Children’s parties on a budget

Children’s birthday parties can be very costly, particularly when you have children whose birthdays are close together. They don’t have to be super expensive though, and there are lots of ways you can look to reduce costs.


  • Have joint parties with other family members
  • Have a joint party with a school friend
  • Do a cinema party, but go to one of the Kids AM showings at a Vue cinema as the tickets are only £1.99
  • Have the party at home
  • Avoid the cheep plastic rubbish you get in lots of party bags, buy a pack of practical things like pens and crayons and share them between the bags or just make up popcorn or sweet bags if you are happy giving the children sweet things…they are normally more interested in the edible bits and bobs anyway. For girls, you could buy a big stash of hair bobbles and share them between the bags. It works out much cheaper and it is something that will be used over and over.
  • Research where you purchase your party supplies from. This can mean the difference between spending £10 or £50 on essentially the same items.  For example, I have always bought the bulk of the children’s party things from Card Factory as there are a couple of stores near us…it turns out that now they have a website and do mail order, so I am over the moon as this makes life a whole lot easier. They supply a range of items including plates, cups, balloons, napkins, bunting, party bags and all the other key essential items you will need. You can pick up all the top favourite character merchandise as well as more plain items, and the quality and speed of service is superb.
  • Make your own cake or adapt a cake – have you seen the price of some cakes? If you don’t want to just buy a supermarket cake and enjoy putting a bit of you into the birthday cake, then why not adapt one or buy a basic cake and decorate it. If you commission one, unless you have a super kind relative or friend you will be shelling out a lot. Children often appreciate simple pleasures . My best birthday cake memory as a child was this amazing cake that looked like a show jumping arena with green grass and horses and jumps. I loved it and I can still picture it now. In reality, my mum had made a basic sponge and iced it and then coloured desiccated coconut with green food dye and placed my plastic figures on top. It was simple brilliance. The other option is a photo cake as this is not expensive, yet still personal.

Do you have birthday parties for your children?  How do you stop the costs from spiraling?

The Dad Network
You Baby Me Mummy


  1. Great tips! I like the idea of buying hair clips etc in bulk and sharing them out. I am very lucky as I have a super duper best friend who is amazing at cakes…it’s Minnie Mouse this year! #bigfatlinky

  2. Love your ideas!! To keep costs down when the kids have wanted a huge, lets invite the whole class party, I’ve hired a church hall (£20 for the afternoon) and a small bouncy castle (£50) then done hot dogs for the food in the kitchen attached to the hall and bowls of crisps and party cakes down the centre of the table so kids can helps themselves. I think the whole thing including party bags cost me £100 which split between 30 kids works out about £3.30 per child that’s over half the price of the fuzzy ed parties which are £7.50 per child! Total bargain! #Thelist

  3. Great tips! And really helpful as we have my eldest’s party in 2 weeks! I’ve learnt that kids don’t care about perfectly done cakes and expensive party gear so homemade and pound shops are the way to go!

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