This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosures for more info.
Hi there friends! I wanted to share with you how we celebrated Terin’s one year frugal baby birthday party. I can’t believe she turned one before our eyes.
Didn’t I just have her?! Yes. Now, I’m going to go back to snuggling baby and pretending that she’s not almost walking.
All half-kidding aside, planning a frugal baby birthday party can be a lot of fun with a little planning and a lot of humor. Most babies are impressed by simple pleasures such as balloons, cake, and wrapping paper.
And if it goes horribly wrong, at least they won’t remember their parent’s party planning attempts. One-year-olds are very forgiving in that way. 😉
Here’s some tips to plan your frugal baby birthday party for the baby in your life.
Heads up: This page may contain affiliate links. You can check out my disclosures for more details.
Frugal baby birthday party tips
Lose the expectation and keep it low-key.
You don’t have to invite an army to have a great party. We invited our two sets of close family friends, plus the grandparents to Terin’s swimming pool party.
We didn’t have to splurge on meals, and drinks, appetizers, and so on with a small get-together. We held it after her afternoon nap and before dinner. This resulted in great savings!
I feel like bigger parties have bigger expectation. I don’t find it particularly fun planning a party when it’s a ton of work and expense.
To get around this, I’ve realized if baby’s having fun, then that’s what matters. They are usually impressed with simple pleasures. It’s parents who stress themselves out with making everything perfect when baby just wants to check out the curlies on the package.
Find a free or low cost venue.
Our recreation center and community pool is very affordable in our area, making it the location of choice for summer birthday parties. The kids loved splashing in the pool.
This was the third time we took Terin to the pool but the first time she actually knew what was happening. She had an excited look on her face and loved splashing in the water. It was really fun to spend the day with her that way.
The recreation center charged a $50 fee to reserve an awning space outside of the pool. Because our group was small, we drove to a nearby park to eat our cake and lemonade for FREE. Everyone was happy and it was no stress. 🙂
Skip birthday party decorations.
Because we held the party at the pool, we didn’t do any party decorations. This was perfectly fine with me. I think party decorations are over-priced for a one-year-old’s birthday anyway. I’d rather put that money in her college fund or toward our mortgage, honestly.
Make the birthday cake yourself.
We made the cake at home using simple ingredients I had in my pantry already.
To make the recipe, you combine these:
- 1.5 c all purpose flour
- 0.25 cups cocoa powder (for a chocolate cake)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- 0.33 canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Allergy-friendly frosting (optional, but extremely tasty!)
- Cupcake tins if you’d prefer cupcakes
Combine all the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan at 350-degrees for 45 minutes or until done. If you’re in a hurry, cool in the refrigerator to frost sooner with frosting of choice.
Coordinate with the grandparents.
Most grandparents, if they are involved, enjoy spending money on the grandkids. Because of this, you can coordinate gifts to help you both save money.
Remember, babies are an easy audience and impressed by simple things. Terin spent most of the morning putting her pajamas over her head. She twirled the wrapping paper for a while because it was new. She’s happy with many free things.
This doesn’t last long, so I want to take advantage of it!
We chose a nice lion scooter from the thrift store for Terin that will help her learn to walk. This was perfect for her since she’s trying to walk. She surprisingly loved riding it and putting the balls in the lion’s mouth. A similar one is available on Amazon. I bought it for $12 when new costs at least $30 more. Terin is just as happy as she would be if I bought it new.
Try taking photos of your kids yourself.
Professional photos are lovely, but are also something you can DIY if you are up for the task. I took many shots of Terin and got a small handful I’d like to frame.
The secret is going in with little expectation and always photographing a rested baby with a full stomach. I like photography in the mornings because the light is more forgiving to cameras and our daughter is happiest in the AM. I can’t believe Terin is one, now. It’s been a dream come true being her mom.
What are your favorite frugal baby birthday party tips?