Budget Birthdays

I like to think of myself as a bargain hunter, however this can sometimes is interpreted as tight or even cheap. Whenever it comes to spending money, especially on birthdays and Christmas’ I have to know I am getting the best deal, as we often have a rather tight budget. SO yes I like things cheap but I wouldn’t say I was cheap, nor am I tight, I just hate to spend money on something if I can get it cheaper elsewhere, and guess what? You can almost get anything cheaper elsewhere!

This week Megs turned 3, but this is not a post on what we did nor on my feelings about her growing up so very fast before our eyes (though that is happening and that post will come) but rather about how she had a mint pile of presents, oodles of glee, wonder and excitement all within our £30 birthday budget. We gave her everything she wanted (and a little more) and it made her life, made dreams come true and made us as parents feel absolutely mint. I don’t know if £30 for a 3 year olds birthday sounds tight or not? Im guessing we are on the “cheaper” end of the spectrum when I speak to other parents about what their kids get but its just how we have to be at the moment (though come to think about it, I don’t think id spend much more even if we did have the cash to spare) and I have the confidence that I can always pull off some amazing things for them whatever the budget!

So here’s how I did just that…
WP_20150606_22_23_30_ProSales – An obvious place to start, but always an important one, because of course if a different shop has it on sale then get on sale and save some £s! Look online as it saves you trailing all over to compare!
On the top of Megan’s list was a “Princess Merida” doll as she absolutely loves Brave (Im guessing its because she is one of the more wild/free princesses…much like Megs) anyway, one day back in April I saw Merida for £10 in the sale at The Entertainer. I snapped it up and hid it away. A few weeks later I added to the stash  a lovely floral onesie I found on sale in Primark for £1.50 . We then more recently found some lovely books in The works which were on offer 4 for £5 and so of course at that price I bought 4; some as gifts for other family members and one was put aside for her – “Guess how much I love you”.

From Ethan I found her a Disney Princess Belle Play dough thingy in ASDA on sale from like £10/£15 for only £3!! YAHHHOOOOO!!!
sale stuffEbay -A couple of weeks ago she expressed an interest in the ELC Happyland stuff, specifically the fairy “mushmoom house” I searched around and bagged one for £4.25!

Car boot Sales – Im all for car boots for stuff for my kids..clothes, books, equipment, toys…were no stranger to a second hand good. The last couple I have been to I have found some brilliant toys in excellent condition and some which we bough for Megsies Birthday. We picked her up a plush mini mouse she wanted (BNWT £1.50) , A bag of Happy land People & Animals for £1 and the Tent for £2. As her birthday is in the summer we always like to have something for her she can use outdoors and a ruddy tent for £2 was a steal!
carbootCharity Shops – You can already see I love a second hand bargain, you may be reading this and thinking “yes you are most certainly cheap! Who gives their kids second hand tat for a BIRTHDAY? ” Well I ask you…does a 3 year old know the difference between a new and used toy if its in great condition? Probs not, nor a DVD and from the charity shop we bought her “Happy Feet” on DVD as she absolutely loves watching it at my mums, loves penguins and loves to dance – that was just £2 and I know it will be worth every penny!

Finally I got her a bag of marshmallows, which are another of her favourite things for 50p in home Bargains and some little insects from the gift shop at Tropical World for like £2
happy feetSo there you have it a tent full of dreams for only £29 (including the play tent)! Remember…a little time, a little savviness at the shops and an eye for a bargain ensures your bank account doesn’t take a beating but your kid can still have all they want.  Parenting can be quite competitive ground to be on sometimes and I have learnt quickly that my kids dont need a load of expensive stuff, they dont need tonnes of toys and certainly don’t need stuff just because its New or In!
We Love them, Spoil them on their birthdays and barely spend a penny…Its brilliant – I promise you It will make you feel amazing when you see how much you can get!

Best of Worst


  1. mummydaddyme
    June 10, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    Ah you got some great bargains, We don’t spend a lot on birthdays or Christmas at all- partly cause the girls have a lot of grandparents who are willing to buy them a nice present each, and partly because we would rather spend the money and have an adventure together or do something fun. x

    • June 16, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Yeah were the same, its great though isn’t it that they get lovely things and we can still give them lovely adventures and experiences too? Im so glad there are lots of other parents out there that don’t see the need to spend loads. I definitely prefer to spend on experience as oppose to “things” and love it when we find the the “things” cheaper so they get a scattering of both! x

  2. Jackie
    June 10, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    That is all I spend on mine and they are grown up. I am not as good as you at sourcing bargains although I do try. Lucky megs. I bet she had a super birthday x

    • June 16, 2015 / 9:34 am

      Get in! I shall keep it forever more haha She did have a lovely time thanks Jackie! x

  3. June 11, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    This is fab, what a great range of gifts! I love that at this age you can make all their dreams come true and still stay within budget. We really don’t spend much for gifts as we can’t afford to, the twins birthday is a couple of days after Christmas so I buy things all year round and put them away. That is the hardest bit, finding something then keeping it a secret when all you want to do is let them have a play!! xx

    • June 16, 2015 / 9:33 am

      Yup its great isnt it. Oh my I know, I get so giddy knowing whats hidden and try so hard not to let it slip or give them it sooner. Glad im not alone in the hunt for cheap stuff and not spending a bomb. You have such a busy time in December though – what madness x

  4. June 11, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    Ah Mary you sound so much like me. Over the years my 2 have had some fantastic 2nd hand presents. A few years ago I got a Sylvanian Families huge shop and a ton of accessories for £2.00 from a school fair. Brand new this would have been around £50.00 !!! Plus no taking toys out of cardboard boxes on Christmas morning which gives more time for playing. A win win x

    • June 16, 2015 / 9:31 am

      Tracey thats amazing – Im pretty jeal of that bargain!! haha Its a great feeling isn’t it 🙂

  5. Mummy M
    June 13, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    You shopped really well! I love hunting down a bargain. The cupboard under my stairs is full of charity shop, eBay and Facebook purchases waiting to be wrapped for my girls birthdays and Christmas. What I am not good at though is tracking what I spend… Ops!

    • June 16, 2015 / 9:30 am

      Hahaha I have done this before and forgotten what I bought! Thanks its so good to get lovely things and know it didn’t break the bank x

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