Even The Simpsons did an episode about the astonishing costs of children’s birthday parties, with Homer running around town ruining each party in a bid to bring things back down to just having a few friends round with a cake.

As parents, we know the pressure to keep up with the Joneses can be all too much and if your child has been invited to lots of elaborate parties, you can feel the need to invite all those children back to your party.

Here are some of our money saving tips to help make things a little less expensive.

Reception Year

Don’t worry, reception is always the biggest year for parties.  After that they tend to filter down to every other year, if that and your child will never remember the cost. They’ll just remember having fun with their friends.  So never overspend or get into debt just to outdo your child’s friend’s parties.

Sales

ShopDisney now stock a huge amount of partywear, which they quite often put in the sale.  Keep an eye on their offers page and when it’s cheap, stock up.  Even the big party companies online have sales, offer first time order discounts and you may even get cashback on top of your purchase.  Also, look into buying bulk, you can even split this with a friend and it often works out a lot cheaper.

And don’t discount white paper plates and white cups. As soon as there’s cake on top the kids really won’t care if they have characters on them and they only go in the bin afterwards.

Discounts for members

If you’re a member of a leisure club, your child belongs to a club or you play a sport, check out the member offers.  Often your membership will include a discount on children’s parties or hall hire.  Even if your child does gymnastics, quite often the club will offer member discounts and the same can be said for swimming.

Don’t forget your local members club like the Conservative club or Labour club, these usually have halls or rooms you can hire and most village halls can be hired.

If you’re going to host a large party, also check who else has a party that month in school.  Quite often parents will be happy to host a joint party, which can save a lot of cash.

Go outside

If you’re lucky enough to have your child’s birthday in the summer or during the holidays, why not skip the venue hire price altogether and hit the beach or park. Arrange for everyone to meet at the car park or area you’ve designated for the party.  This might be the beach or a local park or woodland.

Set up games, bring a picnic and a heap of buckets and spades, balls, frisbees, skipping ropes or hula hoops and you’re off.  The kids get fresh air, you’ve saved a packet on a hall and it’s something different.

Just make sure you have enough parents or family members on hand to manage trips to the bathroom and keep an eye on kids running off.  If you’re worried, or the children are younger, invite the parents to stay and make it very clear on the invite.  A pitcher of Pimms often helps (just for the adults, of course!)