enjoy ice cream even more! Buy a tub of vanilla for $5, and let the kids add sprinkles. They will love it, and so will your wallet.
7. Use e-vites or a Facebook event to invite people to your party, instead of ordering fancy invitations and mailing them. Once upon a time, e-vites were bad etiquette. For weddings, they still don't really fly. But for a kid's party? Heck, yes. Save your stamps. Go digital.
8. Give out a useful or handmade party favors, or consider skipping them altogether. Honestly, no parents like junky party favors with no real purpose. Consider giving out something you can get in a larger quantity, like fruit snacks, or make something useful, like homemade playdough.
9. In lieu of expensive entertainment, like a magician, party princess, or bounce house, opt for simple, fun party games. Musical chairs, relay races and beanbag tosses are tried and true.
10. Finally, remember that childhood magic comes from prioritizing your child. If they are having a good time, you are relaxed, they are with people who love them, and you are making a big deal out of this being THEIR special day, you will be giving them a whole lot more than money can buy. Take an interest in what they like. It is the effort to make me happy and show interest in my interests that I remember about my mom's childhood party themes.
I hope this helps you create a wonderful gathering on a shoestring budget. Keep it simple, celebrate your child and HAVE FUN! If you are not the crafty type and do need some help with extra creative touches, stick around and check out our site! You might find more ideas or some great party supplies to purchase. Email me for custom orders!
Empty Nest Home Goods is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.