Frugal First Birthday Party

On the 16th, my baby turned one! We had a party for him with family on a fairly small budget.

The budget : $100! Now, I know some of you are thinking, that’s not a frugal birthday party at all! And, I do agree! However, when you have family visiting from 1.5 to 3.5 hours away, the least you can do is feed them- remember there is a difference between being frugal and being cheap! Feeding 20 people a decent meal, having dessert and decorations with a $100 budget, that takes a little creative frugality!


I made a mini smash cash and cupcakes {using Silicone Baking Cups}. The cupcake stand is made of 2 wrapped boxes! {The 2-5 candles are for Paxton’s Papaw who turned 55-they share a birthday!}


  • Funfetti Cake Mix: $2.16
  • Funfetti Frosting: $3.24
  • Candles: $2.80
  • Wrapping Paper: $1.06

Total: $9.26


We created a slideshow of our favorite pictures from Paxton’s first year {I only chose about 750!} This played throughout the course of the party. I saved a lot of money doing this instead of developing a bunch of pictures to display.

We used his blocks to add a personal touch and we developed a favorite birthday picture (using a gift card left from a baby shower!) and put it in a frame we already had. The most expensive decor item for the party is the Dr. Seuss ABC book which I bought for $7.85 (I looked for it used at several thrift/used book stores with no luck). The party “theme” was books and primary colors and this book tied it all together! Of course, we’ll enjoy the book for years and years to come!

I also displayed more of our favorite books! Using these to decorate with was free! I also printed 4×6’s of Paxton’s birthday pictures {using the shower gift card to pay!}


The cups and straws, we already had! {The cups had survived 4 moves so it was time to use them finally!} Tying a ribbon {from my scrapbook stash} really made the straws look adorable!

We also already had plates, napkins and forks! I spent $1.06 purchasing spoons {which weren’t even used since nobody ate any ice cream…could have saved that $1.06!!}

I used fabric from my fabric stash as a table cloth! The blue, green and red fabric was perfect! I made a mini birthday banner from my scrapbook stash and purchased 4 balloons (red, yellow, blue, green) for $5.29! {Paxton just loved the balloons!}

One of the best parts of the party, other than the adorable 1-year-old and family, Chick-fil-A nuggets! Yum!! We had Chick-fil-A nuggets and slaw, potato wedges, and fresh fruit!!

Food costs:

  • Nuggets: $54.06
  • Potato Wedges: $11.25
  • Fruit: $11.67

Total: $76.98

Total Costs:

  • Cake: $9.26
  • Decorations (book & balloons): $13.14
  • Food: $76.98

Total: $99.38

I was $.62 under budget!

Of course, if we just had cake and decorations, I would have only spent $22.40 on the party, which is a very frugal first birthday party!

Paxton had an absolute blast at his party surrounded by those who love him most! He especially enjoyed eating his cake, opening presentsspending time with grandparents and guests!

6 Replies to “Frugal First Birthday Party”

  1. Turned out super cute! We spent about $100 on our b-day party for Molly's 1st and its amazing how much food adds up! This summer for her 2nd, we are just doing cupcakes and ice cream with family. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Yes, the food is expensive and we also are keeping future birthdays small! We're talking about not doing parties, just doing something as a family/what he wants to do (within reason!!)

  2. I love all of Paxton's first birthday stuff! It's been fun watching him grow through photo this year. I hope we will get to visit him before he's two. I found a blog I thought you would be interested in. She has some super cute decor and diy projects that really reminded me of you.
    Happy Spring!

  3. Rachel,
    So great to see the photos of Paxon's party! It looks like you had a wonderful time with your families.
    I am praying you are all okay after the storms that went though the south yesterday.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers! We were very blessed to not have been hit hard, we only have sticks in our yard. There was a tornado that hit about 10 minutes north though so there is devastation in our region.

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