Birthday parties are a rite of passage for kids. In the quest to make them fun, they can get expensive, especially if you have several children and there are multiple birthdays close together. One solution is to have all of the parties at home, which costs less than going to a restaurant, bowling alley or skating rink. There are a few easy ways to save money while you personalize the experience for each child.
Buy in Bulk
If you buy the decorations, plates, cups and utensils at a discount store, you will be able to get the same items for less than you would spend at the grocery store or your local pharmacy. To take it one step further, order bulk party supplies online. This works well for plates, cups, utensils and napkins. Choose patterns that have variety packs or come in different colors within the same case. Select one color for each child. That way, the kids won’t feel as if they have to share, and you can plan ahead while still paying less. The same holds true for balloons and streamers. You can buy in bulk and use colors that will coordinate for each child’s theme. Save the rest for later.
Be sure to decorate the party room differently for each child. You can use the same discount party supplies, just present them somewhat uniquely for each party. For example, hang streamers across the ceiling and along the walls for one event, then make vertical streamers from ceiling to floor for the next. Add balloons to centerpieces or stick them to the walls with masking tape. Don’t forget to put decorations on the outside of your home so people will know where to find the party. Tie balloons in the color theme on the mailbox for one child’s party, and stick them to the front door or hang them on the doorknocker for the next.
If you’re trying to keep expenses low, stick to cake or cupcakes and ice cream instead of serving a whole meal. If this is the case, schedule a time for the party that won’t conflict with lunch or dinner. Mid-afternoon for smaller children is the best option, and after dinner works well for older kids. You can set out some bowls of snacks until it’s time to open the presents and have cake.
Take the time to put together party favors for your guests. If children go home empty-handed, it will be noticed. You can buy goodie bags in bulk, then fill them with candy and age-appropriate and gender-appropriate toys and trinkets online or from your local discount store. If your child likes making crafts, you can do some cute ones in advance or let the party-goers make their own upon arrival.
Birthday parties should be special and memorable, but they don’t have to be expensive. By planning ahead, you can make each child’s experience unique, even if there are multiple parties held close together.
Nikki is an independent writer for DollarTree.com. Dollar Tree offers great deals on office supplies, party supplies and more.