A birthday cake is shown with candles and balloons
(Photo: Randy Piland, Gannett)
(CNN) - Party stores are packed with dozens of themes and hundreds of birthday items. For girls, Disney princesses are huge. For boys all the superheroes from the latest blockbuster hits like Superman, Iron Man, the Avengers, but birthday blowouts can cost big bucks.
Kiplinger's personal finance says parents can save money before the party starts. Let children make their own invitations, or send them via email. Keep food and cake simple, another thing you can do at home, for less. Also, don't go overboard on party favors. A fun activity can be a takeaway guests make themselves.
You can spend a lot of money on party favors, but a lot of times the fun is in having the kids put together the party favors.
One inexpensive trend: candy buffets.
Parents are sort of picking and choosing a few key colors of their party design, and then designing an entire candy display based on those colors. You can also skip the roller rink or play center, for a more affordable venue.
There are a lot of things often in your own community from something as simple as going to the park to ice rinks.
Including your child in the party planning can also be a learning opportunity.
This is a prime opportunity for you to lay out what the cost is. They may realize, maybe I'll just settle for something else, but helping them with the dollars and cents.