Skip navigation
Lia Schopmeyer - Digital marketing executive at

How to throw a birthday party on a budget


Your child’s most cherished moments aren’t necessarily the ones that’ll cost you a lot. Make their birthday special without going overboard.

 birthday party

Don’t get caught up in a competition with other parents on who can spend the most money on their kid’s birthday.

On average, parents spend £135 on birthday parties and one in six parents admit to spending over £300.

To make the day special, you don’t need expensive gimmicks. 

We asked Cathryn Scott from Cardiff Mummy Says and mum of three to give us her thoughts on keeping costs low.


Ask your child who they’d like to invite rather than inviting the entire class. Keeping the numbers down is the best way of keeping costs low.

They’ll probably have a better time with fewer kids around as a huge party could be daunting to your little one.

Cathryn's tip: “Often at big birthday parties, the birthday child doesn't get to speak to half of the children there as everyone is so busy running around."

"But at these more intimate parties, it's nice that they can spend time with all their guests."

When sending invites, print them out yourself instead of buying them. There are tons of free party invite templates on the internet.


 kids food at party

Party food is usually expensive. Don’t be fooled in buying loads of mini pizzas and pre-made mini sandwiches that no one will eat.

Cathryn's tip: “Some parties we've been to, the children are given a little cardboard box of food, with a couple of sandwiches, a drink, a packet of crisps, some fruit and a treat."

This will not only keep costs down but also prevent food waste.

If you want to cut the cost even further, have the party in the afternoon and invite children to join for games and cake.

That means they would’ve had lunch and no one will expect a lot of food apart from cake.


 kid dressed up

Your party doesn’t have to have a theme - the other parents will likely be glad they don’t have to find a costume for their children too.

Cathryn's tip: “We often buy plates with a character on, and then buy everything else off the internet in a plain colour that will match the theme, but at a far cheaper cost.”

Decorate the venue with some colourful balloons and streamers and you’re done.

If your child wants to dress up though, let them get creative with clothes, blankets and other things around the house instead of buying a costume.


With a smaller number of guests your home can be the party venue, which will save a lot of money.

Cathryn's tip: "Some of the best parties my children have had have been the ones in the house, with just a handful of guests. "

If you do need more space, Cathryn suggests looking locally.

“The last couple of years, we have held my daughter's birthday parties in a local community hall and I have organised the party games myself.”


Instead of hiring an entertainer, let the kids entertain themselves with a craft table.

Cathryn's tip: “We always have a craft table with paper and colouring pens, and that's always really popular, as well as being inexpensive.”

Plan a few party games like musical chairs or pass the parcel or let them decorate fairy cakes that they can take home as a gift.

Give one of the more energetic members of your family the task of getting the party in full swing.

They don’t have to perform but they can show the kids what games to play next.

Party bags

Party bags can be completely scrapped or you can prepare little bags with some sweets and little toys you can buy in bulk instead of buying the pre-packed kind.



Compare market leading deals for your money

Manage your money