Earlier this year, I wrote about how I was having mixed feelings on joint birthday parties.  But, despite the fact that it might be considered tacky by some people, we ended up having one anyway.  Newsflash: For the record, the point of this particular joint birthday party was not to save money It just happened to work out that way.  My daughter’s birthdays are only 6 weeks apart anyway, and we were going to be in Florida for my oldest daughter’s 5th.  And since I didn’t want to ask people to attend a different party on two weekends in one single month, I chose to lump their parties into one.  And they didn’t complain at all.  In fact, they thought it was fun!

Having a joint birthday party did lead to incredible savings since I only had to pony up the cash for one party instead of two.  In addition, I found plenty of other ways to save.  Here are a few:

  • DSCF3445I made the cake.  Custom cakes can run anywhere from $40 to $100, and come in all kinds of kid-friendly themes that kids adore.  But, since my kids both said they wanted pink and brown chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, I gladly skipped that expense.  Instead, I made two boxes of cupcake mix and slathered them in icing and sprinkles.  They weren’t Pinterest-worthy or anything, but they were edible.  That’s good enough fr me.  The total cost: $9.49 (two boxes of cake mix, two cans of icing, sprinkles)
  • DSCF3446I bought the decorations at Dollar Tree- Party supplies are one of the best deals dollar stores have to offer, and that is especially true at the Dollar Tree (where everything is a dollar).  Instead of hitting up (expensive) Party City, I took my kids to the Dollar Tree to pick out their décor.  There we picked out Hawaiian Luau-themed party supplies for some reason.  I don’t really get it, but that’s what they decided on together.  Whatever works, right?  The total cost: $14 plus tax (plates, cups, napkins, wall hangings)  Quality Logo Products, Inc. also has a ton of cute stuff when it comes to saving on party supplies, logo products, and more!
  • I went with cheap food- Despite the fact that our party was Luau-themed, we chose pizza as the main food item.  Why?  Because Little Caesars will make as many one-topping pizzas as you can eat for only $5 each.  In addition to pizza, we also bought several bags of chips and two veggie trays.  In the beverage department, I chose to go with juice boxes, bottled water, and Coke Zero.  It wasn’t necessarily the healthiest lunch I’ve ever served, but it was cheap!  The total cost: $86 (nine pizzas, chips, veggie trays, drinks)

Total Cost So Far: $109.49

DSCF3444Then I splurged.  We have a ton of little kids in our family, and I decided to do something special for each and every one of them.  As the big attraction (and as a gift to my two kids), I rented a super cute Princess bounce house from Big Blast Rentals in Greenfield.  This gave all of the little ones something to do during the party.  Super bonus: It (mostly) kept their dirty little feet off my hardwood floors and brand new carpet.  The total cost: $155

Joint Birthday Parties: A Frugal Alternative

Even though we didn’t spend a ton of money, we had a ton of fun.  A few people got into a water fight.  Kids cried and tattled on each other.  My three-year-old had a giant meltdown because someone called her “sweetie” and she wasn’t in the moodYou know, the usual. DSCF3448

As a parent, these parties are fun but bittersweet.  I love celebrating every year my daughters spend on this Earth, but it hurts to let them grow up.  Overall, they are the reason we embarked on a frugal lifestyle years ago.  I want them to have every opportunity to succeed and every penny we can save helps make that possible.

How do you save on kid’s birthday parties?