1st Birthday on a Budget

My little monster had his 1st birthday this last weekend. I can’t believe that the year has gone past so quickly. It was such a bitter sweet week leading up to it. You must know that feeling! We are so blessed to have this little guy in our lives. He is such a joy to us. But realising that he is not a baby anymore and seeing him gain more independence throughout the year has just shown me how fast he is going to grow up. Sad, but true! Am I the only one who wants to keep their children small for as long as possible??

We wanted to celebrate our little monsters milestone, but obviously we needed to be really careful of over spending for one day of celebrating. So we needed to stick to as small a budget as possible.

 I am so excited to share the details of the party with you as well as all of the preparation I did and to give you an idea of how much it all cost. So, here we go…

The Invitation

I created the invitation using Canva (free graphic design software) and sent it out via Whatsapp to our guests. I have erased his name from the top of the invite for privacy. That is why it looks a bit odd.

Cost = Free

The Decor

I spent the week before his party making the banner and all the little monsters to go around the area where we had the party. I was hoping to make some paper chains on the morning, but we just ran out of time. Those little monsters were a LONG job! They were adorable though, so worth every minute of their long creation. I designed a template with various bodies, eyes, legs, arms, mouths, horns etc and just mixed and matched with different colours. It was easy, but took ages.

Cost = B&W printing for the banner, coloured paper and TIME

The Food

I am cautious about what we give N to eat at the moment and our friends feel the same about the their babies too. I didn’t want a birthday party full of junk food for 1 year olds so it had to be things that our babies would eat. We made three platters: One was fresh fruit (pineapple, grapes, span spek, mango and watermelon,) one was fresh veggies (broccoli, carrots and rosa tomatoes) and the last one had rice crackers, cheese and some sliced beef. I also made a monster birthday cake. Can you believe, I forgot to get a picture without the cover over it!? Doh!

My mom made some of our famous bran muffins and my sister-in-law made some of her famous chocolate brownies. It was all delish! My mother-in-law organised all the drinks for us.

Fruit & Veg Platters Cost = R200

Crackers Platter Cost = R70

Cake Cost = Hard to say. I only had to buy icing sugar (R20) and the candles (R20), the rest of the ingredients came out of my monthly budget. My gran bought the decorations on the cake.


We used some of N’s bubbles which we already had at home. They went down well with the bigger kids. We also set up the little shell for some water fun for the babies. Then we threw down some picnic blankets and relaxed in the shade of the morning. It was a sweet little party and it was great to catch up with friends that we hadn’t seen in a while. It was lovely to relax outside in the glorious Durban sunshine. It was warm, but thankfully not too hot.

Cost = Free

So, there you have it. Our first birthday cost us just over R300. Not too bad when you are living on a tight budget! We were really blessed to have all the members of our family be able to contribute something towards the party. That really goes a long way to making it a bit more affordable. Here are a few more pics for you.


I was so glad that N had a little monster nappy to wear for the occasion. We also had the cutest little monster shirt, but he spent most of the morning in the pool, so he didn’t get to wear it for too long.

 Can you believe so much can change in just 1 year?

Looking forward to what the next year has to offer!




Let me know what you think: