Family life

8 ways to save money on party supplies

You don't need to spend a ton to have a great party—these tips prove it!

By Emily Rivas

8 ways to save money on party supplies

Photo: iStockphoto

ways to save money on party supplies

Don’t buy themed decorations

Your kid might really want those Paw Patrol-themed decorations, but they’re quite pricey! Going with simple, solid-coloured paper products will save you a lot in the long run. So ask your little one which colour he’d like and then buy napkins, paper plates and cups in that shade. 





When it comes to decorating, buy one themed item and then craft the rest. Have scrap fabric, paper or plastic lying around the house? Try making a DIY banner or bunting, like this one





Check out our ultimate birthday party planning guide




8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: iStockphoto

Make your own cake

It may sound like a daunting task, but making your own cake is easier than you’d think! You don’t have to go searching for a complicated recipe—use boxed cake mix, but make it taste homemade with these hacks.





Decorating your masterpiece doesn’t have to be difficult either—try one of these simple techniques to make your cake look #Insta-worthy. We even have handy guides on how to make number-shaped cakes. Your kid will be super proud of you and you’ll have saved quite a chunk of change.




8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: Roberto Caruso, Prop+Craft Styling: Rayna Schwartz

DIY cake toppers

Why buy when you can DIY? Making your own cake toppers not only saves you money, but it’ll also give your cake that extra pizzazz you’re looking for. Make a trendy mini banner for your cake, try pom-pom lettering or even craft toppers with your kid’s face! It doesn’t get any more customized than that. Be sure to store them somewhere safe so you can reuse them next time.


8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: Roberto Caruso, Prop+Craft Styling: Rayna Schwartz

Search for free printables on Pinterest

There are tons of online places you can get free printables, but Pinterest is our favourite. Use these free printables for your invitations, banners, labels and games. You’ll be surprised how many fun themes printables come in—Minecraft, pirates, unicorns and more!


8 ways to save money on party suppliesIllustrations by Jamie Piper

Avoid parties at mealtimes

If you can, try planning the party at a time when you know the kids will be satisfied with just a few snacks. Cut up veggies and make hummus. Put out bowls of chips (kids love these fruit and veggie ones) and popcorn. Aim for early afternoon (around 2 p.m.), which actually is the best time for younger kids because it doesn’t ruin their nap schedule.


8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: Roberto Caruso

Plan a craft

It really depends on what your kid’s friends are like, but replacing game time with craft time can save you money. Traditional party games often require some sort of prize at the end, which can quickly rack up costs. Search for a cool craft you think everyone will like and buy your supplies at the dollar store to save money. Plus, craft time ensures the kids stay busy for a couple of hours and the craft doubles as a loot bag. Winning! Give these cute pipe cleaner crowns a try.


8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: Today's Parent

Set up a cookie decorating station

Instead of goodie bags, have the kids take home a little bag full of cookies they’ve decorated. Buy a pack of simple sugar cookies from the grocery store (or bake them yourself—it’s up to you), and gather icing and candies for the decorating portion from a bulk store. Your pint-sized guests will not only be entertained, but they’ll be excited to show their parents their creations.

8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: Tony Lanz

Borrow things you need from friends or thrift

If you have friends who have young kids like you do, chances are they still have leftover balloons, tablecloths or other supplies from their last party. It may seem frugal, but you’d be surprised how much you can save on your party if you ask around. Likewise, check thrift stores in advance to see if they have what you’re looking for. It might just be your lucky day!

8 ways to save money on party suppliesPhoto: iStockphoto

Read more: Throw a birthday party on a budget 10 peanut-free birthday party snacks How to make 12 fun cake shapes

This article was originally published on Apr 29, 2016
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