Kids’ birthday party guests often look forward to the goody bags they get at the end. But some parents may not like to spend money on disposable trinkets, or overpriced favors on top of the cost of a party.
There are alternatives. Here are some tips for cutting costs while upping the creativity from some parents we spoke to—including some Consumer Reports staffers. (Learn more about ways parents control spending on kids’ birthday parties.)
Shop smart. “Try stuff that’s on sale, like school supplies, a scarf, a beach towel, or a cute T-shirt from a discount store like Old Navy, Target or T.J. Maxx,” suggested Amy.
Swap books. “Do a book swap, where every child brings and takes home a new book,” Michelle said.
Say cheese! “I take a picture of all the kids together and print it up for the kids as a memento,” suggested Cynthia.
Say no to junk. “Give one small item instead of a bag of plastic junk that ends up rolling around the car or embedded in the couch,” Gayle said.
Free is good. “We make coloring books by printing copies of free online coloring pages instead of buying junky toys that break in five minutes,” said Carol.