Celebrating a birthday on a budget does not have to mean cheap beer and frozen pizza. There are many ways to make the day special, from choosing a unique location to serving a favorite food. Before you worry about cutting costs for the celebration, remember that the key ingredient to a happy birthday is having loved ones nearby to congratulate the birthday guy.
Birthday bashes often take on dramatic proportions, with hired bands and open bars. You can simplify the proceedings and still have a good party. Try a Polynesian-themed party with a backyard barbecue and umbrella drinks. Go for a disco or new-wave theme with an iPod cued up with favorite retro tunes. For movie buffs, host an excellent double feature and serve scrumptious finger foods.
Affordable gifts do not have to be boring. Get imaginative by thinking about the birthday guy’s hobbies, skills and interests. Food is always a winning proposition. Try cooking up some of his favorite recipes and accompany them with some good wine. Some people love to go out to dinner for their birthday, but if you’re on a tight budget, go for a gourmet picnic in the woods or indulge in desserts and cappuccinos at a favorite cafe. Other affordable and thoughtful gifts are photographs, artwork, paperback books, a journal or a cocktail shaker and a martini glass.
Birthday food and libations can add up when the guest list is long. Reduce the amount of guests, host a potluck or plan an affordable menu. Rather than toasting the birthday guy with champagne, try a delicious pitcher of sangria filled with fresh fruit. Eschew expensive appetizers and go for a cheese plate with bread, hummus and vegetables, an Italian Caprese salad, or tortillas and fillings.