When it comes to baby showers, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement. This can be especially true if the shower is for someone close to you, like your sister or friend. But once the initial excitement calms down and you start planning the party, you might feel a little overwhelmed by the costs of traditional baby shower supplies.
The good news is that there are many ways to throw a baby shower on a budget while still throwing a memorable, fun party. The great thing about these budget-friendly tips is that guests won’t know that you even had a budget for the party! Everything will look terrific, and everyone will have a blast celebrating the new mom.
Plus, you’ll be able to get the mama-to-be something her baby needs with the money you’ll save by having a baby shower on a budget.
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What is a good budget for a baby shower?
A good budget for a baby shower is however much you can reasonably afford to spend. It’s as simple as that! For some, a baby shower budget of $100 is excellent, while others might find that $500 is better suited for them.
Before planning the baby shower, it’s crucial to figure out your budget. When you sit down and figure out how much you can comfortably spend on the shower, it will help you make better-educated purchases.
When making your budget, keep in mind how many people will be attending and whether or not you will be serving food. Often, food can be the most considerable expense in your baby shower budget, so that is an important thing to figure out first.
The following tips will help you throw the best baby shower possible with your budget in mind.
Tips For Having A Baby Shower On A Budget
Budgeting Tips: Planning
Planning is an essential part of having a baby shower on a budget. Without a solid budget plan, you can quickly overspend. Here are our best tips for saving money while planning a baby shower:
Have The Shower At Home
One of the most significant ways to save money on a baby shower is to have the shower at your home. Party venues can be out-of-this-world expensive, and you can put the money you will save by avoiding venues to good use elsewhere.
If your home is out of the question, see if another close friend or family member of the mom-to-be can host it at their house.
I had my baby shower at my house, and it was so convenient! My sister, who lives out of state, did all of the planning and decorating once she got to town. Having the baby shower at my house was convenient because I didn’t have to pack all of the presents home – which as an 8-months- pregnant mom-to-be, was so lovely.
Now, if having the baby shower in someone’s home isn’t going to work, there are many other budget-friendly options for you to choose from. Places like public parks, churches, and community centers often have free or low-cost spaces that you can rent out.
For a complete guide to choosing a baby shower venue, check out this post!
Keep The Guest List Short
As I mentioned earlier, figuring out your guest list should be one of the first things you do when having a baby shower on a budget. The number of guests can directly impact your shower costs.
Unless you are throwing a surprise baby shower, it’s best to make the guest list with the expecting mom. Make the initial list, and then reevaluate and trim where you both see necessary.
For example, when trimming down the list, ask questions like, ‘Is this person directly involved in your life?’, ‘Will this person add stress to your fun day?’, and ‘Is this person already invited to a different baby shower?’ (like one at the mom-to-be’s workplace).
Remind the mom-to-be that she is not obligated to have anyone she doesn’t want at her baby shower. This day is about her!
Make It A Ladies’ Day
While Co-Ed baby showers can be a ton of fun, you will most likely double the invites if you go this route. Instead, keep the baby shower smaller and have a ladies’ day instead.
Of course, this isn’t all-or-nothing. If the mom-to-be has someone close to her that she wants at her baby shower, then they should be invited.
Keeping the baby shower to mostly ladies can help to prevent guests from bringing their spouses. Chances are, their spouses won’t really want to be there, and you will want to make sure that the guest list is filled with people the mom-to-be is close with.
Accept Help From Friends And Family
Accepting help from friends and family is always an excellent idea, whether you are planning a baby shower on a budget or not. Depending on the size of the baby shower, it can be overwhelming to do everything on your own.
If someone offers to bring some food or drinks, that’s great! Or, if someone offers to help you set up decorations, that’s just as good. Accepting help doesn’t have to only be in monetary form. All help is good help!
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Use Paperless Invitations
Invitations can skyrocket your baby shower budget if you’re not careful. But luckily, there are many low-to-no-cost options out there!
If the guestlist for the baby shower is small and close-knit, word of mouth or even a group text can be efficient. But, if you’re looking for a more put-together option, you can make free, high-quality invites on Canva!
How To Make Free Invites On Canva
Making invitations on Canva is simple and free if you choose. To get started, you’ll need to create a free account. Here’s what to do next:
- Click ‘Create A Design’ in the top right corner and type ‘invitation.’ Then, choose the size you want.
- Next, you can create the invitation from scratch or use a template located on the left-hand side.
- Then, fill out all of the necessary information.
Once you’re done, you have two options. You can either hit ‘Share’ and email the invites to the guest list, or you can print out the invites if you decide you want physical copies. If you do decide you want to print the invitations, it can be much cheaper to print them on a personal printer if you have one. Just be sure to use premium paper instead of regular printer paper.
The great thing about Canva is that there are many free templates to choose from, but you can always upgrade to the paid version (which is pretty cheap) if you see fit.
Budgeting Tips: Entertainment
Use Colors Instead Of A Theme
If you search for baby shower themes, you will get many cute options to choose from. The downside of selecting a baby shower theme is that decor can get expensive. Not to mention, all the decorations you buy will most likely get used once.
When having a baby shower on a budget, it’s much more budget-friendly to choose a color or two and focus the decor around that. Also, don’t feel like you are stuck with the traditional baby blue and baby pink. The color choices are pretty much endless!
For example, you can use the expecting mom’s favorite colors or the colors she has chosen for the nursery. Or, you can choose one color and make the accent sparkly gold or silver.
Shop Low-Cost Decor Options
As I mentioned above, most of the decor that you buy will likely only be used once. So, whether you are using a baby shower theme, or just using a color scheme, try to buy the cheapest decor that you can find.
Two of the best places where I’ve found baby shower decor are the Dollar Store and the dollar spot at Target. Both of these places have surprisingly great decor options!
Also, don’t forget to check out free baby shower decor printables! You can either search on Google or Pinterest, but you are bound to find something adorable. The only thing you would need to pay for with free printables is the printing, of course.
Like invitations, centerpieces are another item that can quickly become expensive. When adding centerpieces to the baby shower, you should first ask yourself if they are vital.
Do you have multiple tables? If the baby shower is more casual and you only have tables for gifts and food, then you can skip centerpieces altogether. If you plan on having tables for guests to sit at, here are our top five ideas for budget-friendly centerpieces:
- Small vases of carnations with baby’s breath. (Warehouse stores are great for buying bulk flowers at the lowest price!)
- Shower favors if you plan on having any
- Small balloon bouquets
- Low-cost dessert stands with cupcakes or cookies if having dessert
- Framed pictures of the mom and dad-to-be
Find Free Baby Shower Games Online
Playing silly games at a baby shower is pretty much expected, but thankfully, there are many free baby shower games online. This article from The Spruce lists 10 of the best baby shower games, and they are all free!
When looking for baby shower games, it’s crucial to get the expectant mom’s opinion first. Some moms absolutely hate baby shower games, so you will want to ensure she actually enjoys them.
Also, if you’d rather try a baby shower activity, try out a diaper raffle! Diaper raffles are super simple to put together and are a great way for expecting parents to get a stockpile of diapers! To find out more about diaper raffles, check out this post!
Skip Baby Shower Favors
Baby shower favors can be pretty adorable, but they can be a waste of money most of the time. Yes, favors can be a nice touch, but if you provide food or dessert, most guests will prefer that over a party favor anyway.
If you want to include baby shower favors but don’t want to spend a fortune, here are our top five picks:
- Cute sugar cookies wrapped in nice packaging
- Small popcorn bags with a tag that says, ‘Thanks For Popping By!’
- Small potted succulents
- Bags of candies with a ‘Thank You’ tag attached
- Lip blams with cute stickers
Budgeting Tips: Food
Food can get expensive, primarily when you are serving a large group. Here are some tips to help you keep the costs down while still providing delicious food or snacks.
Choose The Right Time
When having a baby shower on a budget, you must choose the right time of day to have the shower. If you aren’t serving a full meal at the baby shower, you will want to avoid hosting the shower during typical meal times.
Here are the best times to start a baby shower during the day:
- Between 9-10 am – After breakfast and before lunch
- Between 1-2 pm – After lunch and before dinner. (This is the most common choice.)
Because dinner time varies for many people, it’s best to avoid hosting the shower after 3:30 if you aren’t serving a meal.
Also, keep in mind the timeframe of the baby shower when choosing the starting time. Most baby showers are about two hours long, but some can go closer to four hours.
Serve Finger Foods
Serving finger foods is the perfect option when hosting the baby shower between mealtimes.
If you aren’t sure where to start when serving finger foods, simple tea sandwiches and fruit or veggie trays are a great place to start! You can also have things like meat and cheese trays, crackers and chips, pickles and olives, and deviled eggs.
Also, having a good variety of finger foods is crucial. It not only ensures that there will be something that everyone likes, but that there will be plenty of food for everyone.
Have A Make-Your-Own Food Bar
Having a DIY food bar is another fantastic way to provide a significant amount of food at an affordable price. Plus, who doesn’t love a good food bar?!
When picking a food bar to have at the baby shower, consider the time of day when you have the shower. Here are some great examples of food bars for different times of day:
- Morning Baby Shower: Waffle Bar or Parfait Bar
- Afternoon Baby Shower: Baked Potato Bar or Taco Bar
- Late Afternoon Baby Shower: Sundae Bar
The fantastic thing about the different food bars listed above is that they are all pretty filling options, and you don’t have to purchase any expensive entree supplies. Plus, they are foods that most people like, and when you add in all of the topping options, guests can choose only the things they enjoy.
Shop Warehouse Stores
Shopping warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club are great for getting a lot of party food and supplies cheaper than the usual grocery stores.
You can find items like chips or crackers and dip, veggie trays, a large variety of appetizers, and even supplies like napkins and paper plates. Plus, all of these items are in larger quantities than the regular grocery store, so you get more for your money.
Make The Desserts
I’m sure you’ve seen all of the adorable baby shower sugar cookies and cupcakes on Pinterest or Instagram. But, when having a baby shower on a budget, it’s best to skip buying desserts from a bakery. Instead, it’s much cheaper and pretty easy to make your own!
If you’re not the best baker or you want an easy option, you can buy cookie or cake mixes from the store to make at home. Then, you can decorate them however you want, and you’re good to go!
In the end, the guests won’t care if the desserts came from a bakery as long as they taste great!
Skip The Alcohol
Buying drinks for the baby shower can add up fast, mainly when adding alcohol. It’s perfectly understandable to skip having alcohol at the shower, especially because the mom-to-be can’t drink.
Who pays for what at a baby shower?
Traditionally, the hostess of the baby shower is the one who would pay for it. That’s why it can be beneficial to find friends or family of the mom-to-be who would enjoy helping you plan the shower while splitting or pitching in towards the cost.
Keep in mind that the mom-to-be is typically not a part of the planning and payment. It’s OK to talk to the expecting mom about things she would like to see at her shower, but don’t ask about payment unless she insists on helping.
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I hope these tips for planning a baby shower on a budget have helped you! Remember, the expecting mom will love her baby shower no matter what it costs.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- The Best Gifts For Expectant Dads
- When To Start Buying Baby Things
- How Many Baby Clothes Do You Really Need?
- The Best Snacks To Pack In Your Hospital Bag
- Powerful Birth Affirmations To Inspire You
What was your favorite tip for having a baby shower on a budget? I would love to know in the comments below!