Planning a Kids Birthday Party on a Budget


Birthday Decorations

This time of year can be hard for many families, mine included. It can be difficult to find the money to pay for Christmas presents, a tree, and food for the holiday dinner. Then a birthday comes up, in my case – two birthdays, and you want to find a way to give them the best birthday ever.

The smart thing would be to plan ahead and save up for your child’s birthday. Planning doesn’t always work though, things break, bills come in, and unexpected expenses often foil the plan to save up for your child’s birthday party. Unfortunately, I know how this feels all too well.

Small budgets and last minute planning doesn’t mean the birthday party can’t happen. With a few creative ideas, you can put together a birthday party that is both personal and budget friendly.

Tableware & Decorations

The DollarTree is my “go to” place for cheap party supplies. Everything is $1 and you can get it all from paper plates, cups, plastic ware, decor, and more. When you purchase these things from a party store you can easily walk out of the door paying $50+ dollars. At my daughters birthday party I was able to get plates, cups, plastic ware, napkins, party decor, for around $10. You can’t beat that!


Local events can cost a lot of money. Save your money and host the birthday party at your house or even some place like the Park.

Joint Birthdays

So your best friend’s child is having a birthday. Get together with your friends and family to form a joint birthday party! How much fun would it be for the kids to share a fun day together. Then you and your friends can split the cost for something like a bounce house rental!

Party Balloons

Balloons are not really needed, but for many parents –including me- it’s hard to have a birthday party without them! Often times I will purchase a pack of regular latex balloons to hang around the house. For a display of balloons, the DollarTree is perfect because you can pick up an assortment of Mylar balloons all for $1 a piece.

Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper can cost a fortune, and when it’s shredded to pieces during the unwrapping process you can see your money going down the drain. You can definitely get creative here and choose to wrap presents with repurposed gift bags or newspapers. If neither of these are options, check out the DollarTree. $1 wrapping paper and gift bags!


To save money on food, it’s best to throw a birthday party in between meals. The kids come for cake and ice cream, right? Should you decide to feed your guests some snacks, don’t forget about the DollarTree!

I don’t like to stress over the cost of kids birthday party supplies, and there really isn’t a need to! When everything is $1 at the DollarTree, it’s easy to go in there and get the things I need without feeling like my whole paycheck is gone.

How do you save money on your kid’s birthday parties?

*Disclosure – This post was brought to you by the DollarTree


8 thoughts on “Planning a Kids Birthday Party on a Budget

  • December 20, 2012 at 6:59 am
    You have some good ideas here. "Destination" parties can be really expensive, and kids have just as much fun at home, so we save a lot by not picking a pricey location to have the party. Reply
  • December 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm
    You shop at my favorite place: DollarTree. They just opened a new BIG store near where I swim and I went in and WOW! They also have packages of party favors and sheets of stickers which can be fun at a party. Reply
  • December 19, 2012 at 11:40 am
    Great tips! I usually decide on a color theme to buy for decorations that coincide with the actaul theme (this year was Purple, green, and white to go with Buzz Lightyear). Buying plain colored plates, cups, streamers, etc is so, so much cheaper than buying licensed, themed products. Reply
  • December 19, 2012 at 11:40 am
    like these tips a lot. Sure to save money for throwing a party. Save the comic section of the newspaper too. Makes fun and colorful wrapping paper ardy22 at earthlink dot net Reply
  • December 19, 2012 at 12:28 am
    we have 5 kids and of those 5 kids 3 are December babies. We have Dec 6, 7, and 26th. Seems like March was the month for me because we tried to get preg for a summer baby but it just didn't happen. Our other two are October and Feb. Holidays on top of birthdays are rufffffff. Thanks for the tips. Half birthdays are nice but just not the same. I usually try to do them in Nov or January. Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm
    Excellent suggestions. I always wrapped big presents in the Sunday comics - so I saved them for weeks before an occasion. Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 6:02 am
    These are all great tips and ideas! It's amazing how much parents spend on birthday parties these days. I believe you can make it look good without it costing a fortune! Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 4:08 am
    We don't celebrate birthdays............Just kidding! I think one of the biggest places we save is on the cake. My wife and I took a cake decorating class years ago and it has really paid off, between the kids birthdays and out parents. Two boxes of cake mix is about $2 and I make my own buttercream. It is time consuming, especially when the kids request some outlandish design, but its fun and something I hope they will always remember. Reply

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