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6 Steps to Planning a Birthday Party on a Budget

Updated on September 6, 2017
emi sue profile image

Emily is a mother of three young children. She is currently a stay at home mom, while also juggling being a part time student.

Your party just needs a few essentials to be a success.

Having a fun, successful party doesn't have to be expensive.

Kids Birthday Fun
Kids Birthday Fun | Source

Pick A Venue, Date, and Time

What should you consider when picking a venue? Space and budget are key aspects to consider when picking a location to host your party.

Where I'm from a church fellowship hall is a great option for a birthday party venue. There is a lot of space and it is always clean and ready to go.

Other venue ideas are : A park, recreation center, or community center. These are much cheaper alternatives to places such as Jumpville or the Chuck-ee-cheeses.

Of course, you could also host your party in the comfort of you own home. I normally steer clear of this option because I don't like having to clean up the mess. I'd rather clean up a borrowed facility and be done with it all when I get home. :)

  • Table Cloths
  • Party Plates *
  • Paper Plates *
  • Plastic Cups
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Napkins

Party Supplies

This is as difficult as your Party Theme.

For me, the party theme is basically just a color scheme. This makes things a lot easier and a lot cheaper. And let's face it, who cares if the plates have "Dora" on them or not.

With that being said to the right you can find a list of basic must-have party essentials.

Party Magic!

Don't forget the party magic!

Even if it's just party hats or some party favors, or maybe just suggesting a quick game of tag, simon says, or mother may I while the grown-ups finish up their appetizers and cake.

I know first hand, party time can be stressful. Just make sure you remember what it's all about and that's just having a good time!


Don't forget to feed the guest, and cake is a necessity - but it's really not enough alone.

Here's some quick/easy/cheap Party foods for you:

  • Pizza (Little Caesars Hot-And-Ready?)
  • Hot Dogs (It's not much but it's something)
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Veggie Tray
  • Fruit Tray

If you do have the time I highly recommend these fantastic Ham Sandwiches featured in the video below.

Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake
Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake


I got this 'Strawberry Shortcake' at the my local Food Lion Bakery. It was a big hit. Normally I get my cakes from Walmart. Any bakery will of course have a cake.

Of course you can also buy cakes locally, just ask around and I'm sure you can find someone in your area that bakes specialty cakes for a decent price.

Or just bake it yourself. Below is a cake that me and my friend made a couple years back for her daughters birthday. We made marsh mellow fondant, and it turned out pretty awesome, if you ask me.

Tinker Bell Cake
Tinker Bell Cake
strawberry shortcake birthday cake
strawberry shortcake birthday cake
part of the birthday crowd. my babies and Kadence.
part of the birthday crowd. my babies and Kadence.


It's not easy to host the party and be the photographer, so I suggest designating someone as your photographer during the birthday party. There's always that someone that loves to have the camera in their hand, so let them do you a favor by capturing the memories while you serve the cake! :)

To the right is some a couple of the very few pictures I did get a chance to take on my camera at the birthday party I hosted recently. The three youngest are all mine!

It was a great party spending time with our friends and family.

Facebook Invites

I highly recommend facebook invites. It's free, it's easy, it reaches a wide variety of the people that you interact with, and your children interact with.

Create a cute invitation to use as your events picture and get to inviting those guests!

If you choose this method, be sure to keep in mind that not everyone has facebook - shocking I know, but take the time to think of those people in your life who aren't socially connected and be sure to reach out to them in some other way.

Make sure your date and time are specific, and try to let guest know at least two weeks in advance.

Alice In Wonderland Birthday
Alice In Wonderland Birthday | Source

Do You Use Facebook Events for Invites

Do You Use Facebook Events to Invite Guests to Your Party/Events?

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    • emi sue profile image

      Emily Lantry 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Thank you for your comment. You're right. It doesn't take usually take a lot of work for kids to have a good time. :) which is good news for the parents. Thank you for stopping by!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 3 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks for all the tips. I have seen many birthday parties for kids in recent years and I can say the budget was never related with the satisfaction. It seems children are always in the mood for party:)

    • emi sue profile image

      Emily Lantry 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Thanks for stopping by mdscoggins. :) my friend and i worked for days on the tinkerbell cake. :)

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great suggestions. Love the Tinker Bell cake :)

    • emi sue profile image

      Emily Lantry 3 years ago from Tennessee

      That's how I like to think about Goatfury, most people have facebook these days - might as well use it to make life a little easier if you can. :)

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Good, simple tip on the Facebook invite. I've been using "Events" for a long time on FB. Free, easy to use, and no good reason not to use them.

    • emi sue profile image

      Emily Lantry 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Thank you galleryofgrace, I didn't know that but I will correct it now. Thanks for stopping by!

    • galleryofgrace profile image

      galleryofgrace 3 years ago from Virginia

      keyword and hashtag stuffing in the summary is not allowed. It should be coherent sentences.