Yes, it is possible to be frugal and provide some fun!

A Fun and Frugal $20 Birthday Party

by Dawn Adam


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When my daughter, Melissa, turned 7 she was under-going cancer treatment and very much needed the boost a party would give her, but there just wasn't any money. I picked a small park in which to have the party and invited 15 kids. Here's what we did:

  1. Park Scavenger Hunt where children were paired off and given a numbered bag with a list inside of things they needed to gather such as 3 pieces of trash, rock smaller than a marble, a yellow flower (dandelions, of course), a brown leaf, etc. I blew a whistle and off they ran. It took them about 10 min. Prizes were Disney puzzles from the dollar store. Total cost: $3.

  2. Musical Plates where paper plates were put in a circle and each time the music stopped the children sat down on one of the plates. We played this over and over. The kids loved it! We gave McDonald's gift certificates as prizes. Total cost of game was $3.

  3. Homemade Pinata decorated like the classic yellow happy face. Very easy to do. All kids love a piñata. Total cost was $8 because there was some really good stuff in the piñata for them to take home.
  4. Save on personalized party supplies every day at Shindigz

  5. Cupcakes that I made myself that had one letter on each cupcake to Spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA. Very cute! Cost $2

  6. Invitations were hand made and hand delivered. We used plain white cups and napkins. We blew up balloons that we tied around the park. We filled 2 with helium near the entrance. Cost $2

So, the total cost of the party was about $20. The children had such fun and there was no mess to clean up. Each game cleaned itself up. It was the only stress free party I had ever hosted or been to. It does not take a great deal of money to have a fun party! We proved that!


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  • For more frugal kids' party ideas, check our library of kids' party articles.
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