Frugal Kids Birthday Party Ideas 

A kid’s birthday is the most important day of the year for them. As a parent, they count on you to make this day as fun and magical as possible. If you are looking for ways to do this without breaking the bank, you have come to the right place.

Here are seven ways to make the day fun while working with a budget.

Use a Free Venue

Frugal Kids Birthday

Although it is easier to get a paid venue and have them do all the work, it is more cost effective to have the party at home or have a picnic at the park. This way, you save money on rent, and you don’t have to worry about damage to the venue or replacing expensive items.

Plan Accordingly

Knowing how many guests would be at your kid’s party will help you plan more effectively.

You can also exploit this by making parents commit to something. For example, you can put a parent in charge of entertainment.

Pro tip: skip traditional invites and go digital. Texts and e-mails are a cheaper and easier option and your guests can RSVP without much hassle.


One way to stay within your budget is to make a semi-homemade cake. Purchase a cake mix and frost with some homemade buttercream (you can find the recipe on the packs of most confectioners’ sugar). Cupcakes are also a good idea, and they can double as a party activity if you have a cupcake decorating contest.

Plan the party in such a way that everyone is kept busy till they can all sit down to eat together. This limits grazing and the amount of food that’s needed. To limit waste, you can go for foods that last, e.g., chips, pretzels, and popcorn. You can also serve homemade punch or fruit juice instead of store-bought drinks to cut cost.

Pro tip: Time the party in between meal times so your guests don’t expect a full meal and you can get away with serving light snacks.


Kids Birthday

Go for the cheaper option by getting your décor items from the dollar store or making them yourself. Make a generic “Happy Birthday” banner out of fabric that you can reuse every year. You can get plain balloons and decorate them yourself instead of getting overpriced party-store themed ones and make streamers out of affordable crepe paper.

Also get reusable plates, platters, and tablecloths. As a form of DIY, you can craft personalized plain party supplies to fit the party’s theme or just, so they look festive. One idea is to make your party stand out with party wristbands. One option is to customize and order them online. Another option is to make beautiful handmade wristbands.

Plan No Cost Activities

One way to save money on your kid’s birthday party is to plan activities that are low to no cost. You can include games like:

  • Potato Sack Racing
  • Freeze Dance
  • Keep-Up-The-Balloon
  • Musical Chairs
  • Hot Potato
  • Charades
  • Red Rover
  • Three-Legged Race
  • Capture the Flag
  • “Button, Button, Who’s got the Button?”
  • “Simon Says”

To save cost on party favors and goody bags, you can buy plain white items that fit your party’s theme and have the kids let out their creative sides by decorating them. This serves as a cool and quiet activity, and the items become party favors for the kids. You can also have them take home the tools they used as an extra. Another way is to have a Treasure Hunt, the kids can search for gold (which is really just painted rocks) or candy that they can take home with them.

Double Up

A great way to save money is to have a two in one party. If your kid has a birthday mate in your circle or a friend whose birthday is close to theirs, you can double up with the other parents and split the cost. This way, you only have to pay for half the party, just make sure the kids have different cakes and activities suited to them, so no one feels left out.

Party Favors

Instead of filling up loot bags that are more expensive than they seem, you can stick to cheap, useful items and give each guest just one. Gift ideas include headbands, water bottles, tote bags, crayons, and cute notebooks.

You can also have the guests make their own party favors. You can buy T. shirts, photo frames or small canvases which the guests decorate and get to keep. This doubles as a fun activity for the guests.

All in All

Whichever way you choose to go, it’s always a good idea to keep things simple. For smaller kids, you can also choose to opt out and just have a small family gathering. One trick I’ve learned is to have as many kids at the party as the child’s age; so, for a ten-year-old, ten kids. Whatever you do, focus on making the day as fun as memorable as you can for your kid.

Do you have any Frugal Birthday tips you would like to share with other moms? We would love to hear from you!

Southern Carolina Family