BIRTHDAY parties leave kids with memories for life – but they can cost parents a fortune.
Whether it's forking out on goodie bags and event space or even knowing who to invite, they can be a logistical nightmare.
The cost of living has also gone up for millions, as food prices, fuel and energy bills all soar.
But if you're worried about blowing hundreds on your kid's birthday celebrations, there are ways to spend less.
The Sun spoke to 39-year-old party planner Mrinalini Mathew, owner of Party Genie, who offered her five top tips to make sure you don't blow the bank.
Some of the tips could save you hundreds.
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1. Group up to save
Kids often have friends whose birthdays fall around similar dates.
So rather than having two or three separate parties, Mrinalini suggested teaming up.
Not only will you cut the cost of a birthday party, but you can also split the organisational side between a bigger group.
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Mrinalini said employing the tip with her son Riyaansh, 10, had saved her plenty over the years.
She added: "Riyaansh has always had a joint party with one of his friends.
"So if you do have friends whose birthdays are two to three weeks apart it's always good to have a party together."
2. Get thrifty with your party bags
Party bags can cost a bomb if you're not careful – but there are ways to cut costs.
Mrinalini recommended shops like The Works that sell "amazing" items for £3 or £4.
And if you're holding a party for around 30 kids, that could save you over £100.
Mrinalini said: "I would say don't buy stuff like bubbles or stickers.
"But if you went to The Works, you can buy items like the 10 books for £10.
"Instead of spending £5 on a child, you could spend around £1 or £1.50.
"They also do a pack of 12 pencils for £1. All you have to do is wrap it up."
3. Get Mary Berry-inspired
Instead of buying a company-made cake, which Mrinalini said could cost hundreds, try baking your own.
Or, she recommended buying one from somewhere like Costco which will be much cheaper.
Bear in mind though that you'll need a membership if you're buying from there.
If you don't have a Costco membership, try your nearest supermarket.
You can use websites like Trolley.co.uk to compare prices across a range of supermarkets.
Mrinalini said: "Instead of buying a cake for £150-£300 you'll spend £30 instead.
"And there are bakers in London that sell cakes for over £800."
4. Go digital
Rather than heading down to your nearest photo shop and getting physical invites printed out at a cost – try sending them out digitally.
Mrinalini said you can use Canva, a free online design tool, to make up invites which you can then email out.
Etsy is another alternative, but Mrinalini said you can still pay between £3-£4 for using the service.
She said: "Now you've got Canva, you can do some fabulous invites now. That'll save somebody at least £10.
"And you don't have to be a graphic designer to make something up."
5. Sacrifice the helium
A party staple for many, having helium balloons at your kids' birthday party can see costs rack up fast.
So it might be easier to stretch your lungs out and blow some up yourself.
You can decorate your chosen venue with cheaper décor like bunting and paper chains as well.
Mrinalini said: "Regular helium balloons can cost £1 a pack.
"Or even if you're buying a packet of balloons for £1, helium tanks are quite expensive.
"A small helium tank can be around £39.99. You can spend a lot of money.
Mrinalini said that if you are set on going with helium balloons, at least try and limit the amount you buy which will save money.
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We previously revealed how "fiver parties" are trending among some parents as a way to spend less on kids' birthdays.
Plus, a few extra savvy tips to see you spend less on the special occasion.
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