Frugal Birthday Party Ideas

A frugal birthday party sounds boring doesn't it? Well my sister thought so when I told her our plans to have one. Her idea of a birthday party is lots of expensive gifts and a meal out at a fancy restaurant with lots of friends.

Whoa! I can feel my credit cards curling at the very thought.

However my partner Matt and I have been having so called frugal birthday parties for years, and although some of them may not necessarily be classed as a party, all have been full of frugal fun, making a perfect birthday celebration.

Here are our ideas on how to throw a frugal birthday party for both adults and kids.

Frugal Kids Birthdays

Birthday parties for kids can be very expensive these days. From matching decorated paper plates, napkins and decorations to full-blown costumes and children entertainers.

It can make it very hard for parents under pressure from their offspring to throw a party that will out do everyone else's. Creativity is the answer and by involving the kids along the way, they will be having frugal fun without realizing it.

The Cake

Even if you are not the best cook in the world, whipping up a simple layer cake is a breeze, especially if you buy a cake mix. The secret into turning it into a special frugal birthday party cake is all in the decoration.

You can be as imaginative as you like especially for a kids party. In fact the more colourful and wacky the cake looks the better I find. 
Try using:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Smarties or m&m's
  • Chocolate flakes
  • Liquorice allsorts
  • Jellybeans

To be really imaginative try cutting the basic cake up to make your child's favourite animal. My favourite was the lock ness monster which was simply made by cutting a round layer cake in half, turningeach half on it's side and covering it with green marzipan, i then used chocolate buttons for spots and a green painted egg cup carton for the head.

If that sounds all too much, why not bake some little cupcakes and cover them with jam and hundreds and thousands. These are great for kid's parties too.

The Frugal Birthday Party

The party does very much depend on the age of your kids and how much space you have. Generally having a kid's party at home or in the garden if you can is the best and cheapest option.

But you will have to plan well in advance i.e. hide away all your breakables and keep doors locked or closed to avoid expensive mishaps.

  • Keep the number of children down to a manageable size, I went to a kid's party where there were so many kids it just ended up in a big fight and the mess was unbelievable. I think the frugal budget was hit hard that vday with all the repairs needed afterward.
  • Having a themed party is a good idea as it captures the children's imagination from the beginning and they can even get involved with making things during the party to match the theme. For instance:

  • A Princess party - the kids could all sit down and make their own crowns, all that you need to do is supply glue, card, glitter, crayons and shiny foil or paper which can be collected throughout the year.

  • A character party - collect your old clothes, hats etc (ask friends and neighbours if they have any going spare) and get all the children to dress up. Girls love to wear makeup and the boys could use eyeliner to create stubble on their chin. Kids love to dress up and it is definitely one of my favourite frugal birthday party ideas. It keeps them happy and occupied for ages.

  • Sleep over party - This is a novel frugal birthday party idea as it doesn't involve all the usual dressing up and running around stuff that normally happens at a kid's party. Instead make a den on the floor for the kids, provide a midnight feast and perhaps arrange for ghost stories to be read. Games such as pass the parcel and charades are good as they are not as noisy.

Continued - More Frugal Birthday Party Ideas

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