Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to plan a budget friendly party

Everyone wants to give their child or someone special in their life a beautiful birthday party. But if you have tried to plan one you will know how much it can ALL add up... and quickly!
Just cause you have a budget doesn't mean your party won't be fabulously stylish and fun.

Here are a few tips I use when planning a party or get together. 

Bake things that go far but don't cost very much like
  • Meringues which require 2 eggs and 100grams of sugar to make roughly 12 - 15 meringues. 
  • Jelly/jello - you can use fresh fruit juice and gelatine place in molds and they look super cute when molded into shapes. 
  • Fresh fruit chopped up into cubes and then threaded onto kebab sticks. (seasonal fruit would be cheapest and healthy) 
  • scones - bake a big pile and place on a pretty plate then place beaten fresh cream, butter and 1 or more types of jams nearby in cute bowls for people to help themselves.
  • Potato wedges - take fresh potatoes rinse and slice up and cover with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven until tender and crispy - serve in jars or teacups and servewith sauce

EXTRA TIP* Make a lot of one or two things instead of having a bit of this and that as most people like to try everything. Rather they can have their fill on something than you run out of somethings making you look like you under catered.

Playing games instead of hiring entertainment! For kiddies there are games like:
  • Pass the parcel
  • scavenger hunt 
  • dunking for apples
  • hide and seek 
  • statues 
and many more just do a search on the internet
EXTRA TIP* Get a family member or friend to help you with the games and maybe do some face painting. **Extra hands ALWAYS help**

Table centre piece for an Oriental themed Party - it was a thrift find (bought at a 2nd hand store)

Pick a theme where you don't have to buy branded merchandise... like mickey mouse or hello kitty. Rather pick a country (eg chinese, Italian, French) or a colour theme like a rainbow party, or pink and white polka dot party,  or an item (eg mustache, circus, ranch or farm, horses, kittens, puppy etc). Anything really and expound on it! This applies for adults parties too.


Glitter and double sided were used to make these flags on straws for a Bling Party

Make you own decorations... coloured papers, off cuts of fabrics, beads, glitter, paint and fake flowers (optional) can make:
  • cute bunting
  • flags 
  • cupcake toppers
  • thank you tags
  • pretty bands to go around cups
  • party boxes

Try to make your own party packs: make them out of things you have like:
  •  recycling jars or containers that you can collect over a few weeks or months before the party then paint them or cover in scrap book paper or fabric. 
  • fill with a few sweets, tie with a ribbon and a thank you :)
  • for adults a cupcake in a small jar, box or recycled (washed) plastic container and tie with a ribbon 


Sew your own felt purse
Use things that you have..or are cheap to buy.
  • Felt to make purses to sew or glue
  • Colouring - Print out pictures on paper (cute colouring pics can be downloaded from the internet) for them to colour and glitter. 
  • Cheap beads to make bracelets
  • Cardboard crowns to cut out and decorate
  • Tye dying - ask each child to bring an old t-shirt to breath new life into
  • clay modeling and painting (make little jewelry bowls) or your own clay beads - then have fun dipping in paint and glitter!
EXTRA TIP* Don't forget to ask someone to take some photos for you as you will be busy and the party will be over before you know it and you will have fun seeing all your work afterwards in the photos - plus they make for GREAT memories

Have an idea or plan of the order of things and a rough idea of how long things take (write it down and see if it will all fit in and if you need to add anything)  This way you hopefully won't run out of time or have kids asking what they should be doing. Allow extra time for people to arrive as some maybe running late.
Remember to make time for singing Happy Birthday and cutting the cake :)

There are extra little things you can do to make your party extra special and run smoother whether for big or small!
  • Adding some theme appropriate music softly in the background can add a nice vibe
  • bubbles make everything pretty -bubble machine even better 
  • Have some cups with tea, coffee, milk, sugar and a kettle laid out for adults at a kids party for them to help themselves - add a little cake or biscuits nearby for them too
  • If you can ask a teenager for help with your party for the activities things can run more smoothly for you and be a bit more stress free
  • make sure to have one or two extra party boxes available in case one gets dropped or goes missing or a sibling comes to fetch the brother or sister
  • Have a few extra prizes and hand them out if you need to ;)
  • Have a photo taken with the birthday boy or girl and use as a thank you a week after the party can be fun! (but only if you can make the time) don't stress!
Remember you don't have to provide a jumping castle or clown if its not in your budget.  
Children like to have fun and as long as you have things for them to do and eat with their friends it will be GREAT!

What would you add to make your party budget friendly and easy to organise?


  1. My tip, instead of buying individual items, i.e. juice, chips, sweets or whatever rather buy a bigger one and decant. The dessert or sweet tables look great and work out cheaper than packing individual party packs.

    1. HI Pamela
      yes indeed - buying larger and in bulk and decanting is a key way to save.

      Betty Bake

  2. Great tips, I have been making parties for my 4 kids lat 10 years, and yes, I all about staying on budget, and I have proved over and over again that homemade fun is so much better then a bouncy castle :) I'm so glad to see you encouraging people to make their own unique parties,it's not about money,it's about ideas.

    1. Aww thank you Aneta :)
      I so enjoy coming up with something unique and creative and different than a shop bought idea (not that there is anything wrong with buying and doing that)
      I just think being different is fun

      Your parties and kiddies are very cute and pretty

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Christine - you have a great blog :)

  4. where can i find that recipe of the very colourful cake shown on the top of this page. its on a red heart plate. its amazing:)

    1. Hi Loren
      Thank you :)
      I didn't do it nearly as nicely as the original which is from the blog called Whisk Kid :)
      you can find her recipe here

      good luck and thanks for visiting
      Betty Bake x

  5. love all of this ...your fabulous !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    moodylicious xo

    1. Thanks Stacie - you are sop kind :)

  6. Great post! (I do catering for Children's parties as a hobby!)

    1. Thank you :)
      it is a great hobby to have :)

  7. I always say pick a color scheme and stick to it- it makes your purchase decisions easier and creates a cohesive look to the party! Great Post!!

  8. Visiting your blog is always fun. Love your tips!

    1. awww thank you :) that is so kind!
      Betty Bake x

  9. Replies
    1. Thank you Leonie :)
      thanks for popping by


  10. All fab ideas - nice work!

    1. Thank you Alison - you are your fab cakes (I really appreciate that!)

      BB x