How do you throw an epic birthday party for your child when you literally have no extra money for an extravagant bash? It’s actually more doable than you might think. I’ve been in that situation enough times to share what I’ve learned. Read on for some tips on hosting a kids’ birthday party on a tight budget. Plus, don’t miss my Entenmann’s® Little Bites® 20th Birthday Celebration giveaway!
*Entenmann’s® Little Bites® provided coupons & a gift card so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about the product. All opinions and ideas are my own.
Did you know that Entenmann’s® Little Bites® is celebrating 20 years of bringing you delicious bite-size muffins and brownies? As part of their Birthday Bash Sweepstakes, they’re donating up to $6,500 to The Birthday Party Project, an organization that throws birthday parties for kids living in homeless or transitional living facilities. This got me thinking about how hard it is to throw a birthday party for your child when you can barely afford to pay your rent. Like I said, I’ve been there more times than I like to admit, and I’ve learned a few things over those rough years.
Keep reading after the tips because I’m hosting a fun giveaway to give one of you a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card & coupons to buy your favorite Entenmann’s® Little Bites®! Plus, find out how to enter the Entenmann’s® Little Bites® 20th Birthday Bash Sweepstakes for a chance to win more fantastic prizes, including something for you and something for your favorite charity.
How to Throw a Kid’s Birthday Party on a Very Tight Budget
1. Let go of the idea of perfection
First things first: you have to let go of the idea that your child will be disappointed if you don’t throw the most epic birthday party or top last year’s bash every single year. We put so much pressure on ourselves to make every birthday extraordinary. Guess what? Ordinary is just fine. I had a lifetime of ordinary birthdays, and I loved every single one of them. You’re extraordinary every day in your child’s eyes, and that’s what they’ll remember 20 years from now.
2. Be honest with your kids
While it’s never a good idea to go into detail about money problems with your kids, you’re not going to damage them by saying, “A big roller skating party isn’t in the budget this year. Let’s talk about some fun things we can do instead.” Kids are a lot more understanding than you might think, and if you get their input on what they’d like to do instead, the alternative party will be just as fun as the one they wanted.
3. Move the venue
Every time we host a party at my house, I end up spending more money on cleaning supplies than I do on the event itself. My mom, who lives with me, is under the impression that all guests will be wearing white gloves and judging us if there is a speck of dust left behind. So I decided to move Jake’s parties out of the house entirely! The best part? I spent less than $20 on the venue by hosting it at a park!
We have quite a few parks with picnic tables and grills that are perfect for parties. Tables are on a first-come-first-serve basis for the most part, so you’ll want to get there early to claim your space. If you do have a few extra dollars in the budget, you might be able to reserve tables for as little as $5 each.
4. Trim the guest list
I am kind of relieved that I have a summer baby because I don’t have to go through the whole issue of sending invitations to school with him. While I understand the reason behind requiring kids to hand out invites to every single classmate (so that no one feels excluded), it’s not really practical for those of us on a budget. I know very few parents who can afford a 30+ kid guest list! Pare it down to the kids he really wants at his party, then contact the parents directly through text or email.
5. Drop the theme
Throwing a theme party gets crazy expensive when you factor in the cost of the themed plates, napkins, tablecloths, decorations, cake topper, party favors…I could go on but you get the idea. Skip the theme entirely and just go with simple tableware. You can make it special by grabbing inexpensive items in your child’s favorite color. For example, stick to cheap white paper plates but add a splash of color by grabbing blue napkins or utensils.
If you really must have the theme, save money by buying just a few decorations to go along with it, then using complementary colors for your plates, napkins, etc. For example, if your child wants a superhero party, buy a couple of balloons and a themed tablecloth, then use red, blue, and yellow party supplies to bring the theme together.
6. Plan it between meals
Rookie mistake #1 for planning a party on a budget: throwing it during lunch or dinner time! If you plan a bash during those times, parents expect you to actually feed their children. Instead, plan it right smack in the middle of two major meals. I find that 1:30-3PM is a good time. Kids are still full from lunch when they arrive and gone before it’s time for dinner. That way, you just need to grab some snacks and the main dessert (see more on that below).
7. Make your own decorations
Thanks to the invention of Pinterest, making your own decorations is easier than ever. Just search “DIY _____” (fill in the blank with what you want to make, of course) and you’re almost guaranteed to find 50+ tutorials on how to make it. Try searching for free printables while you’re at it!
You’ll be surprised by how much stuff you can make or print out yourself with supplies you already have at home. Seriously, DIY bloggers can do some amazing things with little more than coffee filters and food coloring!
8. DIY your own games, too!
Search “DIY party games” and you’ll find some really cool ideas that are even more fun that store-bought “pin the tail on the _____!” or junk-filled pinata! Many of them use things you already have at home. For example, this squirt gun race uses little more than plastic cups, your child’s water blasters, and some string! Another fun game, Hit the Can, takes ordinary cans and turns them into a themed game using recycled cans, a tennis ball, and a free printable wrap to pretty up the cans a bit.
Entenmann’s® Little Bites® also has some really cute game ideas on their Birthday Bash page! Check them out and download the free PDF with directions and cute activities. “Don’t Drop the Muffin” is my favorite!
9. Skip the cake!
I know what you’re thinking: it’s not a party without cake! Don’t worry, you’re not ditching it entirely, just swapping it for something a little more budget-friendly. Rather than spending a fortune on a store-bought theme cake, serve “decorate your own cupcakes” instead. Bonus: along with saving money, it also makes for a fun party activity!
Or, even better, decorate your own Entenmann’s® Little Bites®! Each perfectly portioned pouch of bite-sized muffins tastes just as good as cupcakes but without the artificial colors or HFCS. They’re budget-friendly, too, so you can grab a few varieties and let kids choose their favorite (or mix and match). Jacob is crazy for the Little Bites® Chocolate Chip Muffins! For more ideas, check out the Little Bites® Muffin Decorating Bar recipe (along with others) in this free printable.
10. Ditch the tiny party favors
You can do everything on this list and still come in way over budget just on goody bags alone if you opt to fill them up with those little party favors that, quite honestly, end up lost or trashed five minutes after the end of the party anyway. With prices ranging from $5 for a few glow sticks all the way up to $20 for enough tiny bottles of bubbles to around, it’s easy to drop $50-100 on goody bag favors.
Ditch the tiny favors and give kids one big favor. Little craft kits from the dollar store or discount bin at a craft store make great favors, and they only cost $1 (plus tax) each. Kids can also make their own treats as a party activity, then take them home at the end. For example, grab a bunch of tote bags from the dollar store and let kid decorate them. Another idea: throw all your broken crayons into a pile and let kids break them up and stick them into cheap silicone candy molds with fun shapes and “bake” them in the oven for a few minutes on a low temperature (about 250) and let cool. Viola- custom crayons!
Throwing a fun birthday party for your child when you’re on a tight budget doesn’t have to be a total nightmare or stress-inducing event. Remember, kids are pretty good at making their own fun. Even if you can’t afford much more than a few balloons and some homemade cupcakes, they’ll still have a blast.
Now, let’s talk giveaways and sweepstakes, shall we?
Entenmann’s® Little Bites® 20th Birthday Bash Sweepstakes
The Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Birthday Bash Sweepstakes is a fun way to say “Happy Birthday, Little Bites,” while also giving you a chance to win some really terrific prizes. Here’s the rundown of how to enter and what you can win.
Two Ways to Enter
1. Text “LITTLEBITES20” to short code 555888 and send us your Happy Birthday Wish for Little Bites.
2. Submit your Happy Birthday Wish to Little Bites (along with contact info) on www.littlebites.com/20Birthdaybash
The Entenmann’s® Little Bites® 20th Birthday Bash sweepstakes ends on March 29, 2019. Check out all the official rules and download a free Little Bite Party Kit on www.littlebites.com/20Birthdaybash
For each message submitted, Little Bites will donate $1 (up to $6,500) to The Birthday Party Project, a national organization that hosts birthday parties for kids who are residing in homeless or transitional living facilities.
20 consumers will win an Ultimate Prize Pack featuring:
- $500 donation in their name to a charity of their choice
- $500 gift card toward an ultimate birthday party for their child and friends
- One-year supply of Little Bites® muffins
Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Birthday Celebration Giveaway
In honor of the momentous occasion, I’m hosting a celebration giveaway right here! Enter below for a chance to win:
- Three (3) coupons, each valid for $5.00 off the purchase of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®
- One (1) $25 Visa digital gift card
Giveaway is open to US residents age 18+ and ends on 2/25/19. Good luck!
What is your favorite variety of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®?