Are you looking for first birthday ideas that will help make your party special without costing a fortune? First birthdays are an important milestone and you want your baby to be able to share the day with family and friends, but if you do not set a budget, it is very easy for costs to rise higher than you planned or expected. The main purpose of a birthday party is to have fun and celebrate your child's life. Of course you want it to be unforgettable, even scrapbook worthy, but you don't want to spend the rest of the year paying for it. After all, your baby isn't going to remember, so why not find ways to plan a fun and special event that will fit your budget. With proper, careful planning, an economical party can be as great as an expensive one.

1. Make your own invitations. With so many creative ideas available online, it is possible to design your own invites much more reasonably than having them professionally printed, and they will look better, too! Use cookie cutters to make shapes such as stars, hearts, or teddy bears, decorate with supplies from a simple art kit, or enlist the help of older children to give your invitations a charming touch. With the ease and accessibility of technology, you can even send an evite. Not only is this free, but you can include a picture of your child for family and friends to use as a an adorable computer screensaver. This method makes RSVPs easier, too!

2. Choose a less expensive venue. Party venues can be costly, so rather than booking an expensive hall or restaurant, why not plan to host the party at home, where your child will probably be more comfortable anyway. If the weather is nice, you can move the event to the backyard or a local park, many of which are free to use and offer lots of room to run around as well as plenty of fun equipment to play on. If you want something a little more private, many conservation areas or botanical gardens have pavilions that can be rented for reasonable fees.

3. Choose simple and plain colored decorations. Babies do not really care about decorations, but are only interested in things that they can play with. It doesn't matter to them if you use expensive streamers and balloons, so save money by shopping around and looking for deals at discount stores. You can still have a themed party without purchasing expensive theme patterned party supplies and decorations. Use solid colored plates, cups, and napkins that fit well with your chosen theme but can be found at dollar stores. If you plan far enough ahead of time, your party can still look spectacular without breaking your budget.

4. Keep the menu simple. Food is often the most expensive part of any party, but you can trim costs with economical choices that will still satisfy hungry tummies. Young children are often too busy to stop and eat so finger foods such as goldfish crackers, cheerios, and Teddy Grahams are a perfect choice, while sandwiches, salads, and veggie or fruit trays are a tasty and inexpensive way to please the adults. Choose a mid-morning or mid-afternoon party so that you only have to prepare snacks rather than a full meal, or have a 'cake cutting' where you serve only cake and ice cream. Make your own cake and purchase only one small themed cake for pictures. Or, opt for cupcakes which are easier to decorate and neater to eat, especially for children. If you want to serve a meal, why not host a barbecue with hamburgers or hot dogs? Remember, kids don't care about specialty foods or theme oriented menus, so don't spend a lot of time and money creating fancy items.

5. Simplify the entertainment. Forget the clowns, magicians, and storybook characters when simple games and toys will work just fine for first birthday party entertainment. Little ones love singing, dancing, or playing musical chairs and Simon Says. They are happy with a room full of balloons and balls, and enjoy playing with each other. Hire a favorite babysitter to help out, ask a family member to dress up in a costume, or bring in a friend who is a great storyteller. Basically, if the babies have toys, music, and fun shows to watch, they will be happy for hours while the adults talk and visit.

6. Choose inexpensive favors. Giving favors at a first birthday party in unnecessary, but if you want to thank guests for coming, choose inexpensive items such as stuffed animals or toys purchased at a dollar store. Bubbles are also a great option, as well as homemade non-toxic playdough.

7. Trim the guest list. You probably want to celebrate your child's first birthday with the entire world, but a shorter guest list means you can plan a great party on a smaller budget. Besides, a large crowd can be overwhelming to your baby, so limiting the invites will help you create a more relaxed atmosphere.

With a little forethought, you can find inexpensive first birthday ideas that will allow you to plan a fun and exciting party without going over your budget.

Author's Bio: 

About Author

Suzanne Daykin is an event manager and mum of two little ones who shares a variety of budget friendly first birthday ideas and party tips. Celebrate your child's first birthday with help from