Kids' birthday parties are special opportunities to lavish attention on the little ones we love. That doesn't mean we have to break the bank in the process, though. Birthday party tabs can quickly rise as we tack on pricey venues, entertainers, goodie bags, custom cakes and party food. But in reality, most kids are pleased with the simple things -- especially when it comes to the birthday menu.
Trimming the food budget is one of the easiest ways to cut the cost of hosting a kid's birthday party. Start by asking the guest of honor what he or she would like to eat during the festivities. The birthday boy or girl probably won't request gourmet entrees, and the quintessential kids' foods (think pizza and hotdogs) are relatively cheap. Then, when jotting down the grocery list, plan to buy bulk. Individually packaged items, such as juice boxes, are often more expensive than economy-sized jugs.
Limiting the guest list to a handful of close friends is another way to save money. A shorter guest list also guarantees that there will be plenty of snacks to go around. And if you're planning to serve food aside from cake and ice cream, ask parents about any food allergies. Food should add an element of fun, not stress, to the birthday party.
Here, 10 possibilities for low-cost, high-fun birthday party fare ...