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Mum branded ‘crazy’ over 7-year-old’s £1,000 birthday party as she calls other parents cheapskates – what do you spend?

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MUM-of-three Amanda Duddridge, 28, prides herself on being frugal and celebrated her daugter’s fourth birthday for just fifty quid.

Whereas mum-of-two Andrea Leigh, 25, recently spent £1,000 on a party for her seven-year-old daughter. But how much do you spend?

Amanda from Bournemouth with her daughters

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Amanda from Bournemouth with her daughters
Makeup artist Andrea Leigh, 25, splurges £1,000 on her kids' parties

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Makeup artist Andrea Leigh, 25, splurges £1,000 on her kids’ parties

The average cost of a kid’s birthday party has now hit £279 per child, according to Sainsbury’s Nectar card research.

We reveal how two mums navigate the dilemma on how much to spend on birthday parties.

‘I would still spend £50 even if I earned £50k’

Amanda can't believe how much some parents spend

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Amanda can’t believe how much some parents spend
The full-time mum of three gave up work to look after her kids Elvie, Eoldie and Ellie

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The full-time mum of three gave up work to look after her kids Elvie, Eoldie and Ellie

Amanda, from Bournemouth, says she would still spend £50 on a party for her daughters, even if she earned £50,000.

The full-time mum of three gave up work to look after her kids Elvie, Elodie and Ellie, while her partner Grafton, 39, a customer services adviser, takes home £1,973 a month.

Amanda can’t believe how much some parents spend on their kids’ parties.

“It’s shocking, some parents are losing touch with what really matters,’ she said.

“Holding a credit card birthday party is ridiculous – it’s a kid’s birthday, not a trip around the world.

“When I hear parents have taken out loans or maxed their credit cards to pay for an expensive birthday party, I am genuinely scared for them.”

Living on a low income with three kids, Destiny has adapted to being a “frugal mum” and has learned to craft and bake with her children while spending little money.

For Elvie’s fourth birthday party, the family made decorations, an activity Amanda says was “easy and fun” to do together.

She then bought party food from Lidl and Asda in the yellow-label clearance aisle including bread, ham and cheese, cucumbers, carrots, crisps, sweets and biscuits.

“Once the biscuits and their own brand of crisps are out of the packet no one can tell if they are posh or not,” she said.

“Elvie asked for a ‘baking party’ for her big day, so she invited five friends and our budget was  £50 – the kids all made mini pizzas and rice Krispy treats.”

She made fruit and veg platters for each child, costing less than £2 per head.

“It’s why I am stunned when I see people posting about their baby or toddlers party and they have forked out more than a thousand pounds,” she said.

“It’s crazy and out of control. Parents are setting themselves up for failure as their kids will constantly expect each celebration to be bigger and better than the last.

“Fifty quid is all I could afford, but even if I was making £50k a year I’d likely still stick to a small budget – I’ve proved kids love that kind of event.

“It’s about time we went back to basics like baking, picnics in the woods and making a cake with your child.”

‘I WORK THREE JOBS TO FOR DAUGHTER’S £1K PARTY’

Andrea Leigh with her daughters Eliyana and Amariyah at their birthday bash

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Andrea Leigh with her daughters Eliyana and Amariyah at their birthday bash
Andrea Leigh and her children

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Andrea Leigh and her children

Makeup artist Andrea Leigh, 25, disagrees.

The cosmetics business owner from Perth in Scotland put a £1,000 Taylor Swift themed party for her 7-year-old daughter’s birthday on on her credit card.

It included a balloon arch, personalised gift bags worth £30 each and a nail bar.

Andrea said she will spend £1,000 per party on both her children, seven-year-old Eliyannah and three-year-old Amariyah – meaning £2,000 a year.

“Their parties have to be perfect, and I will do whatever it takes to make my girls smile,” she said.

The mum-of-two has two side-hustles making cakes and doing event planning alongside her full-time job, and plans to use the extra income to pay off the credit card balance.

“I want to show my kids that hard work means wonderful parties,” she said.

“I saved for some of the party cost and put the rest on my credit card. Spending big and giving your child the best party ever is a parent’s right.”

The mum-of-two budgeted £50 a head for her daughter’s bash, with around £20 a head for food and £30 per head on a party bag containing personalised water bottles and friendship bracelets.

Andrea then spent £200 on food in total, going to Costco for mini pizzas, chips, fruit, vegetables, sweets and party snacks.

And the party came with a nail bar for the seven-year-olds to have manicures, as well as Taylor Swift-style sunglasses, colour-changing cups and a swing used to create a “selfie corner” for the kids.

“The party had so many special touches – I asked my daughter what she wanted and made it happen,” Andrea said.

“Going big on birthdays is now the norm. You’d be mad to deny that parents don’t compete to have the best party. Of course we do. It’s human nature.”

Andrea added that she thinks it’s wrong that some parents allow their kids to attend expensive parties and then don’t reciprocate the offer.

“Some parents are just lazy and do not put enough effort in. Their kids get invited to multiple parties and they always take full advantage of the food and entertainment when they are not paying,” she said.

“I won’t be told I’m spoiling my child and no one will tell me what I should budget. She is learning from an early age how hard I work.”

How to save money on your supermarket shop

THERE are plenty of ways to save on your grocery shop.

You can look out for yellow or red stickers on products, which show when they’ve been reduced.

If the food is fresh, you’ll have to eat it quickly or freeze it for another time.

Making a list should also save you money, as you’ll be less likely to make any rash purchases when you get to the supermarket.

Going own brand can be one easy way to save hundreds of pounds a year on your food bills too.

This means ditching “finest” or “luxury” products and instead going for “own” or value” type of lines.

Plenty of supermarkets run wonky veg and fruit schemes where you can get cheap prices if they’re misshapen or imperfect.

For example, Lidl runs its Waste Not scheme, offering boxes of 5kg of fruit and vegetables for just £1.50.

If you’re on a low income and a parent, you may be able to get up to £442 a year in Healthy Start vouchers to use at the supermarket too.

Plus, many councils offer supermarket vouchers as part of the Household Support Fund.



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