How To Unexpectedly Spend Nothing On Your Toddler’s Birthday

Let me just preface this with the simple fact that this is a how-to you probably shouldn’t follow.

Buggy celebrated his 2nd birthday last month.  While the very first and the 1st year birthday always steal the show, the 2nd is quite exciting and just as special.

Of course, you wouldn’t know it looking at me.

I’m not kidding.  I seriously spent less than $100 on Buggy’s birthday.  I didn’t mean to.  It just sort of happened.

I will never be the petting zoo, pony rides, Ferris wheel in the backyard party planning parent.  I find it ridiculous to send yourself into double mortgage debt to celebrate a birthday.  But I also think birthdays are special and it’s nice to spend a little extra money to celebrate.

I’d like to share my secrets with you all.  So whenever you need to plan a birthday for your own child, you will know exactly how to do it with style (if you can even call it that), little time or energy, and without breaking the bank.

Anne’s Top Ten Ways to Save Money on a Toddler Birthday Party:

10. Don’t buy gift bags.  Make your own!

Traced. I wish I was that good.

9. Don’t bake a cake.  Pay a lovely friend to make a cake that looks 1,000 times better than anything you could ever make.  (Shout out to Cakes By Amy)

Isn't this awesome?

I made this last year. See why I bought a cake?

8. Don’t go to too much trouble planning crazy games and activities.  Use your child’s current toys as well as their actual birthday present to entertain the guests.

Toot Toot Thomas!

7. Decorate with what’s around the house.  Rip the front off of the invitations you messed up and hang them from the doorway with butcher’s twine.  Color in Thomas coloring pages and tape them to the mantle.  Keep last year’s decorations and use them again!  Yup.  I definitely did all that.

"Happy Birthday" never goes out of style.

6. Once you realize that you really don’t have much going for this party, improvise a ball/bean bag toss using part of a box sitting in your garage and craft paint.  Be sure to stick with the party’s theme.

I'm actually quite impressed with myself.

Buggy loved it.

5. Plan such a party for a 2 year old that is happy playing with family members, balloons, and the floor.  He won’t notice the skimping.


4. Forget to invite several little friends and their families.  Less people, less food, less goody bags.  (So sorry to those of you reading this that really should have been here but see number 1 as to why.)

3. Out of the 3 non-family guests you actually remembered to invite, have all but 1 be busy, working, or out of town so that only 1 comes to the party.

2. Show up to the party decoration store one minute after the lady who buys out the ENTIRE Thomas and Friends section and leaves only dessert plates, one set of napkins, one package of invitations (so really I couldn’t invite you), and pretty much nothing else.

1. Plan a family vacation the week of your child’s birthday, because you literally forgot that was the week of his birthday, leaving you no time to plan, shop, and create an extravagant, well-decorated, expensive party.  Then expect your name to be taken off the list of nominees for “Mommy of the Year” award.

After I file my new business license with the state, I will take your reservations to plan the next major event in your family’s life.  Please, take a number.  Don’t shove or trample to receive my highly desired services.

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2 Responses to How To Unexpectedly Spend Nothing On Your Toddler’s Birthday

  1. Andrea says:

    Ha Ha… sorry we missed this one. Must not have had enough invitations:)

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