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How to Throw a Cheap and Simple Birthday Party

January 30, 2020

This one is for all the moms that don’t find joy trying to throw a Pinterest worthy birthday party. My birthday parties are simple, inexpensive, and you know what; my kids still love them! I’m going to share with you how to throw a cheap and simple birthday party, that won’t leave you frazzled and frustrated.

birthday girl for a cheap and simple birthday party

1. Keep it simple

Keep it simple! Don’t take on too much when throwing a birthday party. I saw a quote that I loved from Leo Babauta “Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.”

What is most important to your child about his birthday? What does he love or what brings him the most joy? Once you figure this out, put it at the top of your list as a must for the party.

I do not decorate much for birthday parties. Decorating isn’t my gift! But Michael didn’t think his birthday party was going to be as pretty without balloons! So balloons were at the top of my list, and grandma brought them. He was thrilled and it made his night. He didn’t miss a sign hanging up or fancy decorations, he was pleased with simply having balloons.

Next, get rid of the things that do not really matter! Don’t cause yourself more stress and grief if it isn’t bringing joy and life to you and your family. This extends to all areas of my life, not just birthday parties.

2. Get organized

Birthday party planner to help organize a birthday party
  • Feel free to use our free birthday party planner to help you get your birthday party organized. Click on the image and it will download as a PDF file and then you can print it off.
  • Be sure to plan the meal, dessert, decorations, and games in advance this will help you get organized and will take away some of the party stress. Also, this will help prevent you from trying to do too much last minute.
  • Create a list of what needs to be done for the party and when it needs to be finished. Begin this list a few days in advance so you have time to think through the groceries that will be needed and simple decorations.
  • Make the day of the party easier by compiling a list of what you are able to do in advance. For example: Are there vegetables that you can chop the day before? Can you grocery shop earlier in the week?

3. Get your child involved

Get your child involved in planning the party. Part of the birthday fun is the anticipation leading up to the party. I would love to surprise Lillia with a beautiful birthday cake from the store and see her eyes light up when she sees it. But what brought the most joy for her was baking a cake together and then decorating it on her own. She was so pleased and proud when her cake was done.

4. Pick a fun theme

Give your child a few choices for a birthday party theme and let her pick her favorite. Then work the theme into the party.

Lillia loves “Frozen” right now. We bought “Frozen” plates, napkins, balloons, and she decorated her cake with “Frozen” on top. These were simple and cheap additions to her birthday party that made her feel very special. Check out Amazon’s “Frozen” birthday party supplies.

5. Make it yourself

Ordering a cake and food will keep it simple but it will kill your budget. If you are trying to throw your birthday party fairly cheap then making your own food is essential.

Always remember you don’t have to provide a meal! You could plan the party simply having cake and coffee.

If you choose to provide food give your child a couple of choices of simple dinners and desserts he can choose from. Try Nicole’s super simple crock-pot chili for a meal you can throw together in the morning and it is a crowd-pleaser. The fancier meal you plan equals more time you will need to be in the kitchen preparing rather than spending time with your birthday child.

6. Birthday gifts

Everyone has a different budget and idea of an appropriate number of gifts. Based on your budget know how much you can spend on gifts before you start shopping.

Our family tries to only buy 2 or 3 birthday gifts, and we try to be picky about what we buy. We attempt to avoid gifts that will clutter up our family room, that will break quickly, have lots of little pieces, and that they will lose interest in swiftly.

7. Be sure to take pictures

cheap and simple frozen birthday party

Ask a family member to be in charge of taking pictures during the party. This will free you up to be present for the party rather than hiding behind the camera all night.

Good luck!

These are my best tips on how to throw a cheap and simple birthday party. I hope these tips help you to plan a simple party that your child will love and remember while leaving you unfrazzled and able to enjoy the party.

Make it a great day!

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