How to throw a budget birthday party

January 7, 2009 5:26:01 PM PST
Jennifer Jolly shares tips on how to throw a great birthday party for your child without breaking the bank. Tips for throwing affordable children's parties:
  • Watch your guest list.
    Invite the same number of kids as your child's age. For instance, when they turn seven, invite seven children. Establish this routine early and they'll expect it!

  • Hold the party at your own house.
    If you host your own party at home, then you'll save on the cost of paying for a venue.

  • Entertainment
    Old-fashioned games like tug-of-war, limbo, an egg race or beanbag toss work well and don't cost a lot. Have a couple of activities going at once, so if kids don't like one or can't do one thing, they can still have fun. Instead of paying for expensive entertainers, hire local teenagers (surely you know a few babysitters with friends?) to run the games and paint faces.

  • Set up an arts and crafts time as alternative entertainment
    Follow Laura Torres's advice and make age appropriate goodies that can double as party favors such as stuffed animals or picture frames. Caution: some of these can get messy, so be sure create a space for the crafts and put down plenty of newspaper to keep clean-up easy. Also, if you check out the party supply catalog these days, there are tons of crafts you can get for good prices.

  • Have your party between meal times.
    Just provide a few snacks and don't have to feed everyone lunch or dinner.

  • Don't overdo the favors, souvenirs and party decor.
    It's up to you whether you'd like to theme your parties and how to present them. If you're creative, you can create your own designs and themes on your own, otherwise, surf the web for a look at what other parents have done.

  • Use cupcakes instead of cake.
    Have the kids decorate them as an activity.

  • Use EVITE to send invitations
    This ways, all your invitations are free.

  • Make your own thank you notes.
    Better yet, have your child make them and then hand deliver them (instead of mailing).