Primary Times takes a look at ways to throw a great birthday party on a sensible budget

Birthday parties can be expensive events. There’s the invitations, the venue, the presents, the party bags, sometimes there’s also a theme, not to mention how many children you invite. Don’t despair! There are many inventive options available to throw your child a spectacular birthday to remember, on a sensible budget.

1. Bake the cake yourself
Embrace your inner Mary Berry and bake the cake yourself. It can save you a good amount of money and adds a personal touch to the party as you can customise the cake to your child’s favourite ­ favour and interests!

2. To do or not to do party bags
If you want to do party bags for your guests, they can be homemade! Bake cupcakes or biscuits and ice the children’s names on them, give away books or toys that your child is willing to part with, or remove them entirely. It does not have to be an essential part of the party, it’s more than enough for the children to spend time together celebrating and better for the bank balance too!

3. Send out e-vites
As beautiful as paper invitations are, bespoke invitations at a fraction of the price (or no price at all) can be designed online and sent out by email to the party guests. It’s better for the environment and it saves time and money delivering them, so everyone’s a winner! It’s also helpful for last minute additions to the party list and prevents other children in school or in the class from being upset if they aren’t handed an invite.

4. Book the venue early
Some venues offer additional discounts on the venue price or on their own products, such as the party food, drinks or activities if the venue is hired well in advance of the party date. To avoid disappointment and to secure any early bird deals, book your venue of choice as soon as you decide on the date!

5. Double up
If your child and their best friend have birthdays close together and want to invite the same friends, why not throw them a joint party? They’ll love spending time with their friends and it also gives them an opportunity to widen their friendship group and get to know other children in a fun environment, outside of the classroom.


Funfetti Cake recipe

• 300g caster sugar
• 450g butter, softened
• 1tbsp vanilla bean paste
• 8 eggs, beaten
• 450g self-raising flour
• 1tsp baking powder
• 4tbsp whole milk
• 200g rainbow sprinkles, with extra to decorate!

• 150g softened butter
• 450g icing sugar
• 180g tub full-fat cream cheese
• 1tbsp vanilla paste


1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line four 20cm cake tins. If you don’t have four tins, halve the recipe and bake in two batches.

2. Beat the sugar, butter and vanilla paste in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs to the mixture.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter, before adding the milk and beating the mixture to loosen it.

4. Scatter the sprinkles into the cake batter before dividing it into the tins.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

6. Meanwhile, make the icing by beating the butter with half the icing sugar until fluffy. Then add the cream cheese to the rest of the icing sugar and mix together. Drizzle over the vanilla paste before placing it into piping bags.

7. Pipe the icing in a circle covering the base of the sponge, then place a sponge on top and pipe the top of that sponge. Repeat with all the layers and then scatter the rest of the sprinkles over the top to decorate!

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