I love throwing showers for friends!
However, my husband is currently in dental school and we are a little tight on finances (which makes sense if you’re pouring $100,000 into school every year).
I have found many ways to still throw a beautiful baby shower even on a strict budget.
It might take a little extra work on your end… but hey, that’s what we’re here for!
We’ll provide cheap baby shower ideas, and then with your personal touch and a little bit of creativity, you’ll have an amazing baby shower ready to go in no time!
Baby Shower Ideas On A Budget
If you’re going to be doing a shower, you’ll need to send out baby shower invitations.
There are a few ways to do this for an inexpensive baby shower.
A great way to go about it is to create your own using apps like Canva or even graphic design software.
Next, print them out on your own printer at home, or find a cheap print shop near you (Costco, Walgreens or CVS are all great options).
Printing can honestly be a small fortune at times, so if you’re not wanting to print them… why not go DIGITAL.
It’s a simple way to save money and it’s all the rage these days.
People love getting an email or text and then they don’t have to worry about misplacing the invite when the day of the event comes.
You can add the baby registry right on the invitation (just one click for party guests) and have the expectant mom simply send you all the phone numbers.
2. Pick The Right Time Of Day
The baby shower menu can be one of the most expensive things if you’re not careful.
Food costs add up FAST.
And it all depends on the number of guests you have coming.
If it’s being kept to close family, you might not have a problem with this one.
But if it’s going to be the ULTIMATE baby shower then we need some ideas.
Here are a few baby shower food ideas that people are guaranteed to LOVE.
If you’re planning on doing a full meal, I would suggest enlisting the help of others so you don’t break the bank.
Morning (Breakfast) Shower
You can simply go out to breakfast for this one eliminating the decoration factor AND keep it to a smaller amount of people.
Or if you still want to host it then here are a few options of things to serve:
-egg croissant sandwiches
-french toast casserole
This is by far my favorite time to host showers.
Great lighting outside and inside so pictures turn out beautiful, the food is amazing, and it seems to be the most budget-friendly baby shower.
When I recently hosted my friend’s baby shower, we did brunch and it turned out better than I thought it would (even on a tight budget). These ideas will be very similar to breakfast foods.
Muffins, quiche, and yogurt parfaits are all relatively easy to assemble at a low cost.
Around 2:00 (serve light snacks/finger foods)
Finger sandwiches are an inexpensive option for this time of day because people aren’t needing much to keep them satisfied.
After Dinner (desserts only)
You’re bound to have a fun time with this one.
Assign a few guests to each bring a dessert and viola! The food is all taken care of.
5. Have The Shower At Home
Many memorable moments can be made with a simple shower at home.
In fact, this is how I prefer my showers to be because it creates a more comfortable setting and is a great place to talk for hours with friends and family.
The best part is that you don’t have to go anywhere AND it is completely free. Invite a few of the new mom’s best friends and enjoy sitting around to laugh for hours.
6. Choose A Free Or Inexpensive Venue
If you don’t want to do it at home but still want to keep it at a low cost, then try one of these options!
Your local church is a great place to do it as long as it’s available (make sure nobody is coming to play basketball in the gym on the same day because that might just ruin the whole event).
A nearby park gazebo can make for a great baby shower!
Especially in the morning or evening, outdoor places can be beautiful to decorate and the greenery surrounding it just adds to the decor (which means you don’t have to do as much to decorate. Just make sure green is in the color scheme!)
A local library is another easy way to save money on the venue.
Most libraries will offer a gathering room for free if you live in the area, or for a small fee.
They also provide things like speakers, microphones, etc that can be helpful if you have a large crowd planning to attend.
A community center will sometimes also offer a room for a small fee that could be just the place for your inexpensive shower.
Make sure there is still good lighting so that the pictures turn out to perfection!
7. Keep the Decor minimal
No need to go all out on decorations.
What matters most is that the new mama feels loved and ready for the arrival of her little one.
A few balloons, party favors, and cute plates/utensils found on Amazon should do the trick.
Sometimes they even come in bundles pre-packaged for baby showers and at a completely reasonable price!
8. Use Free Printables Online
So many options for decorations can be found online. You can print out banners galore by simply searching on Pinterest!
Or if you’re needing a fun free game, check out this FREE printable baby shower scavenger hunt.
8. Use Favors As Centerpieces
Baby shower party favors can be anything!
It could be something small like lip gloss or lotion.
OR you could even give your guests some bouquets of flowers that can double as centerpieces for your tables.
I actually used all the centerpiece flowers as a gift for the mama-to-be at my last baby shower.
She loved it and was excited to take something from the shower home to her kitchen table!
10. Buy A DIY Balloon Arch/Photo Backdrop
Good News! Balloon arches are actually relatively simple to assemble.
Just order one online and it comes with everything you need to put it together in under an hour (just make sure you have an electric balloon pump. Trust me– your lungs will thank you later).
Another great option is to make your own photo backdrop.
This can be done with a bed sheet and stringing your baby’s (or a friend’s baby’s) clothes up on a piece of twine.
It makes for great pictures and who doesn’t love to see cute baby clothes hanging up?
12. Make The Food Yourself
If you don’t have much money left after the decorations, then don’t stress about catering the food from a fancy venue.
Simply make the food yourself or ask other party guests to help out!
(And I’ll let you in on a little secret… homemade food sometimes tastes way better for a special occasion like this anyways)
14. Make It A Potluck
The best way to save money on food is going to be a potluck.
You might not get exactly what you were hoping for in regard to the menu, but you won’t have to stress about cooking or ordering an expensive meal to feed your guests.
Plus, everyone loves to help out when it comes to baby showers!
A good way to cater to your party theme is to assign people a certain food before you allow it to be a free for all.
And who knows, it might turn out better than you could have even planned yourself.
15. Buy A Simple Sheet Cake And Decorate It Yourself
If you are going for the dessert-themed shower, then you will probably need a cake.
Ordering a cake to be decorated can get pretty pricey pretty fast.
Even if you don’t have the best creative skills, you can still frost a cake.
It might not turn out perfect, but just add your own touch to it and the guest of honor is bound to love that you put in the effort for her.
16. Decorate With Flowers From A Friend/Family Member’s Garden
Flowers cost a FORTUNE these days!
If you are looking for a good way to minimize floral costs, then head over to a friend or family member’s garden and use their flowers for the shower.
Don’t be shy in asking– their flowers will grow back!
Another great option for floral arrangements is Trader Joe’s. They have a wide variety of flowers for a screamin’ deal!
17. Forgo The Baby Game Prizes
Who has a baby shower without fun baby shower games?!
We all need to laugh a little… but maybe our laughs can be the prizes this time?
People aren’t expecting a grand award for being the fastest one to change the stuffed animal’s diaper.
Just knowing that you are a pro diaper changer should be good enough, right?
You can save the money for a gift to give to the mama-to-be and maybe even compile a group “gift” to give her at the end of the shower.
She’s bound to feel special and loved and the guests won’t mind that they didn’t get a prize.
18. Skip The Shower Games Completely
Ok, ok. Not everyone loves being put on the spot for the baby shower games.
If this is you, then why not skip out on the games completely and save some moulah?
Your baby shower theme might not need the silly games that sometimes come out in preparation for a new baby.
And let’s be honest, nobody is going to miss trying to talk with a pacifier in their mouth just because they said the word “baby” 😉 I’ll save you the humiliation and the dollars by giving you permission to omit the games altogether.
19. Keep The Guest List Small
If you are on a super tight budget, then keep the guest list to a minimum.
Don’t worry about inviting every single friend and friend of a friend.
Just have close family members and a few friends there to support and have a good time.
Ask the guest of honor who she would like to come and then… before getting overwhelmed by the number of people, remember that if you send out 30 invitations, at least 10 will send their regards and a few might forget about it (we’ve all been there before).
20. Accept Help
If someone offers to help… ACCEPT IT.
I know you think you’re a superhero and can do everything alone, but if you’re hoping to save money on this event, then allow other people to step in.
As mentioned before, give out food assignments (and even decor assignments can be helpful to save a few extra dollars).
Swallow the pride of needing everything to be picture-perfect and let other guests help out. They’ll appreciate it and so will you.
21. Borrow Items From Friends And Family
This is an AMAZING way not to break the bank!
If you’ve seen other showers or parties thrown and you wish you had their decorations, then just ask if you could borrow them!
Chances are they are willing to loan them to you for free or at a very discounted price to rent.
Another great way to get a feeler for what people have to borrow is by posting on social media.
Ask around for the items you are looking for before going out and spending lots on things you’ll only use once!
22. Limit Beverage Options
Don’t feel like you need to have multiple drinks for everyone attending. Simply having water and lemonade is plenty for people.
If you are doing brunch or breakfast, orange juice might be enticing and relatively inexpensive.
Sherbet freeze drinks can be a fun way to have a drink at a dessert shower and also be classified as a treat– killing two birds with one stone!
Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t shower your family and friends with love!
Remember, reach out for help, look for deals, and be willing to put in a little extra work and you’ll have a beautiful baby shower that doesn’t break the bank!