9 Ways to Have a Birthday Party for Kids on a Budget

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I love finding and creating birthday party ideas for my kids! Since my oldest son’s first birthday, I adore the planning and deciding on a theme. I love making the cupcakes and creating the invitations. A fun goodie bag for the guests defines an awesome birthday party in my book.

But, with many kids and many parties to plan, it can all add up. Over the years I have come up with ways to make my own birthday party invitations, I have created super fun birthday party cupcakes and given away some awesome party favor bags.

Today I am going to share with you 9 ways to throw a birthday party for kids on a budget. While you’re at it, you will be creating memories and treasures that you can keep and hold on to forever.

9 ways to have a birthday party on a budget

 Kids Birthday Party on a Budget

  1. Make your own invitations using scrapbook paper, stamps, photos and embellishments. These are thrifty and make awesome keepsakes. I love these very affordable invites we made for Matthew’s first birthday invitations. (And here are my 10 tips for making homemade birthday invitations.)
  2. Bake your own cupcakes from scratch. Follow this easy cupcake recipe that doctors up a boxed cake mix and everyone will love them!
  3. Make your own icing. Homemade Buttercream Icing is a favorite at our birthday parties. I have been using this recipe for about 13 years. I love that you can add color to make it match your theme. Easy and delicious! (I also have an out of this world recipe for Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing.)
  4. Create your own fun cupcake toppers. This can easily be done with candy and molds and they match your party theme perfectly. Remember to think outside of the box. Check out how we made Lego Candy Cupcake Toppers for the twins 5th birthday. With a candy mold you could duplicate this for any theme.
  5. Re-purpose unopened Happy Meal Toys into goodie bag treats. I keep these in a container through out the year.
  6. Make your own party favors. Keep the treats simple. Make these affordable candy treats and your party favors can be complete (and the kids will LOVE them!). Here is how we created Homemade Lego Party Favors.
  7. Find free printables online that match your party theme. We found printable color sheets to match our Lego theme. Use them as activities at the party or items for goodie bags.
  8. Shop for themed supplies online. Most party websites offer deals when you order a certain dollar amount.
  9. Get deals with free shipping from Amazon for gifts and other party supplies.

How do you save money when throwing a birthday party for your kids? I would love to hear your best tips.


  1. Katherine G says:

    These are great tips.

  2. I can do sll of it very happily except to bake the cake. I suck at baking!! Sob sob

  3. Thanks for the great ideas! With four kids, I am always trying to creatively cut down on costs. This year I am avoiding having kid parties at public places. I gave the kids options of a party with friends at home or taking 1 or 2 friends somewhere, like to the movies. For the first birthday, one son decided to celebrate just with the family. We went to the zoo. When the second birthday came around, we had a food fight at our house. That was a blast! I posted about it today: Food Fight

  4. Marie Oliveira says:

    Love these ideas! Homemade frosting is the best!

  5. Pingback: Monday Kid Corner Roundup No. 23 | The Jenny Evolution
  6. Great tips! I am working on planning my son’s 2nd birthday ( we didn’t do a big party for his first one), these are definitely useful!

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