9 Fun 40th Birthday Party Ideas for Your Husband on a Budget

Your hubby is about to turn 40 and you want to throw him a birthday party that he will never forget – but you’re on a tight budget. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find nine 40th birthday party ideas for your husband that are both fun and affordable. Who says you can’t have fun on a budget?!

Birthday cake with candles for 40th birthday.

1. Backyard BBQ

A backyard BBQ is a great budget-friendly plan for a birthday! Here are a few things to keep in mind:

First, consider the time of year and weather conditions. If it’s during the summer months, you’ll want to make sure your guests will be comfortable in the heat. This might mean borrowing some tents, or being sure to set up shop in the shade. If it’s during the spring or fall, you might consider a fire pit to keep your guests warm as the night goes on.

Next, plan out the food. Some great inexpensive BBQ options include:

  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Potato salad
  • Macaroni salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Chips and dip
  • Watermelon
  • Baked beans
  • Corn on the cob
  • And of course, don’t forget the birthday cake – easy and cheap to make at home!

Depending on the crowd, you may want to plan some fun activities for your guests – or just let everyone chill and chat. Lawn games are always a hit if you’ve got them on hand, like badminton, frisbee, or horseshoes.

2. 90’s Themed Birthday Bash

Uh, who doesn’t love all things 1990s?! This can be a fun way of gathering together friends and family for an out-of-the-box party.

For decorations, consider hanging streamers in neon colors and sharing some fun (and perhaps slightly embarrassing?) pics of your man from back in the 90s.

Be sure to play some classic 90s tunes too – perhaps some Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, and Nirvana? (Ladies, you can certainly throw some Backstreet Boys and Brittany in there as well).

As for food, thing of classic nostalgic favorites like:

  • Dunkaroos
  • Sunny D
  • Pop tarts
  • Pizza rolls
  • Fruit roll ups
  • Cosmic brownies
  • Ellio’s pizza

For activities, you could have a 90s dance party, or play some classic video games like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. Or you could even have a movie marathon of some classic 90s films like The Sandlot, Jurassic Park, and Mighty Ducks.

You could also set up a fun DIY photo booth with props for guests to snap pics to make memories of the day. Consider grabbing some windbreakers, colorful hats, butterfly clips, or other fun accessories that scream “90’s” for everyone to have fun with.

90's party graphic.

3. Karaoke Night

“Sweet caroline! (bum bum bum)”…Anyone else already singing along?

If your hubby loves a good singing sesh, why not throw a karaoke party? You can either rent a machine, use a karaoke app, or even just throw some YouTube videos up on the TV and put the captions on so you can sing along.

To get everyone in the party mood, you can start things off with some classic sing-along songs like “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey or “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Then, let your guests take the mic and show off their best (or worst!) karaoke skills!

If you’ve got the funds, grab some small prizes to keep on hand for the best performers of the night, like an inexpensive bottle of wine or a $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card.

A karaoke night screams traditional pub food (to me at least!), so try some of these frugal food ideas:

  • Buffalo chicken dip
  • Pizza
  • Chicken wings
  • Nachos
  • Veggie platters
  • Chips and dip
  • Soft pretzels with beer cheese sauce

Karaoke may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’ve got a hubby that loves the limelight and can bust a tune – it’s sure to be a night he’ll remember.

4. Taco Bar Birthday Party

Who doesn’t love tacos? They’re delicious, easy to make, and best of all – they’re relatively inexpensive! A taco bar birthday party is the perfect way to celebrate your husband’s 40th on a budget.

You can make a big ‘ol batch of taco meat and a vegetarian batch of beans ahead of time, and then set up a toppings bar with all the fixings. Some great toppings to include are:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Shredded cheese
  • Jalapenos
  • Chopped red onions

For decorations, you could go with festive Cinco de Mayo-esque options, or keep things simple with some solid colored streamers and balloons.

If you want to level things up, this homemade taco birthday cake is probably the coolest birthday cake I’ve ever seen! And it doesn’t look too hard to make.

Ingredients for a taco bar on a table.

5. Brewery Party

If your husband is a fan of craft beer (I know mine is!), why not throw him a brewery-themed party?

Breweries are typically pretty inexpensive to visit, with the only cost being whatever you’re drinking. Send out a casual invite to friends to join your family to celebrate at his favorite brewery – or visit a new one.

Most people would expect to have to pay for their own drinks at a brewery event, but you may want to supply some food. Many breweries actually allow you to bring your own food – especially if they offer outdoor seating – which can be a great option for saving money for you and your guests.

To make things more special, you could spend a little moolah to get some custom koozies made as a party favor. That way, he can use them every year to remember his 40th birthday party.

If you’d rather not have a big to-do, you could also just do a brewery tour with a few of your close friends. Make a plan to visit a few over the course of the day. Just be sure to have a designated driver!

6. Camping Trip

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family. Plus, it can be very budget-friendly. Invite family and friends to come along and join you for a few nights away – or just meet you at the campsite for the day to celebrate.

Here are some tips on how to host a camping party for your husband on a budget:

  • Choose an affordable campsite. There are many great campsites across the country that won’t break the bank. Do some research and find one that fits your budget.
  • Invite friends and family who you know are cool with a relaxed, laid back day. (We all know some high maintenance peeps that just aren’t a fan of the outdoors).
  • Be prepared with any supplies you’ll need. If you don’t own something, consider borrowing it from a friend or neighbor that’s willing to loan it out.
  • Keep the menu simple. Camping food doesn’t have to be gourmet. Stick to simple, hearty meals that everyone will enjoy.
  • Enjoy some fun, free activities. There are plenty of things to do while camping that don’t cost a lot of money. Hiking, fishing, and swimming are all great options.
A family eating at a picnic table while camping by a lake.

7. Trivia Night

Hosting a trivia night birthday party is the perfect budget-friendly option – plus, it’s a great way to get all his friends together in one place. You could even make it a themed trivia night and base the questions around his favorite TV show, movie, or band.

You can approach this two ways:

Option 1: Host trivia yourself.

If you do this yourself, you’ll want to make a list of trivia questions for the event. With a few hours and some Googling, you can easily come up with enough questions for your trivia night.

If you plan to host yourself, keep things cheap with inexpensive food and drinks like homemade pizza, chips and dip, popcorn, and lower-cost beer and wine.

Option 2: Hold the trivia night at a bar or restaurant that has weekly trivia nights.

This takes a lot of the work off of you as you know they’ll have someone hosting the game. You also don’t have to worry about space issues at your house.

When it comes to food and drink, you can choose to let everyone grab their own, or maybe you pay for a few pizzas or appetizers for everyone to share.

8. Donut Party

If your husband has a sweet tooth, why not celebrate his birthday with a donut-themed party? This is a great option if you’re looking for something a little different and unique.

There are two ways to do this:

Option 1: Donut Tour

Go on a “donut tour” of different local donut shops. Everyone grabs one donut of their choice at each location!

Around here in Massachusetts, we’ve got fancy options like Rocco’s, Basic Batch, Kanes, Donna’s, and more. (If you’re local, you can find the list of the 16 best donut shops in MA here.)

I bet you’ve got some great locations wherever you live too. Make a day out of it!

Option 2: Donut Breakfast Brunch

Make a bunch of different varieties of homemade donuts, along with some other cheap breakfast foods (like eggs, fruit salad, etc.) and host a birthday brunch.

Invite family and friends, and enjoy food and conversation. You might also consider splurging on some ingredients to make “The Moustache” drink – also known as the manly mimosa, haha.

Hands reaching for donuts in a donut box.

9. Fishing Day

Is your husband an avid fisherman? If so, his 40th birthday is the perfect opportunity to go fishing with friends and family. Who doesn’t love being outdoors and spending time by the water?!

You can easily find a spot to fish from the shore, and make a day out of it by packing plenty of food and drinks. Here are some cheap foods that are easy to pack in a cooler or bag for the day:

  • Sandwiches
  • Fruit
  • Chips
  • Pasta salad
  • Caesar salad
  • Trail mix

Don’t forget to also pack some water, sunscreen, bug spray, and of course – all the fishing gear.

If you want to splurge a little, check Groupon to see if there are any discounted deep sea fishing trips available. These typically include several hours on the boat, as well as the rod, reels, and bait.

Recently I saw an offer in our area for just $31 per person, so around $60 if you made it a date. You could also see if a few of his friends wanted to tag along instead of joining (for those who may not enjoy fishing quite as much!) — giving him a fun guys day out.

The best part is that many of these trips will let you keep the fish you catch, and even clean and filet it – so you can get a good dinner out of the activity as well!

The Bottom Line

Whatever you choose to do, we’re sure your husband will have a blast celebrating his 40th birthday. And with these budget-friendly ideas, you can party on without breaking the bank. Happy planning!

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