All you need to know about throwing a birthday party on a budget

I know every parent says this, but I seriously can't believe our baby is already two years old. I feel like I was just sitting in bed typing up his first birthday party blog post. The last time we threw him a party we spent ENTIRELY too much. I mean... it was insane how much we spent for him to not even remember it. It's so hard not to get carried away with all the cute Pinterest ideas but it adds up... and adds up quick.

This time around I decided to do a simple "Party Animal" theme because I thought it would be the easiest and cheapest. I found so many amazing animal things at the Dollar Tree plus on Amazon which really kept the budget down. I loved the simplicity but yet still has a lot of character. We had a blast and I cant wait to share all the details with you! So, let's get to it. I will be including costs for all the items, links and where I got everything.

Shirts are from Albie & Sebastian

I love a good dessert bar, especially when it comes to kids birthday parties. You can dress the bar up with so many cute things to really make it the focal point of the party! I wanted to keep the cost down on this part of the party because as much as I love the dessert bars, I always have so much left over because not many people indulge like they should, haha! I have listed all the details below including our decor. A lot of the stuffed animal decor we took from my sons room and laid it out around the house and most of the greenery we already had from previous parties!

Cookies and Cake $76│We got these cookies and cake made from my go-to girl, Taryn from A Peace of Cake by Taryn. her work is stunning and she is priced really well so if you're in the Central Florida area I would highly recommend checking her out. If your not local check out her page and ask about shipping!

Other Desserts $7 │We went pretty cheap with the rest of the desserts. We went to publix and got the packaged Zebra cakes because of the theme and also got animal crackers which were both really cheap!

Animal Figurines $10│This was such a great Dollar Tree find! We scored each little animal for just a dollar. They had so many different types so I just got a mixture to spread around the table. They are so perfect for the look I was going for! We also used these for his cake topper too! If you can'f find them at the Dollar Tree I found some reasonably priced ones on Amazon. But check your local Dollar Tree first!

Backdrop $17 │This was the best Amazon score! The backdrop is like a canvas material so you can reuse it as many times as you would like. It's great quality especially for the price so I think it's amazing! We decided to hang it on the wall a week before the party so that the wrinkles and fold lines had a chance to fade. We hung it on the wall by using masking tape on the edges. We covered the edges with the balloon arch so for us it didn't matter where the masking tape was placed because it wasn't going to be seen anyways. It doesn't come with writing or letters so I had to buy sticker letters to write what I wanted on the sign. We got the 7x5 size which was HUGE and we probably should have went down a size but regardless it looked perfect!

Sign Letters $5 & Zebra Balloon $6│I got these at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off for Lyric's first birthday. So luckily I had so many left over and I was able to use them for this party as well. They have them for relatively cheap at the party store as well! Also, despite the negative Amazon reviews I really loved our Zebra balloon. We took it to Publix to have it blown up and it lasted the whole party perfectly fine. I thought it was a great touch to our theme!

Balloon Arch $22 │The first balloon arch we ever did was for Lyric's first birthday and let me tell ya, it was a disaster and nightmare all wrapped in one. We had never put one together before so like anyone would do I turned to Pinterest and looked up the easiest way. Well... lets just say that wasn't the easiest way. This time around I knew exactly what to do based on our complete fail last year. I found this balloon garland strip that had little holes which you put the knot of the balloon through to hold it in place. Then I got 3M hook strips and place one on each corner. I draped the balloon garland (without the balloons on it) on the 3M hooks to get my desired look. I then blew up dark green, white and clear balloons that I found at the dollar store and put them in one at a time, different colors and sizes until I got the look I was going for. I added some greenery I already had laying in the garage to give it an extra touch of detail. It took my husband and I a total of 1 hour to do the entire thing, which wasn't bad at all compared to our first one we did. haha

Blow-up Giraffe $13│I'm completely obsessed with this. I was honestly expecting it to be a balloon but instead it was more like a pool floaty which ended up being so much better. I blew it up once, got throw around by all the kids and Lyric decided to ride it like a horse and it's STILL blown up and goin' strong. Such a great purchase.


We went really simple with the party favors. I ordered a 12 pack of little zoo animals from amazon and placed them in a basket. At the end of the party the kids could adopt an animal and then take a bag of animal crackers to feed their animal. This was very inexpensive and I thought it was perfect for the kids because they absolutely loved it! I decorated around the basket with some greenery I had left over from Lyric's first birthday which carried on our zoo/jungle theme well.

Total Cost of Party Favors= $22

So before I get into our activities we planned for the kids I just wanted to say I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF for sticking to a small budget for this party.... until.... the petting zoo. So let me start with the first activity. We decided to cover our entire dining room table in craft paper and give the kids a bucket of crayons/ markers to color with. We also set out a bunch of toys for all the kids to play with to keep them somewhat entertained. However, a part of me REALLY wanted a petting zoo and pony rides especially with the theme of his party. So I called around and finally booked the cheapest one I could find. It was still a pretty penny for only an hour but it was soooo worth it! All the kids had a BLAST and Lyric couldn't stop smiling... until you made him get off the pony lol. So our party was very budget friendly until we added this in the mix. haha

Petting Zoo= $310

We also had a huge assortment of food which we ordered from Publix. We got a large popcorn chicken platter, a large assortment of wraps and a medium pizza wrap tray. We also had chips, apple sauce pouches and Organic gummies for the kids as well as juice, water, a tons of alcohol- because who throws a 2 year olds birthday party without booze amiright? :)

I'll post the total cost of the party with the petting zoo as well as without it. We had so much fun and despite my last minute planning, his party turned out perfect. We had family and friends there to celebrate which really made it special. We will be moving soon so this will be his last birthday surrounded by everyone he knows and loves. It was so special and so fun!

Total party cost without petting zoo= $273

Total part cost with petting zoo= $583

Brittney Deyoung Copyright 2020

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