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How to Throw a Baby Shower on a Budget (5 Genius Ways to Save)

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Inside: Want to throw an awesome baby shower on a budget? We’ve combined all our best low-cost baby shower tips into one simple guide!

You’ve made the Pinterest boards. You have the date planned. The mom-to-be is working on her guest list as we speak.

But then, as you are ready to execute the most perfect baby shower ever, the sticker shock hits you.

Sure, having a baby is expensive. But who knew throwing a baby shower can feel like having a baby, too? 

(Ok, not quite. But you get the point.)

No need to fret, though. You really can pull off an incredible baby shower that’s affordable, fun, and super thoughtful. I’ve done it several times, and you can, too.

balloon arch with pink and blue and gray balloons for budget baby shower.

5 Budget Baby Shower Ideas – the Easiest Ways to Save BIG


Here are the five easiest ways to save a ton on throwing a baby shower. 

(And when you worry that you’re scrimping – don’t! Some of these ways to save are way better for the environment, too.)

You Might Also Like: How to Throw the Perfect Minimalist Baby Shower

1. Go with digital invites.

It’s totally commonplace now to receive a text, email or even a Facebook message as a Baby Shower invite.

You could make a fun graphic with the theme of the shower on a free program like Canva, then spread the word this way.

I work for a nonprofit organization, and we are starting to use digital invites for most of our big events, because they’re free and actually more effective!

People tend to lose printed invitations or throw them away quickly, and the cost of materials and postage really adds up.

If you feel like hard copies are necessary (or just want them as a keepsake), there are free templates in Canva as well, and also on sites like Wepik.

2. Keep the party food homemade and simple.

cupcake table at baby shower.

I am exactly the type of person who over-plans everything. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown a party where less than half the food was eaten.

People tend to be self-conscious at gatherings, especially if they’re not with close friends, and they usually eat less than you expect. I’ve realized that it’s enough to have one pretty dessert like a cake or cupcakes, and to keep the number of servings to a minimum.

If you happen to be good at baking, making your own small batch of homemade cupcakes or cookies is a great way to save money.

My sister recently made these amazing iced cookies for a party, using this recipe.

I’ve seen similar cookies go for $4 each from a bakery! Individually wrap them in plastic wrap, and pile them on a tiered tray for a pretty display.

Beyond the sweets, you could plan just one or two other finger foods for some variety (or just stick to the dessert if it’s a small gathering).

For More Cupcake Ideas: 31 Unique Baby Shower Cupcakes to Go With Every Theme

cheese and veggie tray with dips and pickles and chocolate.

For our big family baby showers, I like to fill a big divided platter with veggies, and/or fruits along with a homemade dip (Aldi ranch dip packets are delish!).

Instead of spending $40 on a veggie tray, you can make one for less than half that amount if you do the chopping yourself.

Another option is to make your own frugal charcuterie board. They are fun to assemble and serve as decor, too!

You don’t need fancy equipment or trays: you can literally spread the goods over a large cutting board you already own.

Related: Simple Baby Shower Food Ideas (for When You’re on a Budget)

3. Go for minimal or reusable decor (3 easy ideas!).

baby clothes strung up on white accordion-style room divider, fiddle leaf fig tree on stand with baby shoes.

Speaking of decor, don’t go overboard! Sure, you can find complete themed sets on Amazon, but what are you going to do with it all afterwards?

Instead, here are a few practical options…

Giftable Decor

For my brother and sister-in-law’s baby shower, my mom printed some watercolor artwork found online for free that matched our theme. She put them in nice frames found at Dollar Tree, and used them to decorate the tables.

We then gifted those prints to the expecting parents afterwards, to use in the baby’s room.

Another idea: Use gifts such as handmade blankets to display and add color to the gift table. Gifts like baby books and shoes can also double as decor- or even little outfits!

Balloon Arches

This is one decor item that I don’t mind buying, because they are actually really affordable. You can usually find a kit for around $10. 

It can easily be the main “decor” for the shower, as it’s large and it also serves as a nice backdrop for photos. 

DIY Projects

If you have the slightest bit of artistic flair, there are so many easy ways to decorate for a baby shower on a dime. 

Think: Chalkboard art, baby shower banners, and photo collages of the expecting parent(s). If the timing is right, also consider using in-season flowers growing nearby. 

For my sister’s shower, I took clippings of various flowering bushes from my grandma’s yard to decorate the serving tables and guest tables. Classy, fragrant and free.

4. Don’t waste money on baby shower games!

There are SO many cute baby shower games on Etsy, and I know it’s tempting to splurge on a few. And if that’s in your budget, it’s totally cool.

But there are lots of games you can play with materials you already have around your house. For instance, there’s the classic- “Guess how many squares of toilet paper would fit around mama’s waist?”. (Only do this with very close friends who won’t be offended, mmkay?)

Or, there’s the type of game where you brainstorm baby names from each letter of the alphabet and whoever gets the most in 1 minute gets a prize. All you need is some blank paper.

Another frugal option is our Baby Shower Trivia game, which you can print and use for free! 

Don’t stress about games though, really. I’ve planned several showers where we never even got around to playing the games, or only played one because everyone was enjoying hanging out and chatting instead.

If you need ideas of things to do at baby showers that aren’t games, we’ve got you covered there, too.

Related: Baby Shower Games That Don’t Suck (If You’re Gonna Have Them, Make Them Good!)

5. Get practical prizes for game winners.

Choosing game prizes is another task that can be difficult when planning a baby shower. The games are just for fun, of course, but some people take them really seriously!

The hard thing is that there can be a variety of ages and preferences represented at any given baby shower. But even small, thoughtful gifts will be appreciated.

If you’re into homemade gifts, here are some DIY ideas that are easy and fun to craft. 

Or, check out our list of baby shower game gift ideas for prizes that aren’t tacky or expensive- or another candle!

baby shower display table with peach ring candy and homemade cupcakes to save money.

The Gift of Hospitality Matters FAR More Than Spending Tons of Money on a Baby Shower

I try to keep in mind that my party-throwing endeavors are never going to be perfect. 

My house will never be clean enough, my homemade dessert might actually be a flop, and something is likely to go wrong. 

Perfectionism can really ruin what should be a simple, fun gathering.

What’s more important than the decor, the food, the games and the gifts is how people feel. Making guests feel welcome and at home is what really matters. 

And showing the mom-to-be that you love her and her growing family; that’s something that can’t be bought on Amazon.

So relax and enjoy your time with friends or family, and let them know how much you appreciate them coming to bless this new mama. 

She might forget what kind of cupcakes you served – but she’ll probably remember the effort you put into this for years to come.

Read Next: 17 Things to Do at a Baby Shower Besides Games


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