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Low Cost Birthday Ideas

Updated on October 29, 2014

Low Cost Ideas To Celebrate In Style

Who doesn't love a birthday and a wonderful party to go with it. I can't imagine a birthday going by without a celebration. We all love celebrating our milestones, no matter what our age. A special celebration makes us feel special, but that special celebration does not have to cost a fortune.

Let's face it, birthdays and parties can take a toll on our budgets, no here are some bithday freebies to help ! Why not celebrate in style with a few less dips into your wallet. We think that calls for another celebration !

Low Cost Birthday Party Ideas

You can still have a birthday party fpr anyone without breaking your budget. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Limit The Number of Guests It does not have to be a big party to be successful. You can decide to have a limited number of people and still do something special.If it's a child's birthday, taking one or two friends to a special location like a movie or an amusement park can be just as memorable as a big party with less piazz. If you are celebrating an adult birthday, why not have a game night or a poker or card party with lots of snacks. Of course you will want to add a cake and some goodies
  2. Bake Your Own Cake or Cupcakes Who says that you have to have a store bought cake? You can bake one yourself-the current mixes are almost foolproof. There are so many ideas on the internet to help you. Why not bake cupcakes in advance and let the guests frost and decorate them. There is no set standard for what a birthday cake should be, so use your imagination
  3. Omit the cake and serve ice cream cakes Get a nice ice cream cake and you will save lots
  4. Substitute a Craft for the goodie bag Why not set up a craft station where kids make a craft to take home. Kids will love it ! The best thing is that your local Michael's or Joann Craft Store will have everything you need to do it ! Use the weekly coupons from these craft stores and save more.
  5. Have your party, adult, child or mixed groups at a local park They are most often free to use and have plenty of play equipment for your kids to amuse themselves
  6. Have an Ice Cream or Sundae Party Omit the cake and have ice cream plus some toppings. Let the guests make sundae's and they will have fun
  7. Rent A Movie Have a movie night with popcorn and snacks. Instaed of cake, serve a homemade pizza ! It's a great alternative....throw in a dessert and you have it made

Buy Party Packs - The More Affordable Alternative

Party packs are always cheaper instead of buying individual pieces or packages. You can save lots of money on children's parties

How To Make A Pinata

inatats are really fun and kids always love them, no matter what the occasion. Pinatas can be expensive, but you can save a few dollars by make ing your's how

Free Birthday Meals

Get A Free Meal for Your Birthday

Remember To Call Ahead as all stores may not be participating.

ABBOTT's FROZEN CUSTARD-Join the club a get a free treat on your birthday.

ALFY'S PIZZA - free mini pizza

ALL-AMERICAN CAFE - free dessert

APPLEBEES - free dessert

AUSTIN GRILL - Register First - free meal

BAKERS SQUARE - free pie

BANDIDO'S- free entry


BASKIN ROBBINS - free ice cream treat


BEN & JERRY's-Get a free ice cream treat on your birthday.

BENIHANA'S JAPANESE RESTAURANT -Join the Chef's Table! Sign up and stay connected on all the latest happenings at Benihana, plus during the month of your birthday they'll email you a complimentary $30 Benihana Birthday Certificate.

BENNIGANS - Get a buy 1 entrée, get 1 entrée free and a free brownie ice cream dessert coupon on your birthday.

BERN'S - free meal

BILL KNAPP'S - gives adults a % discount equal to age; plus a free bday cake (w/purchase of a meal) during the week of your B-day

BLACK ANGUS STEAKHOUSE-Get a free steak dinner on your birthday.

BLACK BRISKEE - free meal

BLIMPEE-Get a coupon for a free 6" sub on your birthday.

BOB'S BIG BOY - free hot fudge ice cream

BUFFALO WILD WINGS (BW3) - free dozen hot wings

BURGER KING - free kids meal to all kids club members

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN - Register First - free kids meal during the month of their birthday

CAPTAIN DIZZY'S CAR WASH - free car wash

CARROWS - free cake

CATTLEMEN'S - free dessert and cowboy hat

CHARLIE BROWNS RESTAURANTS - free meal for "Handshake Club" members


CHEVY'S - free dessert and sombrero

CHILI'S - free song

CHIPS N GIGGLES - free meal

CLAIM JUMPER - Free Dessert

CROWN THEATRES - Buy One Movie Ticket, Get One Free

CRAZY BUFFET - free meal

DAVE AND BUSTERS - $5 game card credit

DENNY'S - free meal (said to be only kids under 10 now)



DUKE'S CHOWDER HOUSE - b1g1 coupons (register first). FREE dinner for your birthday!

EINSTEIN'S - free meal

EL CHICOS - free dessert


FAMOUS DAVE'S BARBEQUE - free meal (w/advance signup)

FUDDRUCKERS - free burger

FUNNY BONE COMEDY CLUB - free cake (party of 5 min.; 2 drink min.)

GOLDEN CORRAL - free meal to birthday Club members (not just kids!) during month of birthday

GRILLFISH - free meal

HANA JAPAN - free meal

HARD ROCK CAFE - free dessert

HOMETOWN BUFFET - free birthday cake


HOLLYWOOD VIDEO - one free video rental

HOOTERS - free song + tshirt


IHOP- free meal

JOE'S CRAB SHACK - free cake

JT WHEATFIELDS - free coupon in phone book

KING BUFFET - free meal

LADONNA - free meal

LOMBARDI'S IN BALLARD - Register First - free meal w/another during month of birthday

LOTUS - free meal

LUTHERS BBQ - free stuff (varies) for "Great Rewards" members

MACARONI GRILL - free dessert + OPERA-style "Happy birthday" song

MAGGIANOS - $10 Off purchase of $20 (sign up in advance)

MARIE CALENDARS - free dessert

MAX AND ERMA - free $5 dessert


MOONIES DINER - free meal

MUCKLESHOOT CASINO - free sushi dinner + player's club points


NITTY GRITTY - free drink + souvenir glass



OLIVE GARDEN - cake (some say free, most say $$)

ONAMI - free dinner WITH 3 other people paying

OUTBACK Steakhouse - free dessert + song

PANCAKE HOUSE - free entry

PAPPA'S RESTAURANTS - free dessert

PARADISO'S - free meal

PERKIN'S - free stack of pancakes

PF CHANGS - free cake or cheesecake

PIZZA EXPRESS - free meal

PONCHO'S - free meal, dessert & picture

PROVINO'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT - free $10.99 meal and ice cream dessert

Radisson - free entrée in their 12th floor restaurant

REAL SEAFOOD COMPANY - free meal and dessert

RED LOBSTER - free slice of cake + song

RED ROBINS - Red Robin patrons who join the restaurant chain's eClub get a free gift for signing up as well as a free birthday burger (in addition to regular e-mail newsletters). When you register, you'll have to fill out a survey asking what you order most often at the restaurant, when you go there, who you tend to go with and how often you go.

RICE & COMPANY - free meal for Robinson Rewards Club members

ROCK BOTTOM - free appetizer for Mug Club members

ROUND TABLE - free personal pizza\\

Ruby Tuesday-Sign up for the Ruby Tuesday "So Connected" newsletter and receive a FREE handcrafted burger on your birthday. No purchase necessary.

SCALINI'S ITALIAN RESTAURANT - up to 10.95 off pasta specialties

SHEPARD'S BUFFET - free dinner buffet w/3 other paid customers

StarbucksAll registered Starbucks Card holders get a handcrafted birthday beverage of their choice. My Starbucks Rewards will make you feel special all year long, but for this one day you're extra special.

STEAK AND ALE - free mini choco cake

STEAK-N-SHAKE - free dinner for "birthday club" kids

Stone Cold CreameryYour birthday is your special day. To help you celebrate your birthday Cold Stone Creamery will give you one FREE Creation! That's right, free ice cream, on them, just because you had a birthday.

TACO BELL - free combo meal of your choice

TGI FRIDAYS - Free birthday Dessert

THE 99 - free meal

THE BARNSIDER'S/DEPOT RESTAURANTS - 1/2 off meal + cake & song

THE LOFT - free meal

THE PALM - 3lb lobster (must be a member/register first)

THE PARADISO - free entry + sombrero & song

THE VINE TAVERN - free meal

TODAI SEAFOOD BUFFET - Free Meal or voucher for Meal Next Visit

TONY ROMA'S - free dessert, free meal

UP THE CREEK - free meal and dessert

VACCARO'S ITALIAN PASTRY SHOP - free dessert and drink

WENDY'S - free kids meal to all kids club members

Z' TEJAS - Register First - $15 coupon for the month of your birthday

ZIO'S - free dessert mini pizza

Birthday Party Themes

The theme of your party is an exciting way to put it all together. here are some great resources that offer all kinds of ideas to make your occasion one that will not be forgotten.

Budget Birthday Tips

  • Don't have any candle holders for your cake? Looking for the most unique and adoable candle holders. Try Lifesavers ! they come in all colors and some with patterns........
  • Hold the party in your home. Keep it to a 2 hour limit. Beyond that you may just lose the crowd's attention. Avoid paying for space. If you have a large yard, use it. If not use the space in a local park.
  • Limit it to 10-12 guests. Keep it manageable.Enlist some help. Older sisters and brothers love to be part of the planning process

    A good rule of thumb is to invite the number of guests as the child's age plus one

  • Make a plan. That can include your theme, favors and games. Being organized will keep the party going.
  • Food ideas...Every kid likes Hot dogs, so why not give them what they want ! Find buy one get one free! Add bogos to the buns and chips and you are really saving cash ! Add a homemade cake from a mix with frosting and you have a complete menu short of a beverage. If you bogo the items and use coupons on top of that, you will way ahead of the game ! Even adding ice cream is no problem if you use the same ideas
  • Instead of a party, why not take a field trip. Take a couple of your child's favorite friends on a trip to a special location. Could be a zoo, a theme park, just about anything. You'll avoid a lot of cost. Plus you will have a great memory to boot.

Create Your Own Photo Booth

Great Party Option For Any Age

Why not create a special take home for each of your guests.?All you need is a digital camera, a room or closet, some backgrounds and /or props.

All you have to do is to set up your staging area and have an adult man the stattion. The idea is that your guests as individuals or groups come into your booth nad have their pictures taken. You could call your room "Mug Shots" You could use your party theme or just a cleaver background.

Give them props to "mug with"Just place some crazy hats, wigs, scarves...anything you can think of in your booth and let their imagination go wild.

Later one of the adults can print the pictures on the computer. You can burn individual CDs or make pictures...It's your choice

Low Cost Birthday Ideas

Your party doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some great ideas to keep the costs of your party under control

Favorite Birthday Foods

See results

In our house, the birthday person had the choice of foods that we would eat that nite. My daughter would always chose pasta. Even of you are just having a family celebration you can make it special. Add some special birthday napkins and a tablecloth. Add a few streamers or a banner. Put balloons everywhere. Take lots of pictures, Just make the birthday person feel special and it will be a memorable time

Birthday Quotes and Wishes

Here is a nice collection of Birthday Wishes and Quotes to use

  • "TO me, fair Friend, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eyed Such seems your beauty still."

    - W. Shakespeare

  • PLeas'd look forward, pleas'd to look behind, And count each birthday with a grateful mind.

    - Alexander Pope

  • Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words

    - Titus Maccius Plautus

  • The day ..

    For whose returns, and many, all these pray;

    And so do I.

    - Ben Jonson

  • For age is opportunity no less Than youth itself, though in another dress, And as the evening twilight fades away, The sky is filled with stars invisible by day."

    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Morituri Salutamus," 1875

  • "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

    Abraham Lincoln quotes (1861-65)

Your Birthday Freebies - Tell Us About Your Birthday Or Special Birthday Freeies You Found

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    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! Great ideas.

    • Ninche profile image


      7 years ago

      Like the lens, nice ideas you have here!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      good lookin' lens, a lot added to it, you earned a 'thumbs up' from me.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great ideas for your special one.


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