5 Simple Tips to Birthday Party Planning on a Budget

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5 Simple Tips to Birthday Party Planning on a Budget
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5 Simple Tips to Birthday Party Planning on a Budget

Here are some simple tips to make a birthday wonderful and not break the bank.

Image Credit: Fuse

1. Balloons or Streamers to welcome the day

My sister hangs streamers in the doorway of the birthday kid's room while they are sleeping. When they wake in the morning, it is the first thing they see. Throw a few balloons around the room, so they can kickstart the fun.

Image Credit: Paul Taylor

2. Birthday Pancakes

Who needs to wait for cake? Our traditional birthday breakfast is pancakes with syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles, candles and a crusty-eyed rendition of “Happy Birthday”. Amy, our Finds editor, wakes them up with a piece of birthday cake and breakfast in bed.

Image Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

3. School Treat

Cupcakes are sooooo yesterday. Mix up the school snack. Kids love when their classmates love their birthday treat. Try ice cream sundaes — even in the winter. Keep it simple. Buy the little dixie cups of half chocolate, half vanilla. They cost a couple dollars for 12. Bring whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel and sprinkles in different flavors. Be sure to check with the teacher first of course. Put the cups on paper plates to collect the overflow, and don’t forget the spoons. If you are feeling a little ambitious, chocolate-covered strawberries, homemade cookies, cupcakes made in ice cream cones and doughnuts in the shape of your child’s new age are always a hit.

Image Credit: Image Source/Zero Creatives

4. Dinner

The birthday kid always gets to pick their favorite. My kids always opt for Grandma’s Chicken luckily because it is a snap to make. But, if they wanted duck a l’orange, I would make it for them. We break out the wine glasses and have an official non-alcoholic toast (for the kids, anyway) to another year older.

Image Credit: Tom Merton

5. Presents

Here’s my take on birthday presents: When they are old enough to understand, at about 6, I either do a nice present or a party – not both. More often than not, my kids can’t even think of something they want. The siblings make cards, we all say something we love about the birthday kid, and, if there is time, he or she gets to pick a movie.

Image Credit: Danita Delimont

From morning to night, my kids feel like a king or a queen on their birthday. Then we call it a wrap! Cost: Minimal. Memories: Maxed Out!

Image Credit: Fuse


Birthday parties have gotten out of hand. With five kids, I could go broke planning and throwing birthday extravaganzas. For my first and second, I went overboard. I've since reined it in, but have worked to not let any of the "special" be lost. I've taken tips from friends and family, so the birthday boy or girl has an extraordinary day once a year, whether or not they deserve it.

Here are some simple tips to make a birthday wonderful and not break the bank.

Check out the slideshow above for five special touches that cost next to nothing.

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