saving on birthday presents for your child’s friends

save on kids birthday presentsWe’ve reached the age where the Little Fella is now being invited to birthday parties.

While it’s exciting and fun times, I was a little blindsided by the whole gift giving thing.

Buying presents for other people’s kids is definitely not something I’ve previously been budgeting for.

Over the year, birthday gifts can add up. Just last week we had three birthdays to buy for.

And kid’s birthday gift giving can be a tricky thing: you’re trying to balance not buying cheap plastic rubbish and getting something the child will actually like, with spending as little as possible. And not coming across as cheap and miserly at the same time!

I’m new at this whole kid’s birthday present malarkey, so I’m hoping you’ll share your tips on saving money on birthday presents for your children’s friends.

Here are some ideas that I’ve come up with so far.


I don’t think our kids need to attend every party they are invited to. By only going to parties of close friends (although that’s hard to establish at 4 years of age – it seems to change each week), we’re limiting the gift buying expense, not to mention all that sugary food inhaled at parties.


I’m starting to realise that it pays to plan ahead for birthday parties and stock up on a few potential gifts (see below) when they are on sale or discounted.

I’ve started checking out discount bins in Spotlight for craft kits and supplies to put away for birthday presents. And if I don’t use them for party gifts, then my own children will get use out of them or I can use them as charity gifts.


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
  • craft kids
  • matchbox cars
  • travel games
  • puzzles
  • play dough accessories
  • dolls clothes / accessories
  • balls or other sporting paraphernalia

make gifts

I’m a bit pressed for time this year, but handmade gifts are another option.

Felt food would make a great gift, as well as fort kits and homemade water colour paint. Whenever I come across things to make for kids, I add them to this Pinterest board.

Ok, over to you. What are your tips for saving money on kid’s birthday party gifts?

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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.

  2. says

    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.