Today is my daughter’s 2nd birthday. She wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese and play games and eat pizza for her birthday. I wasn’t too worried since I know Chuck E Cheese can be a little more affordable if you plan it right. I’ve found it much more frugal and relaxing to do a non-reserved party at Chuck E Cheese. We don’t have a time limit and it costs far less. Here’s how we had a great time without breaking the bank:
*First, I receive the Chuck E Cheese emails. When you sign up, you can enter your children’s birthdates. Close to their birthday, you will get an email for 20 free tokens for them, food purchase required. Go HERE to sign up for that. It was great to have 20 free tokens for Anna right off the bat.
*Next, I printed reward calendars a few weeks ago for the kids to fill out and earn tokens. These are free to print and you can get 10 tokens for each chart, food purchase required. Go HERE to check out the reward calendars. There are reward calendars for everything from potty training, to cleaning your room, to teeth brushing! Limit one per child per visit.
*I also used coupons from the Chuck E Cheese emails toward our food purchase. With the emails, you’ll get coupons such as 1 large pizza, 3 drinks, 50 tokens, for just $19.99. Our Chuck E Cheese allows me to use multiples of these coupons. This allows me to get lots of tokens, drink cups, and pizzas at a decent rate. I also got an email for $1 off the salad bar, which we used to make it a little more affordable for the adults that didn’t want pizza.
*Another tip to keep in mind is the Chuck E Cheese reusable cups. You can buy them for about a dollar more than a regular paper cup. It is well worth it though, since you can bring the cup back each and every time you go to Chuck E Cheese for free refills! If you bring your own reusable Chuck E Cheese cup and you buy one of the pizza/token/drink package deals I mentioned above, you can request tokens instead of the drinks!
*If your kiddos will want to get prizes at the end, you can get a head start on the ticket collecting. Just go on over HERE to Chuck E Games. Play the skeeball game and you can earn tickets. Print out the form on the final page and you’ve got your tickets that can be redeemed at the Chuck E Cheese ticket counter.
*I opted to bring our own cake. Frankly, it’s cheaper and yummier than the standard Chuck E Cheese cakes. I actually used a certificate I had for Creative Cookies & Creamery that I had purchased from a daily deal site.
Using all the tips above, we spent a little over $80 for pizza, salad bars, drinks, and tons of tokens for 10 adults, and 8 kids! Not bad for all of that fun! If we would have planned this through Chuck E Cheese, we would have paid over $130, plus we would have had far less tokens for the kids.
What frugal birthday party tips do you have?