Celebrating a birthday with a rockin’ party is a great way to commemorate one’s accomplishments over the past year. Birthdays aren’t just about getting another year older… they’re about paying tribute to what happened during that year. So, why not throw a birthday party for yourself or a loved one this year?
If your answer is budget based, don’t sweat it. Here are 25 frugal birthday party ideas to help you have the best birthday bash ever… without breaking the bank.
For more money saving tips and tricks be sure to follow Freebie Finding Mom’s Smart Money Tips Pinterest board. Oh, and what better way to have a fun and frugal birthday then with a day loaded with free stuff? Take a look at all the birthday freebies and coupons you can snag.
28 Frugal Birthday Party Ideas
Tip 1: When looking for frugal birthday party ideas for your child, stay away from character based themes. Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and Elsa (from Frozen) are great but they come with a frightening price tag. Instead, go with more generic (but just as fun) themes like a rainbow party or dinosaur party. Your wallet will thank you.
FreebieFindingMom.com and Pinterest are chock full of inspiration to make this frugal birthday party idea super easy to implement. Be sure to check out:
Tip 2: Whenever possible, head to the great outdoors. When considering frugal birthday party ideas this one is super easy and can save you big bucks. Renting a venue can be one of the biggest costs when throwing a party but guess what…the great outdoors are free (or almost). Not only will this tip save you money but it’s practical; after all, kids love running around and you don’t have to worry about the mess like you would indoors.
To rent a shelter at a park, you may have to pay a small fee. However, depending on the amenities, the fee may be totally worth it. For example, many parks offer playground equipment, walking trails, and open spaces for games and activities.
Tip 3: Make your cake at home. This frugal birthday party idea probably seems pretty obvious but you’d be surprised how many times people don’t even consider it.
Tip 4: Instead of cake, go for homemade cookies and let the kids decorate them. Dessert plus a fun activity? Score!
Tip 5: If you aren’t much of a Julia Child and feel like the only way you’ll get an edible cake is to buy it, call around to local culinary schools. Aspiring chefs are hungry for experience and that allows you to save a bundle.
Tip 6: Instead of shelling out big bucks for party snacks, make your own. DIY appetizers are usually cheaper than store bought goods and making them is a great way to get in the party spirit.
Again, Pinterest and FreebieFindingMom.com are great sources of inspiration. For example, if you’re having a holiday party (or maybe a Frozen themed party), try this snowman cheese ball recipe.
Tip 7: Make your own. This frugal birthday party idea is a two-for-one special. When you make your own pizza you save money and get a fun activity that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Tip 8: Mason jar recipes make for fun frugal birthday party ideas when it comes to party favors. Trust me, these will definitely stand out from other party favors. Here are some inspiring Mason jar recipes to get you going:
Keep in mind that not all Mason jar party favors have to be edible. That’s probably a relief considering how much sugar little ones are already consuming at your average birthday party. For example, you could make a Play-Dough Mason jar gift.
Mason jar party favors aren’t just for kids either. For example, if you’re having a bachelorette party or baby shower, you could give each of the ladies a mani-pedi in a jar.
Tip 9: Head to the nearest home and garden center and purchase small plants to give out as party favors.
Tip 10: Pick up Mason jars at local garage and estate sales. Give these jars a good scrubbing and they make great drinking glasses for any party going for that rustic, laid back feel.
Tip 11: This frugal birthday party idea keeps the savings coming. Pick up slate tiles at your local home improvement store and utilize them as serving trays and platters. They’ll add an interesting color and texture to your food lineup.
Tip 12: Forget so called “party stores” and head to your nearest dollar store to score frugal birthday party ideas for decor.
Tip 13: If you have a limited budget, grab up crepe paper. It’s cheap but super effective.
Tip 14: For a focal point in your party decor, head to a garage or estate sale. You can grab up a unique piece for pennies. For example, add a little glamour to a garden party by repurposing an old chandelier. You can spray paint it a pretty color that matches your theme and hang it from a tree. Another idea, is to have a tea party or Alice in Wonderland theme and hang small tea cups from a tree.
Tip 15: Balloons, balloons, and more balloons. Like crepe paper, balloons are a frugal birthday party idea that you won’t want to pass up. Incorporate them wherever you can.
Tip 16: Instead of paying big bucks for real flower centerpieces that will just die and end up in the local landfill, have fun making your own centerpieces from yarn.
Tip 17: Look to nature for a slew of frugal birthday party ideas. Instead of paying for flowers from your local florist, head outdoors and pick your own. Wildflowers can be quite beautiful. Display those freshly picked flowers in Mason jars or repurposed wine bottles.
Tip 18: If you need frugal birthday party ideas for gifts, check out Freebie Finding Mom’s 101 Stocking Stuffer’s article. There’s no reason you can’t use one of these inexpensive stocking stuffers as a birthday gift.
Tip 19: Instead of paying even more money (on top of what you’ve already spent for the present) for gift decorations like gift bows, make your own. You can reuse newspaper as wrapping paper and make your own gift bows.
Tip 20: Make your invitations. You can easily make invitations on your home computer or let your little one get crafty and make his or her own invitations using construction paper and other supplies.
Tip 21: Send eCards. Do a Google search and you’ll find plenty of sites that allow you to send free eCards.
Tip 22: Utilize free printables. This option is perfect if you’re feeling creatively tapped out from all these other frugal birthday party ideas. Turn to Pinterest for as much inspiration as you can handle such as these princess party invitations.
Games and Activities
Tip 23: Make a game up. While adults may find your newly invented game lacking, kids won’t care as long as it’s fun. For example, for my son’s party I hid a little ball in three different boxes and had them choose what box the ball was in.
Tip 24: Get creative. This is probably a great tip for all frugal birthday party ideas. Don’t run out and simply buy the first Monopoly board you see. Explore your options. Get inspired with these 25 awesome outdoor party games.
Tip 25: Get crafty. Instead of playing a game, indulge in a craft. For example, consider the Mason jar recipes mentioned in the “Party Favors” section. You can also find a plethora of crafts on Pinterest.
Oh, wait – here are 3 bonus frugal birthday party ideas to help you pull it all together!
Tip 26: Hire a friend. If you know a talented friend ask him or her to donate their talents. Tell them it’ll be their gift.
Tip 27: Get music or movies from the library or the Internet. Spotify can be an excellent (free) DJ if you don’t mind 60 seconds of ads every 10 minutes or so.
Pulling It All Together
Tip 28: Ask friends or family to gift you their time. Instead of giving a present they can help you pin down details, setup the party, and then cleanup when it’s all over. Trust me, it’s one of the best gifts you can receive.
There you have it, 25 (scratch that, 28) frugal birthday party ideas that will help you throw one heck of a bash while on a budget. Do you have other frugal birthday party ideas? Please share them in the comments!