Frugal Kid’s Birthday Party Gift Ideas

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Looking for frugal kid’s birthday party gift ideas? Here you’ll find gift ideas along with tips and tricks for saving money on kid’s gifts. 

frugal kid's birthday party gift ideas

There’s a certain age range (the preschool to early primary school years) when kids get invited to a LOT of birthday parties.

And if you have more than one child in the birthday party stage, that can add up to a lot of parties and a lot of presents. 

When you step into the birthday party stage, it’s time to create a new budget category: kid’s birthday party gifts.

While these are fun times for your children, birthday gifts can really add up. It’s not unusual to be invited to multiple parties on a single weekend when your kids are in their early primary years. 

And kid’s birthday gift giving can be a tricky thing: you’re trying to balance keeping your spending down while still buying something nice and not cheap and plastic-y!

So below are some tips that I found useful for saving money on kid’s birthday gifts during the early party years. 

Tips for Saving Money on Kid’s Birthday Presents

At the end of the day, it’s not about the gift. A small token gift is fine. One year my son received a clipboard for his birthday and it’s probably his most used gift he’s ever received. Kids are just happy to have their classmates come to have fun with them. 

Here’s how to save money on gifts.

Create a Gift Stash

A gift stash helps you avoid last-minute dashes to the shops for gifts. When you get a party invite, you can simply shop from your cupboard from gifts you’ve already purchased. 

To create a gift stash, consider your children’s age and the parties that they may be invited to during the upcoming year. Then buy or make one or two items for your gift stash every few weeks to fill out your stash. 

For more information on gift stashes, check out: Save Time, Money and Sanity with a Gift Stash

Stock up During Sales

When building your gift stash, it pays to stock up when things are on sale or discounted. 

Check out the discount bins at places like Spotlight and Kmart for mark-down craft kids, books, sports goods, toys and games.

Inexpensive Kid’s Birthday Gift Ideas

Some inexpensive but ‘evergreen’ gift ideas include:

  • books
  • card games
  • stickers/sticker books
  • activity kits/books (you could make these yourself – I once gave a card making kit as a gift that I’d made up from bits and bobs from my own card making supplies)
  • colouring books
  • art supplies (like crayons, pencils, paints etc.; you can tailor these to the age)
  • writing journals/diaries
  • stationery
  • craft kids
  • matchbox cars
  • travel games
  • puzzles
  • playdough accessories
  • dolls clothes/accessories
  • balls or other sporting paraphernalia

For more frugal gift ideas check out: 100 Free and Almost Free Gift Ideas and Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas for Kids that Aren’t Cheap and Nasty.

Frugal Kid’s Gifts You Can Make

Felt food would make a great gift, as well as fort kits and homemade watercolour paint.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on kid’s birthday party gifts! Kids get soooo much that something small and useful is enough. Kids just want to hang out and have fun at parties anyway.

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  1. Eileen Miles says:

    I’m long past this problem,but my daughters are still struggling with this and it doesn’t get any easier as the friends get older. Your ideas are probably right- check out sales and mark down bins. Stick with the basics for littlies- books- colouring in -stickers . Little girls love nick nacks you can get some pretty polystone things in chain stores(flowers, toothfairy boxes etc).A packet of seeds and a small gardening set(or just a colorful flower pot) would suit both boys and girls.You can make ‘Grass Heads ‘ with stockings potting mix and grass seed and wobbly eyes.Kids just love to see things growing.Beads can be bought cheaply for older girls with elastic thread for making bracelets.Only if there are not younger siblings(don’t want them swallowing anything) .Hope this helps a bit.

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Thanks Eileen, they are some great ideas. I love the packet of seeds and a small gardening set idea!

  2. Another idea might be to keep an eye on sites such as OzBargain. They often post about good specials – for instance at the moment there’s a 20 per cent off sale on all toys for two days on eBay.

    If you want to buy your kids something specific you could also try a site like Lasoo, which enable you to search a specific item and compare prices in your area – and online – which could save you heaps of time (and maybe your sanity if you have to drag your kids around the shops!).

    I believe you can also set up alerts on eBay if you’re looking for something specific.


    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Great tips, thanks Larissa.