How to Make Birthdays Special When You're Straightforward (50 Cheap Birthday Ideas) - The (Mostly) Simple Life (2023)

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How to Make Birthdays Special When You're Straightforward (50 Cheap Birthday Ideas) - The (Mostly) Simple Life (1)

Birthdays are a big issue in our house. Austin's birthday was a few weeks ago and it basically turned into an entire weekend of birthday celebrations!

Birthdays can be a very expensive event, but they are not usually with us.

The ultimate goal is to make the birthday person feel more loved and special. If you're a little creative, it doesn't have to cost a lot!

This is what we are going to cover:

table of contents

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Free or Inexpensive Birthday Decorations ($11 or Less)

We decorate birthdays whether there is a birthday party at our house or not. Decorating is very cheap and easy. Plus, it's a fun way to make a birthday more visually exciting than your average day.

Often if it's Austin's birthday I'll stay up late for a few minutes the night before his birthday to decorate so he wakes up to fun decorations! He does the same on my birthday.

Decorations can be very inexpensive. The dollar store is the best place to find supplies.

We usually buy a few colors of streamers to hang, twist and cover everything. Large rolls last for several birthdays. You can also buy a happy birthday sign at the dollar store that you can reuse. And don't forget a pack of balloons.

You can get a great set of birthday decorations on Amazon without breaking the bank.This set looks great!

How to Make Birthdays Special When You're Straightforward (50 Cheap Birthday Ideas) - The (Mostly) Simple Life (2)How to Make Birthdays Special When You're Straightforward (50 Cheap Birthday Ideas) - The (Mostly) Simple Life (3)To spend even less, you can use the crafting materials you already have on hand. It can be as simple as making signs with markers and printer paper. One year, I even made a happy birthday sign out of a stack of paper plates (one letter on each plate) and taped it to the wall.

cheap birthday meal

Instead of eating out on your birthday, it is much cheaper to prepare a meal at home. To make it even more special, let the birthday boy choose his favorite food.

If you are having a birthday party, here are someEasy and Inexpensive Meals to Serve a Crowd:

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  • Baked Sandwiches - I Love Itthis recipeand it can be done with time
  • Grilled Brats or Hot Dogs
  • Lasagna: Can be made the day before and baked before arrival (my traitorous lasagnait's even easier)

So, you need cake, right? Or at least a birthday dessert. It's really cheap to make your own cake and you don't have to be a fabulous baker.

Make a fancy box cake mix:

Just a simple boxed cake mix looks great if you bake it as a layered cake. I also discovered a delicious secret.

You can tweak the basic boxed cake mix recipe to make it even better. That's how:

  1. No matter how many eggs the recipe calls for, add an extra one.
  2. Replace the water with the same measure of milk.
  3. Replace the oil with the same measure of melted butter.

These three settings make boxed cake mix juicier and richer, just like a cake made from scratch or bought from a bakery.

Again, a homemade cake can be even more special if you let the birthday person choose the type of cake they want.

Cheap Birthday Party Activities (Almost Free)

Birthday activities don't have to be expensive or over the top.

Here are some offree or cheap activitiesthat we did on our birthdays or family anniversaries:

  • play board games
  • Beach day
  • treasure hunt
  • play charades
  • Just dance" Party
  • Play video games
  • Go kayaking (if you or a friend has a boat)
  • Play backyard games or go camping in the backyard.
  • Make a craft (I taught them allhow to make candlesfor a party once)
  • Pool party (if you or a close relative has a pool)
  • three legged race
  • riddles
  • cape-of-war
  • Arts and Crafts

It often works best to keep birthday activities simple. Just make sure the activities are focused on the birthday person and what they like to do.

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cheap birthday gift ideas

Of course, gifts are where birthdays can get pricey. If you've already spent a good amount of money on gifts, you might consider telling the birthday boy that you're doing things differently this time.

If you don't have much to spend on a birthday present, don't skimp on the card. You can create a homemade card for free. Write a heartfelt note on the birthday card. Kind words mean a lot and most people can't be bothered to write a nice note.

Gifts don't have to break the bank! I already wrote a list ofgifts $15 or less, Be sure to check it out.

Here is a quick list ofcheap gift ideas:

  • A treat such as fancy tea, coffee, beer or chocolate.
  • Print and frame your favorite photo with them
  • A flowering plant that can be enjoyed for years.
  • Gift certificate to an ice cream parlor or snack bar
  • Supplies for making a craft or project
  • Homemade cake mix with cupcake decorating kit and candles
  • Print out your favorite photos and make a photo collage/collage of the year to hang at home
  • Children: onesticker activity bookobrain research(recently received for a niece and nephew and they love it)

Check also my topGift Ideas Under $10 That People Will Love!

16 FREE birthday gift ideas for kids

  • homemade play dough or slime
  • Movie night with movie and snacks of your choice
  • Game night with board games/video games of your choice
  • Cook your favorite food
  • Reuse a dress or give it as a gift
  • Make a new pillowcase or blanket (with your name on it!)
  • Make bath bombs or bath salts with your favorite scent
  • Take them to the park to play special games, have a picnic or swim (and bring a frisbee!)
  • Visit a free local attraction that's fun for kids (beach, free outdoor concert, etc. Google "free events near me" for ideas).
  • Create a fun cardboard figure.
  • Amusing calcetines or calceteria
  • Host a hot dog party with special toppings or make homemade pizza with your favorite toppings
  • Prepare breakfast for dinner (with pancakes, strawberries and whipped cream?)
  • Have your kids write, illustrate, or create a story together and then publish.
  • Fill your pillowcase with "treasures" that you collect around the house...stickers, buttons, string, ribbons, clips, rubber bands, etc...
  • Fun free activities with things you already have around the house but haven't used in a while. For example, write special messages on balloons and let them go out your window.

Read more at:.

Another good way to get a great gift is to go along with a few other people so you can buy a better gift, so don't forget about that option.

6 simple tips to celebrate birthdays with little money

  • Set a base budget and stick to it
  • cook your own food
  • Go with snacks instead of a meal
  • Keep the guest list short.
  • Stick with the BYO drink mantra
  • Use a free venue or celebrate at home

You can absolutely make someone feel more loved and special on their birthday without spending a fortune.

Inexpensive decorations, homemade favorites, fun activities and a thoughtful gift can all make for a fun birthday party!

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  • Gift Ideas Under $10 That People Will Love!

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  • How to Get Married for $1,000

⇒ How to make birthdays special at home? What is one of your favorite birthday memories?

How to Make Birthdays Special When You're Straightforward (50 Cheap Birthday Ideas) - The (Mostly) Simple Life (6)

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How can I make my birthday special with little money? ›

Gift a Birthday Activity or Event
  1. Hike together.
  2. Go for a bike ride.
  3. Play a sport together.
  4. Invite them over for a board game night.
  5. Take a road trip.
  6. Go fishing or boating.
  7. Surprise them with a bonfire.
  8. Take them on a picnic and pack their favorite foods.
Aug 3, 2020

What is the color for turning 50? ›

Gold is traditionally the color associated with 50th birthdays because 50 is considered the “golden age”.

How can I celebrate my 50th birthday at home? ›

Unique 50th Birthday Party Ideas
  1. Make It A Surprise Party. Save. ...
  2. Make The Decorations Unique. ...
  3. Tell Stories About Their Life. ...
  4. Invite Their Favorite People. ...
  5. Personalized Birthday Gifts. ...
  6. Play Engaging And Interactive Games. ...
  7. Make It A Day-Long Celebration. ...
  8. Birthday Barbecue.
Dec 14, 2022

What can you do for a quiet birthday? ›

Birthday Ideas for Introverts
  • Host A small Gathering. ...
  • Make It A movie Night. ...
  • Skip The Surprise. ...
  • Let The Introvert Help You plan. ...
  • Consider Arranging a Weekend Getaway. ...
  • Celebrate Without A Party. ...
  • Put Party Money Into A Gift. ...
  • Reconfigure The gift Table.

What good deeds can I do on my birthday? ›

Here are some of the projects others have done:
  • Plant a tree in your backyard.
  • Give up something until your next birthday (something like Lent)
  • Write a note to your parents/teachers.
  • Prepare lunch for homeless.
  • Clean up your cupboard and donate your old, usable clothes.
  • Donate to a charity (maybe ours!)
Dec 1, 2019

How can I surprise someone without spending money? ›

10 Unique Ways to Show Love Without Spending Money
  1. Make a photo book or collage. ...
  2. Or go digital, and edit a video. ...
  3. Send them on a scavenger hunt. ...
  4. Curate a personal playlist for them. ...
  5. Stay in for a cozy movie night. ...
  6. Offer up a service or favor (and actually follow through). ...
  7. Take them on a romantic hike.
Feb 12, 2020

Which outfit is best for birthday? ›

Dress up a top or dress with a low neckline with a chunky statement necklace.
Thrift a new outfit if you can't buy a new one.
  • A sundress and jacket.
  • Jeans and a new-to-you sweater.
  • A sparkly or shiny skirt or dress.
  • Jeans, a button-up shirt, and a blazer.
  • Black leggings and a cool graphic tee.

What is 50th birthday called? ›

Turning 50 has also been considered a golden birthday year, and many people choose to decorate with black and gold. Any of the above ideas can be easily translated to a 50th birthday party—just go extra big on the 50th birthday invitation, golden birthday gift, and cake!

What does 50th birthday symbolize? ›

It's the half point of a century, which conveys far greater importance than saying you've been alive for 40% of a century. Another reason the 50th birthday is widely celebrated is because someone turning 50 is more likely to: Be in good health. Be experienced enough to reflect upon their accomplishments so far.

What flower represents 50th birthday? ›

Carnations symbolize love, happiness, and luck, the perfect sentiment for flowers for a 50th birthday.

What plant represents 50th birthday? ›

Unique 50th Birthday Gifts Guide

Send our Peace Lily Plant to a friend or family member for their 50th birthday.

What is the theme for 50th birthday? ›

The Golden Milestone: Bling out your party with a golden milestone theme. Use golden decor like mylar balloons, confetti, and table runners. Have the guest of honor dress in gold with the rest of the guests in black for stand-out elegant photos. Black and White: This theme is a classic for reason.

What are some 50th birthday sayings? ›

50th Birthday Celebratory Wishes
  • Wishing you a fun-filled fabulous 50th!
  • Hope your 50th celebration rocks—and kicks off and incredible year!
  • May the next 50 be even better than the first.
  • Wishing you life's finest things at 50.
  • Here's to 50 years of incredible you…and an incredible 50 more!

What do you buy someone who is 50? ›

The best 50th birthday gift ideas in 2022:
  • An engraved chef's knife. Made In. ...
  • A fresh take on pearl earrings. ...
  • An alarm clock that will wake them up naturally. ...
  • A giant bucket of their favorite finishing salt. ...
  • A commuter-safe coffee mug. ...
  • A high-quality smart speaker. ...
  • A Kindle for reading wherever, whenever. ...
  • A minimalist watch.
Aug 25, 2022

What do you say to a woman on her 50th birthday? ›

Short and sweet 50th birthday wishes:

Here's to 50 years of awesomeness! Congrats on half a century of making the world brighter! 50 and Fabulous! Can't believe you're 50!

What is the best short message for birthday? ›

Short & Sweet Birthday Messages
  • “The day is all yours — have fun!”
  • “Happy birthday to my ride or die. ...
  • “Thinking of you on your birthday and wishing you everything happy.”
  • “Best wishes on your birthday – may you have many, many more.”
  • “Cheers to you for another trip around the sun!”
  • “Today is about you. ...
  • “Happy birthday!
Jan 12, 2023

What is the symbol of 50th birthday? ›

The 50th birthday uses gold as a traditional theme because it's symbolic of the timeless quality you develop in those 50 years. Gold is valuable, coveted, and beautiful.

How do you say happy 50th birthday funny? ›

Funny 50th Birthday Messages
  1. You may no longer be young as you turn fifty. ...
  2. They say 50 is the new 40. ...
  3. Happy 50th Birthday! ...
  4. Happy 50th Birthday! ...
  5. Don't let ageing get you down. ...
  6. Welcome to middle age: that time when you finally get your head together, then your body starts falling apart. ...
  7. Congratulations on your 50th!
Mar 29, 2021

What should you have done by 50? ›

Do These Things Before You Turn 50
  • Buy a house.
  • Have kids.
  • Get married.
  • Fall in love.
  • Eat fish and chips on the pier.
  • Donate blood.
  • Read 100 books.
  • See your favorite band live.
Mar 22, 2017

How much should I spend on my 50th birthday gift? ›

It appears that the general amount for a birthday celebration is around $25, no matter the relationship. Money etiquette experts suggest spending $10 to $20 for classmates while expanding the budget to $25 for close friends, $50 for relatives and upwards of $100 for your own children.

What do you give someone when you have no money? ›

Heartfelt Free Gift Ideas
  • Write down some wonderful moments with them. Remember that time? ...
  • Write them some "just in case" letters. ...
  • Create a video tribute. ...
  • Send a message to the future. ...
  • Share some mementos. ...
  • Cook them something tasty. ...
  • Make your own mix in a jar. ...
  • Create a 21st-century mixtape.
Oct 28, 2022


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