Throw a Baby Shower on a Budget

These money-saving ideas will keep your shower from overflowing!

Group of women at baby shower, three sitting on sofa opening gift
Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Baby showers are a right of passage in pregnancy. They can be a great amount of fun. The problem is that so many people have started to believe that a baby shower needs to cost a pretty penny. The truth is that baby showers are designed to celebrate the pregnant mother-to-be and her baby. It's a gathering of friends and family to show support. Here are some ideas to have a great shower - without breaking the bank!

Reuse Decorations  

If you happen to have some decorations saved from another shower, reuse them! Or pull out some strings of Christmas lights and hang them around the party room - they spice up any occasion. You can also use baby items as decorations, either yours or some from friends. Think kid books, baby bath lotions, stuffed animals, etc. These small things can really help set the tone and don't have to be overpowering to be effective.

Eat off plates.

I know it sounds crazy, but consider using your real plates instead of disposable plates. If you have a set of nice dishes, pull those out. If the thought of doing dishes really turns you off consider budget paper plates. That would be colored paper plates that don't have specific baby shower themes. You can find these at the grocery, discount party stores, and even the dollar store.

Buy in bulk.

For food consider going to your local bulk food store.

Here you can get a large selection for less. Think a huge bag of veggies and dip for appetizers. Many also have bags of candy or nuts to set out for munchies. My personal favorite is in the freezer aisle: frozen mini cream puffs and eclairs. Either way buying in bulk is likely to save you money.

Bake the cake!

Baking a cake doesn't have to be difficult.

You can simply bake a long sheet cake in your own oven. Once it's frosted you can add some pre-made designed pieces of candy (like you'd purchase for a kid's birthday) or go for a simple style. For simple yet elegant, you can also make cupcakes. A nice cupcake sprinkled with colored sugar is very attractive. You can even arrange these in decorative format, like spelling out the word baby in cupcakes as a centerpiece.

Guest Gifts for Party Games

It's nice to give small gifts to the winners of baby shower games. These don't have to break the budget at all. Consider getting them at the dollar store. Even when you purchase gift bags and tissue, you're only spending $7 plus tax. You can even skip the gift bags and simply use the tissue paper and some old string or ribbon from your home. Dollar stores typically have some candles, nice bath stuff or picture frames.

Baby gifts on a budget.

If you'd like to give the mother-to-be something beyond the baby shower, which is a present in and of itself, consider inexpensive options. Coupons for babysitting, a gift basket of baby goodies from the dollar store, the promise of a meal after the baby arrives - these are all good ideas for budget baby shower gifts.

Save money on the invitations.

Consider using a service like Evite to send electronic invitations to your guests who have email. This saves on postage as well as the actual invitation an time. It's also a handy way to manage your guest list. What if someone doesn't have email? Drop them a nice note in the mail with a printed version of the online invitation and a note to call in their RSVP. 

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