Budget, Family Finances, Frugal living

Budget Friendly Birthday Party for Our Frugal Family

October 19, 2015

When I found out that I was expecting for the first time, I knew that I would be cutting it pretty close to my own birthday with the due date. Little did I know, instead of going to my birthday dinner reservation, I would be spending the evening in the military hospital, meeting our daughter for the first time.

It’s pretty cool that my daughter and I have the same birthday. It’s an extra special day in our family not only because we share the birthday, but also because I shared the birthday with my great-grandmother. I always felt like I was in a special club, sharing my birthday on October 9. My great grandmother has since passed on, but now the club continues with me and my daughter.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but two people in the same family having the same birthday is a really great way to cut down on the costs of birthday celebrations. You don’t buy two cakes or have two parties, so the costs are essentially slashed in half. My family is pretty frugal, so this has worked out pretty well so far. I don’t mind eating whatever kind of cake my daughter chooses. Also, for the moment, her friends are the children of my friends, so parties aren’t an issue either. 

This year for my daughter’s birthday, she wanted to invite her friends to the park to eat cupcakes and hit a piñata. So, that’s what we did, and it cost next to nothing. It was a very budget friendly birthday party. My husband did go a bit overboard at the store, but try telling him that his 5 year old doesn’t need helium balloons at her birthday party…wasn’t going to happen. So I just let it go, because it made him happy to do that for her and it made her happy too.

The only thing she specifically asked for was a unicorn piñata. Our local Walmart doesn’t carry unicorn pinatas though, which really left me in a bind. The one she really wanted in particular is sold on Amazon for $30. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on something that would only last ten minutes. So, what’s a frugal mama to do?

To remedy the unicorn pinata situation, I bought the My Little Pony piñata from Walmart for $10 and decided to make a unicorn horn myself. With just 15 minutes of extra effort, I saved $20.

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Turning the pony piñata into a unicorn, instead of buying one, basically covered the cost of the impromptu purchase of a helium tank, so we’ll call it even. Making 24 cupcakes for the party only cost me $5 for cake and frosting supplies, and we had fruit, veggies, pretzels, tea, and water for the party guests to snack on. All in all, it was a really affordable, fun, and budget-friendly birthday party for our frugal family. There was gorgeous weather at the park the day of the party too, which made the day even nicer.

Saving money, one unicorn horn at a time

Even though our daughter is only 5 years old, we’re already finding our groove with how to celebrate two birthdays on the same day. We also have a few family traditions now because of our unique birthday situation. For example, we go to the pumpkin patch every year on the weekend nearest to our actual birthday. I love all things fall and all things pumpkin, so going to the pumpkin patch is how I get to celebrate my birthday in my own way while also doing something the kids will enjoy.

This year, my parents, sister, and soon to be brother in law were able to join us, which made our pumpkin patch weekend even more special. As an added bonus, the pumpkin patch we went to this year was really affordable. It was also only $8 per child with accompanying adults getting in for free for all of the activities (maze, fun house, and petting zoo). They had free hay rides out to the pumpkin field to pick your own pumpkins as well. They also had a fun deal where you could get as many pumpkins as you can carry in three steps for only $20. My husband decided to do it, and he ended up carrying 6 or 7 full size pumpkins and a whole bunch of smaller ones.

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My big strong husband carrying all of the family pumpkins so that we could get them for only $20.

My favorite part of the weekend was getting our family picture taken. We look forward to it every year. Taking a family picture in the hay has kind of become an annual thing for our family. We have never had professional family pictures done, so these pictures are precious to me. Our pumpkin patch picture from our birthday weekend has become one of my most cherished memories. I love that my husband and I get to make such sweet memories with our beautiful kids.

annual family photo

Do you have any family traditions on your birthday? What are your cost-saving measures to have a budget friendly birthday party?

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7 Comments

  • Reply Lisa October 19, 2015 at 8:39 am

    How neat to share a birthday and start some family traditions! As a stay-at-home mom, we tried very hard to keep our children’s birthday parties budget friendly mainly by hosting small parties at our house. The kids played a few games, did an art or science activity, played outside if it was nice and had a dessert. Sometimes it was a cake, or maybe brownies, or dirt cake. We also put up a few streamers and balloons. I tried to keep it very low key, which helps on expenses.
    Lisa recently posted…5 Hidden Costs of Our BelongingsMy Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog October 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Low key parties are my favorite kind of parties! All the fun of friends and food without the stress of putting on a big event.

  • Reply Chonce October 19, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Way to go on finding a creative solution to having a unicorn horn on the pinata! I’m sure your daughter appreciated it and it sounds like you both had a great birthday. My son and I are 4 days apart and since our birthdays are in cold January, we have to get super creative with low cost ways to celebrate.
    Chonce recently posted…Frugal Wedding Series: How to Afford Your Dream DayMy Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog October 19, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Winter birthdays can be hard since you can’t just go to a pavilion at a park or something. I’m sure ice skating or sledding could be a fun birthday though!

  • Reply Alexandra @ My Urban Family October 19, 2015 at 11:47 am

    That is so fun that you share a birthday! And I love that you have your own celebration on the weekend before. It doesn’t really matter when you celebrate as long as you have fun all being together :)
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  • Reply Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore October 21, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I share my birthday with my Dad and it’s really special for us too. In our family the birthday person always gets to choose one meal out at a restaurant in our area (not just our town as it’s pretty small, so we can go to nearby towns too). We only have to do 1 meal out for 2 birthdays since my dad and I share a birthday. This saves a lot of money. I always felt like it was a special club too. :)
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  • Reply Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful October 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

    That’s so sweet! It definitely sounds like you can save a lot of money by celebrating together. I think it’s worth it for parents to celebrate their kids’ birthdays jointly if they’re only born a week or two apart. Especially with how expensive parties can be nowadays!
    Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful recently posted…How To Know If You’re Overpaying On Bills- A Cinch Financial ReviewMy Profile

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