Throwing a birthday party to be remembered doesn't have to be a burden on your budget, but let's face it - the costs can add up pretty quickly.
So if you're looking for ways to throw a memorable birthday bash without the added expense, we've crammed this article with clever cost-cutting birthday party ideas and tips for your child when money is tight.
Make your cake.
Instead of buying your creative cake creations from your local baker, why not consider making your own next time around? Bake two chocolate sponge cakes and plop a big lump of mint, strawberry or vanilla ice-cream in the middle and voila.
Location, location, location.
Naturally, parents want to host birthday parties away from the house, and we can understand why. The clean up after any celebration can be both stressy and messy, but if you are smart with the sweets and keep juice outdoors, there's less chance of sticky floors.
Think twice about party bags.
Instead of worrying about what to put in swag bags, consider where the "stuff" will end up in a week. Let's face it, parents don't want junk at their house, and kids don't need any more sweets after a day full of treats.
Skip the hot food.
Plan the party between meals times to cut out any additional costs of making hot food for little guests and their parents. If at all possible, throw the birthday party mid-morning or mid-afternoon. 11 am to 1 pm or 2 pm to 4 pm are great times to host a party.
Consider homemade activities.
You could have guests decorate a cupcake with frosting and sprinkles to bring home. Or if you're anyway crafty, you could build lightsabers together out of empty toilet roll holders or have the kids string together a necklace or bracelet to bring home.
Play traditional games.
Scrap the increasing costs of hiring outside entertainment by playing old school party games such as musical chairs, musical statues, egg and spoon race, tug of war, Marco Polo and our favourite, Simon Says.
Use digital birthday party invites.
Instead of buying birthday party invitations, consider sending e-vites using one of the many free paperless flyers and cards available for free online. Customize with your child's name, age, location and RSVP details, and it couldn't be any easier.
Make a pinata.
Not only do Piñatas make great centrepieces for kids birthday parties, but they are also straightforward to make. A couple of days before your child's birthday party, paper mâché a balloon or cover a cereal box with crepe paper and fill it with your child's favourite sweet treats.
Keep an eye on clearance sales.
Be vigilant all year round for cheap and cheerful party supplies in brick-a-brac shops in your locality and online. Supply-hunting early will save you both time and money, and let's face it, nobody wants to be running out last minute to buy overpriced decorations the night before.
Hold a joint birthday party.
And finally, do any of your child's friends have a birthday in the same week or fortnight? Suggest co-hosting a joint celebration for them so that all expenses can be split down the middle.