Kids’ parties are as regular as paying the bills...and it usually ends up costing just as much.
And it has all changed. Long gone are the days of jelly and ice-cream, a few bottles of red lemonade and a family member doing face painting in the corner. The competition out there to have the best party is real, and you can easily get caught up. However, don’t forget, a kid’s birthday party shouldn’t be an event to dread, and there are ways you can get good value.
The venue
While a playcentre might seem like the ideal choice for occupying super active party-ready kids, you might want to think again. By having the party at home, you’ll keep the costs down. And consider only inviting a few friends so you can manage it, and if needs be ask the mums to stay during the party to lend a hand. Most will completely understand and be happy to be there. Alternatively, if your home isn't big enough, consider doing a joint party with a friend, this is a win-win for everybody, it keeps costs low, it’s just one event, and all funds can be pooled.
What about entertainment?
While hired magicians and clowns are brilliant, they can be pricey. So why not hark back to the classics? Things like blast-from-the-past Pass the Parcel are perfect.  You buy small toys online, pop them in a box and get wrapping.
Ditto Musical Chairs, Pin the Tail on the Donkey as well as garden games like a treasure hunt. For an older child, a movie night will keep those costs low. With food, you get great deals from discount stores for party food such as pizza, and sweet treats (you can also make your own treats like Rice-Krispie buns, chocolate cupcakes and marshmallow top hats;  they’re so easy to make, even the kids can get involved, they’re economical and oh-so-tasty. Don’t overdo it on the food - while kids love all things mini (pizzas, hotdogs) they kids will be more interested in playing and eating sweets. When it comes to the birthday cake, why not bake one with the kids the day before the party? Making memories and saving money in one swoop - perfect.
And not forgetting the party bag
They don't need to break the bank - a bag with some sweets and maybe a small favour or two will keep them happy. Plus, they can double up as decorations for the main food table. Put a name tag on each bag, tie a strand of ribbon to a balloon and use it to secure the handles of the party bags together - if you lay them out on the main table, the room instantly becomes more festive.