Children’s birthday parties provide fun and smiles for the birthday child and his or her friends, but the cost of throwing a soiree can easily escalate. If money is not an issue, then by all means go for it and throw the most impressive birthday party ever. But if you’re on a budget, are not concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses,” and want to throw a nice party without breaking the bank, here are tips on how to save on children’s birthday parties.
Throw the Party at Home
Holding the party in your home versus renting out a venue can provide significant cost savings. Unlike some party places that require you purchase food, favors and more through them, a party at home allows the hostess to control all aspects. This means you can save on food and favors by purchasing items on sale or in bulk at warehouse clubs like Costco, BJs or Sam’s Club. You can also control the ingredients and quality of the food should any guests have special dietary restrictions. Throwing a party in your home does require more work in terms of preparation and cleaning, but if you don’t mind these aspects then a home party may be for you.
Take Advantage of Memberships
Not everyone can throw a party at home if say, there is limited space. When there is no other option but to hold a party elsewhere, look for places that may provide free or low cost space. For example, if you live in an apartment, condo or subdivision complex, perhaps there is a club room you can reserve for free. Some public and private parks also offer free or low cost space rental of pavilions or rooms. Or perhaps a family member belongs to the local VFW or community center which may also offer discounted space. It never hurts to inquire.
Use Special Promotions
Nowadays people are familiar with the Groupon concept of businesses promoting half price or better deals on their services or products. Many offshoots of Groupon now exist such as Amazon Local, Living Social and other hyperlocal promotion sites. Keep your eyes open for deals promoting birthday parties as often you can score a huge savings. Birthday party venues also sometimes post coupons and special offers on their websites, so make sure to check these as well.
Do you have something to offer the birthday venue where you could negotiate a full barter or a reduced price? For example, if you have your own business, perhaps you can exchange services. Or if you’re a writer or blogger you could offer to write a promotional post about the business. If the venue is a play area for kids and you just happen to be really well connected with other local moms, you could agree to set up several open play dates with a large group of paying moms and kids which would also provide the business exposure. Be creative when it comes to bartering.
Hold the Party on a Weekday
Many party venues will offer a discount for parties taking place during the week. This may not be possible for kids who are school age, but if there is a holiday that falls on a weekday when the kids are out of school (e.g. President’s Day) then perhaps this could still be an option.
Invite Limited Guests
If the party venue prices are based on number of guests, then hard decisions may have to be made. Perhaps only invite relatives – then if friends ask you can explain, “We decided to just have a family party.” Or only invite a few close family friends instead of everyone in class. Another benefit of inviting a smaller number of guests is the opportunity to talk to everyone at the party which creates a more intimate celebration.
Ask for a Discount
Don’t be shy, there’s nothing wrong with trying to save money. Many businesses would rather book your party at a discount rather than having no money come in at all. Simply say you’re looking at different birthday venue places, you’d really like to have your party there but are on a budget – then ask if there is anything they could offer so you can hold your party there which will bring in numerous local families as guests. A smart business owner will realize that gaining exposure to your guests could lead to future business.
Do you have other tips on how to save on children’s birthday parties? Add your ideas to the comments below!