Tips for a Frugal & Fun Home Birthday (without being cheap)

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Here’s what we did for my birthday!

Bought 2 mylar balloons at Party City. Bought the dollar balloons – Cost $2. Then we went to Elevation Burger (fantastic organic burgers and they do an awesome lettuce wrap!) and got burgers for the family.  I used 20% off gift certificates, and our cost was about $25 for four of us. The restaurant gave me a free shake.

Tips: Check your warehouse club (we use Costco) for gift certificates at local restaurants. Also check out (we buy a lot of gift cards on Raise!) for discounted gift cards.  If you’re a new customer you can get $5 off $75 at Raise with coupon RAISE75AFNo need to buy the huge $10 ballons. The $1 balloons work just fine. And spend your money where it counts (like on yummy delicious organic burgers!).


My cousin sent a present for the kids, so we wrapped it up like a birthday present. Kids don’t understand when you get presents and they don’t. Besides, it’s more fun to see them open stuff. A got a Sofia shirt and E got a Mickey car.

Tip: Even though I didn’t personally purchase these gifts, I knew they were bought on clearance. Try picking up a fun little gift – even in the Target Dollar Spot – for the kids to play with.IMG_7987

This was really funny, because I just purchased Magic Slushy cups for myself.  My husband brought this to me to make Medifast soft serve in. I love it! It was super thoughtful. The Magic Slushy cups work great. The Zoku is awesome. It’s pretty unusual that my husband gets me a gift (I usually tell him not to, I guess I forgot!).  But since I didn’t get a laptop stolen in the past 6 months, I guess he thought I was due.  He knows I just buy what I want.IMG_8082

Then we made the donut tower. You can read all about it or get the recipe! I spent $6.50 on coconut flour. And 69 cents on the candle.

Tip: Don’t make too many treats. Then you have to eat them forever.  I like to make just enough for the party. It keeps it special!IMG_8080

My husband repurposed the Happy Mother’s Day sign that bestie did into Happy Birthday Mom. I thought that was so sweet. Cost – nuthin.

Tip: Use what you have and make a festive atmosphere!


I bought plates, napkins, and confetti on clearance at Party City. I just bought what they had. Cost: $1.50 (yes, really).

Tip: Look for clearance everywhere you go!

What a great birthday! We spent under $40 (not including the gifts) on two great days of fun.  Planning a celebration doesn’t have to drain your entire wallet!IMG_8081


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  • Ricki

    I love this! I hate that so many people think that they need to spend a lot of money for a birthday party.

    We usually just have cake for desert, and serve fruit and vegies for snacks, sometimes if we remember we’ll pick up some chips, but usually just enough for the party. And I’ve yet to meet a kid that doesn’t like hot dogs or burgers…and because most of the kids in my family’s birthdays are during summer/early fall the party’s out side in the yard. The kids have never complained and our pocket books never suffered. We’ve only gone to a restaurant for the party twice, found the cost extreme, and there was more stress for us, so now it’s a choice between inviting who ever they want and having it at the house, or just a few and going out, they choose house every time.

    Oh we also don’t do goody bags, and we find the other parents really appreciate it.

    Thank you for sharing at The Blog Strut Peacock Style.

    • Brandy

      The one time we did have a big birthday party I picked up McDonald’s coupon books for kids. They were a dollar each and everyone got several kids burgers, apple slices, and ice cream cones out of them. They were a HUGE hit!! No junky plastic. A little junky food, but all the parents seemed very appreciative!

  • Missy Homemaker

    I love it! Excellent ideas and a wonderful party idea.

    • Brandy

      Thanks 🙂 We had a great time!!

  • Andrew @ Mommy's Busy Go Ask Daddy

    Great tips. But no way would my wife make “just enough” desserts. She has to go super duper overboard everytime. But she usually sends lots of doggie bags home with everyone.