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Valentine’s Day is a great time to throw a kids party, especially since kids get excited about making Valentine’s boxes, creating Valentine’s for their friends, and passing out treats to each other.

Planning a party can be expensive if you aren’t careful to control costs, so here are a few things that you can do to have a fun party without spending a lot of money:

1. Plan the Party at Home

It can be fun to have a party at a local entertainment spot, but the costs can really add up if you are paying for facilities rental. Instead of scheduling the party at a fun place that charges a rental fee, choose to have the party at home which will allow you to spend a little more money on the party supplies instead.

2. Monitor the Guest List

It is easy to get carried away with the guest list, especially when your child wants to invite every friend they know at school and in the neighborhood. Instead of allowing your child to invite a long list of friends, ask the child to select their top 10 or 15 friends to come to the party. Make a list together, and invite the child to sort through the list to choose the people they would like to invite. Keep in mind that there will be a few people on the list that might not make it to the party because of schedule conflicts.

3. Go Light on the Party Favors and Decor

If you are buying specialty decorations and party favors, the costs will quickly add up. Look for ways to decrease the costs on decorations and party favors. For example, instead of buying printed Valentine’s paper plates, napkins and cups, buy solid color paper goods instead. The solid colors are usually cheaper than the printed versions, and you can buy Valentine’s colors: red, pink, and white.

It isn’t necessary to buy many party favors, and you might choose to stay away from party favors all together. Remember that the children will be getting plenty of candy and small gifts in their Valentine’s boxes, so they don’t need extra goodies in a party favors bag.

4. Do Your Own Cooking

It can be convenient to pay a catering company to handle the food for you, but it is much cheaper to do the cooking on your own. A little time in the kitchen will allow you to make your own food, and it will save a lot of money if you can make everything from scratch instead of paying for it to be pre-made.

If you need to buy food for the party, look for bulk discounts at Costco or Sam’s Club, where you can often find party foods for a reasonable price. Check out their party trays and bakery for menu ideas. You could even create valentine food theme items to have the kids make – not only do you not have to cook but the kids love to eat what they have helped create!

5. Make Homemade Invitations

There is no reason that you should spend a lot of money on party invitations, because you can make cute invitations for a reasonable price. Look at craft websites, blogs, and Pinterest to find design ideas for the invitations.

6. Plan Crafts as an Activity

Kids love to be busy with their hands, and craft time is the perfect opportunity to save money and fill time at the party. Check out Oriental Trading for discount craft activities, or you can make your own by following ideas that you find online. Pinterest is a great resource for homemade Valentine’s craft ideas.

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