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The Rational Party Planner: How to throw an inexpensive birthday party!

I am not your typical “Pinterest perfect” momma. So when it comes to birthday parties, I get pretty stressed about making it “perfect” without giving my budget-conscious husband a heart attack. We also have back-to-back birthdays that happen to fall in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which just makes the case for an inexpensive birthday party all the more stronger. Now with three birthday parties under my belt, here are a few of my “go to” tips on how to have a great party without breaking the bank!


Free Printables20161203_103847

Pick a theme. Let’s say you are throwing a lumberjack themed birthday party, so head on over to Google and search for “Free lumberjack party printables.” Boom. Game Changer. The only costs involved with this is the paper and the ink! You let someone else, in my case much more talented than I, do the hard work of designing the cute banners, water bottle labels and signs, and all I have to do is print, cut and hang!




Set your menu- keep it simple!20161203_101919

Plan your party in between meal times. This way you can serve light snacks that go along with your theme. Set your menu before you grocery shop so you don’t over purchase. For our oldest’s first birthday we went WAY overboard with the amount of food we bought for the party. Keep it simple: a few snacks, a few drinks and a cake — which leads me to my next tip!


Make your own cake!20161203_112428

I swear, it sounds scarier than it is! Find something simple online and try to recreate it. Or do what I do and have your craft savvy mother-in-law create the perfect cake for you! And I know, Publix cake is God’s gift to the south (We had Publix cake at our wedding!), but you will save yourself about $20 if you make it at home! DIY is very “in” now anyway!


Simple décor goes a long way!

Pintrest will make you feel like you need to make themed bathroom signs, elaborate front door décor, and matching outfits for the whole family. Keep it simple and remember that the party will only last a few hours and your kids will never remember those silly details! Allocate your funds to more important things like the food, table decorations, and when they are older, games and prizes for other kiddos.


Comparison is the thief of joy.

Remember why you are throwing the birthday party in the first place. It should be kid centered! Keep the themes, décor and food kid friendly. There is no need to “keep up with the Joneses” or all the beautiful “pins” on Pintrest. Enjoy the day and celebrate another year in your child’s life. Follow these tips and you will find yourself being more present at their party versus being stressed about the little details, or worse, your husband finding out how over budget you went!


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