Planning Children’s Birthdays on a Budget

It’s hard to cope with knowing your kids’ birthday is coming up when don’t have much money, but you also don’t want to feel like you can’t make it special, so here are the things to consider when planning children’s birthdays on a budget.

This is a reposted blog post I wrote for another site, but with Scout’s birthday coming up soon it was the inspiration behind the post, and I wanted to share here too!


Second Hand Toys/Games

One of the best ways to save an absolute fortune on your child’s birthday, is to check for toys they ask for on second hand sites/apps.

FB marketplace is definitely the best place we’ve found for finding toys and games, with the added bonus of the ads being local! This will save on postage too if you’re able to collect.

Another bonus to this that we fine regularly, is you look for a specific Baby Annabelle (for example), and for a quarter of the price that you would normally pay for the doll, you get 3 dolls, a high chair, a crib and all of the clothes and accessories too! And you’ll find this with whatever toy you’re searching for.


When buying new…

I’m fully away that you can’t get everything second hand, and maybe you want the odd thing new.

My advice here is when you have to buy new, buy smartly!

Use your Cashback Apps, and shop around for the best price! And make sure you write down what it is you’re looking for, and STICK TO IT. It’s so easy to get distracted by targeted sales and ads, shops rely on it working on you!

Get what you need, get your cashback and then get out of the shop/off the site!


Anything you CAN get money off for, no matter how much or little, will add up and make a difference.

Those Clubcard vouchers? They add up! Boots Advantage card? Nectar Card?

And although I don’t recommend glancing into catalogues posted through the door, I DO recommend checking them for money off vouchers and keeping them for when needed.


Decorations can turn into a money pit you never planned to dig when dealing with birthdays!

And honestly, they aren’t needed!

But if you want to make it appear like you decorated, but spend next to nothing, then getting creative with paper/recycling can be a good (albeit time consuming) option!

You could make paper chains, paper Pom Pom balls, garlands and plain old posters!! The more energetic you feel, the more you can go for! It’s also a great way to occupy any other kids you’ve got! They love to get involved!

We have also found that leaving some presents unwrapped and places around the table can make for an instant WOW factor, where you may usually fill with decor!

This saves on paying out for wrapping too!

Skip on the really unnecessary things (napkins, party bags, 5 banners), and swap them for a priority one or two.

Basically you want to aim for a couple of cheap Decs that will add the wanted look (these may be a character or specific banner or balloons), make a few out of things you already have to pad them out, and then leave a couple of toys/games out unwrapped for the ultimate wow!

Along with a few wrapped gifts too, you’re onto a much cheaper winner!


Parties are another place where we often feel like we should go big or go home, but it’s so easy to get carried away with vast outgoings, for a 2 hour party that could have been hundreds cheaper and just as appreciated.

If your child is an age where they want to do something particularly expensive per person, try and get them to stick to the friends they enjoy spending time with most.

If they’re going for a full class party, then definitely looking into halls for hire for cheaper, opting for supermarket budget food for catering and trying to keep things tight will be helpful!

We’ve found that the favourite option tends to be a sleepover with multiple friends, lots of junk food, a take-away (make sure you check Quidco cashback for deliveroo rates!!), games, a movie and the allowance of the entire living room all night for the sleepover.

And remember when I mentioned above about vouchers, parties are somewhere where food vouchers will come in exceptionally handy!

The Cake

If there’s one piece of advice I can offer you about budgeting around a kids birthday, it’s to never ever think about making the cake! Haha.

Honestly, it will cost you so much in ingredients, so much in stress and so much in time too!

I know that ordering from a cake maker blows things out of budget, so if you’re budgeting then my favourite budget cake option is… the good old supermarket selection!

Now don’t turn your nose up. Some of the supermarkets are absolutely smashing it with their birthday cake selection now!

But for little kids, you can’t beat a £12 character cake!

So there you have some of our best tips for saving a little when you’re strapped for cash around your children’s special day!

You can absolutely still make it magical! It’s about the thought that goes into it.

Do you have any other suggestions for a budget, kids’ birthday?

L xxx

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