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Baby shower on a budget — ideas that won’t break the bank
You’ve just heard the news that a close friend or relative is expecting a baby and you’re almost as excited as the parents-to-be. The first thought that pops in your mind is that you want to throw the greatest baby shower of all time to honor the blessed event, and you enthusiastically let your intentions be known.
Then reality sets in. You have a ton of planning to do, and oh yes, there is this little matter of a budget to pay for it all. Fear not! There are ways to accomplish your objective without emptying your bank account and maxing out your credit cards.
Plan your baby shower carefully
Once a date has been agreed upon, create a timeline that includes a list of everything you’ll need for the party, the dates you’ll need to purchase the invitations, decorations, other paper goods, food, drink and other accoutrements. Build in a little “fudge time” for the non-perishable items you’ll need to acquire so that you have some flexibility to accomplish everything on a schedule that isn’t frantic.
Invitations should go out no later than three weeks before a shower (sooner is better) to help assure the guests aren’t booked on the selected date.
If you have an artistic touch, make your own invitations, and if your design skills are lacking, there are easy-to-use and attractive templates that are included in popular software programs like Microsoft® Word. Others are available to download for free or for small fee on the internet. Greetings Island is an excellent source, supported by advertising revenue, where you can create shower invitations at no cost.
In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for invitations to be completely electronic via custom-designed emails, invitation-only Facebook pages, Twitter feeds or other social media outlets. Etiquette books may not be on board with that approach just yet, but it’s perfectly acceptable for many millennials.
The most cost-saving venue for a baby shower is to host it in your own home or apartment where you will incur no additional expense. If your place is too small to accommodate the guest list, ask another friend or relative who has a larger home if they would be willing to let you use their space for a day. If that doesn’t work, churches, community centers or public parks often have facilities you may use for little or no cost. You may need to make a reservation to assure you don’t find someone else occupying the space on shower day.
Decorations and paper goods
According to Miss Mae’s Days, there is no need to spend big money on baby shower décor when you have access to a dollar store. These low-budget retailers are among the most popular sellers of party decorations, disposable plates, cups, napkins, eating utensils, etc. Attractive and functional items can be obtained for a fraction of what you might pay at higher-end retailers or stores dedicated strictly to party supplies.
Keep in mind; the items you buy for a baby shower are likely single-use products, which will wind up in a trash bag once the party is over. They only need to last for a few hours, so as long as the merchandise is attractive and functional in the very short term, that’s good enough.
Baby shower food
It’s easy to spend a fortune on food if you have the cash and want a lavish spread. For the budget-conscious, membership clubs are a great place to start. You can buy specialty foods in the required quantities and get attractively prepared trays of hors d’oeuvres, fruits, veggies, nuts, sweets, crackers, chips and dip, etc. that look like you spent hours in the kitchen. Membership clubs are also good places to buy nice cakes that can be decorated to your specifications for less than a grocery store and much less than a standalone bakery.
While you’re in the membership club, scout out bargains for the libations you wish to serve. Whether your drinks will include alcohol or not, you’ll have a broad selection of drinks from which to choose and the pricing will be competitive.
As long as you’re at it, you may also be able to get fresh floral arrangements at good prices in membership clubs. Some grocery stores also offer good floral options at reasonable prices compared to a professional florist.
There are many other possibilities to consider, most of which are optional, when it comes to baby showers. It all depends on your taste and budget. When planning your event, there are fun games you can play, live entertainment, party favors, guest books and photography among a long list.
Sticking to your budget may be as much about your personal connections as it is about what you want to do. Perhaps your guest list includes a magician, disc jockey or a professional photographer who might be willing to donate their services to your mutual friend or relative. Asking won’t cost a penny!
For the expectant mom
Once the shower has come and gone and you’ve collected all the goodies from your friends and loved ones, check out tips on prepping your nursery for a new arrival. You’re going to need a place to put all of your gifts so they’re ready to go when you bring your new bundle of joy home from the hospital.