How to stick to a budget when planning children’s birthday parties

This blog post is written in association with Party Bags and Supplies

When it’s time for a little one to celebrate their birthday, parents often worry about hosting a party. After all, they want to ensure their kid has an amazing birthday, but they don’t want to blow their household budget on one event. To help you on your journey to party success, here are 7 essentials that all parents need for a child’s party…


The first thing you need to do for your child’s party is to pick a venue. After all, without a clear venue in mind, you can’t plan the rest of the party. For some parents, the home offers a safe and cheap option for their kid’s birthday. They don’t have to worry about a hire fee and you can prepare the decorations in advance. However, if you haven’t got much room and the guest list is quite long (or if you don’t want to be clearing up party debris for weeks!) it might be an idea to find alternate arrangements. For instance, you might want to hire a village hall in your local area, which is often priced per hour and might be cheaper than you think. Or you could check out the packages that the different venues (such as soft play centres, bowling alleys etc) offer as they sometimes include food.


When a child leaves a party, they expect to take home a party bag. After all, it’s a polite way to thank the child for coming to the party. If you plan ahead, the party bag needn’t cost too much, but it’s a tough call on what to put in each bag. You can look online for low-cost party bags and supplies to find inspiration for themed part bag fillers – toys, treats etc – and shop when there’s a sale on to get a good price on those items.


Nothing says ‘party’ more than banners, balloons and table confetti so don’t forget the decorations for your child’s birthday party. There are a whole host of banners available with characters or your child’s age, and if you start with the banner, this might set the theme for the rest of the party. If you are tight on cash, you could always look online for decorations – as it says on, this will stop you impulse buying which is easy to do when buying decorations, so you’ll only get what you actually need.


You’ll need to get plenty of party food to feed the children at the party, but don’t make it harder (or more costly) than necessary. Opt for food which is easy to make in advance, for instance, a cold buffet is easier than having to cook a load of hot food during the party. Also, don’t over-cater: kids tend to have a little bit of everything but will be so excited about the party and playing with their friends that they won’t eat much and you’ll end up with lots of leftovers. And remember to get squash and plenty of tea and coffee for the adults too!


You need to keep the children entertained while they are at the party, so it’s a good idea to get some games sorted in advance. Traditional party games such as musical statues and pass the parcel still are a highlight for kids. But if you want some unique and low-cost ideas, you can look on sites like Netmums for some great party games which will keep the kids busy during the party.


You can’t have a birthday party without a cake for the guest of honour! If you are handy in the kitchen, you could make the cake yourself for your child. Opt for a filling which will go down well with everyone such as traditional sponge. Or someone else – a grandparent or aunt, perhaps? – might be delighted to make the cake for your little one. Alternatively, you can buy tray cakes from the supermarket that are big enough to serve all the guests and are really reasonably price.


It’s essential that you get a playlist ready for the birthday party. Have some traditional party tunes playing in the background to ease awkward silences and get everyone in the party mood. Pick out some pop tunes that the kids will love to dance to – just remember to make sure there is nothing on the playlist that will offend or upset the parents! You’ll need to be able to pause the music for games of pass-the-parcel or musical chairs so, although you’ll want to keep your device away from the little ones, you also need to be able to access it too.

What are your tips for hosting a child’s birthday party? What money-saving advice do you have for other parents? Please share your party hacks in the comments below. Have fun!

This blog post is written in association with Party Bags and Supplies and I’d like to thank them for their advice on putting together a party on a budget.


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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