Planning birthday parties can be almost as stressful and hard on your budget as a wedding can be these days (doesn’t it feel like it?!), but if you make the simple choice of going to a great place like Chuck E. Cheese for your party you will find much of the planning taken care of for you and the budget issues disappear. If you are worried about the expense of having parties at a restaurant check out these tips on How To Plan a Chuck E. Cheese Party On A Budget. Not only can you give your child a special event that includes games, characters, fun foods and prizes you can sit back and not worry about them running around and being loud because that is expected at a location like Chuck E. Cheese. Additionally, since you are not hosting at your home, you get the joys of leaving the mess behind for someone else to clean up.
HOW TO PLAN A CHUCK E. CHEESE PARTY ON A BUDGET:
USE CHUCK E. CHEESE COUPONS. One of the reasons we prefer Chuck E. Cheese over other fun play zone type venues is because of the frequent coupons we receive not only with weekly coupon inserts in our newspaper but also via email. These offer great package deals that can save up to 50% off regular price for routine visits as well as party packages. Check out my recent post regarding how to get Chuck E. Cheese coupons for more tips on savings.
ASK FOR A PARTY PACKAGE. Call your local location and ask what packages they currently offer. Although the chain of restaurants has similar pricing and product available individual location managers have the choice of creating their own special packages. You may be able to pay a flat rate for a select number of kids and adults that will include a private room, a bucket of tokens, cake and even have the Chuck E. character appear for a bit to say hi to the kids. Do be mindful of what the packages include & what add on options are. As listed below, providing some of add on options yourselves will save more in the long run.
BRING YOUR OWN CAKE. Check with the location policy but often you can cut cost by bringing your own cake or cupcakes to the party. Whether you make your own or purchase at a local store you can easily shave $20-$25 off the Chuck E. Cheese birthday party package cost by bringing your own dessert.
ASK FOR SPECIAL PRICING ON BULK TOKEN PURCHASE. Most packages include a set amount of tokens but when you have several children in attendance, those don’t go very far. Remember most of the games require 1-2 tokens to play and if each child only has 20 tokens they will quickly disappear. There are often coupons for “Buy 100 tokens get 100 free” available as well as options within their party packages. Be sure to ask in advance for bulk pricing, and remember for every hour they will have of “play time” you should expect to need 25-50 tokens per child.
BRING YOUR OWN FAVORS. Although there will be prices awarded in exchange for tickets earned on the games not every child will win the same amount. Make sure to have a bag of prizes for each attendee so nobody leaves empty handed. I recommend checking out stores like Dollar Tree or $0.99 stores (even Amazon has you covered) for bulk inexpensive favor bags and ribbon then ordering the prices to be included from someone like Oriental Trading for cheap, fun and inexpensive favors that will be suitable for whatever age group you are planning for. Don’t forget to make use of Ebates when you are shopping online, as that is a very easy way to get cashback on the purchases you were making anyway (it’s completely free, and new members get $10 after using the system when you go through my referral link!).
The most important part of planning a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party on a budget is to make sure you ask a lot of questions of the staff ahead of time to see what your options are. There are often hidden packages, deals and special discounts you can get you just have to ask in advance. Include using the coupons you can readily get any time of the year and bringing a limited amount of your own supplies and you will be able to throw an unforgettable party on a limited budget.
You might also enjoy my blog post about planning a superhero-themed birthday party for girls, so be sure to check that out! Good luck with your party planning!