By Carol from Auburn, ME
Here's what I did. My mother helped me plan my shower and although many ladies have their own ideas against throwing your own shower, I had quite a few coworkers and friends that I did not want to exclude from celebrating with me.
I anticipated 20-30 ladies and started planning the event months in advance. Since I was only a few months pregnant over the holidays, I took advantage of after-holiday sales and bought gift sets from various stores like Bath & Body Works, KMart, and Target while they were 70-90% on clearance! I stayed away from anything that was holiday-themed, but it worked out well for game prizes.
Also, since I found out I was having a girl I kept an eye on all things pink after Valentines day and took advantage of the clearanced out items the day after at Target. I ended up with a ton of prizes, candy, gift bags, decorations, etc that I was able to use and saved a lot of money on!
As far as decorations, the dollar stores in my area carried a nice variety, but I decided to go with a large 6 foot banner from Party City for $1, as well as garland and spring flower themed decorations for $1 each. I was also able to borrow large tissue paper flower puffs from a family friend. If you have to make them yourself, look at Pinterest, they are very easy and inexpensive. You can also purchase table cloths from the dollar store. I actually splurged and got vinyl ones for $3.50 each, but I am sure you could borrow or get away with the dollar store ones with no problem!
Games--I used a roll of crepe paper streamer I got for $.65 and had the ladies try to guesstimate my belly size. It lead to a lot of laughs and was inexpensive.
I purchased baby raffle tickets for $1.99 and had a large baby bottle that we drew from. That lasted for a few rounds and we also did 2 grand prizes (large gift giveaways) to end the games.
We also did a word scramble and a guessing game that I purchased for $6.00. These games are available online, but I was in a pinch and purchased them on the fly.
For invitations, I purchased clearanced DIY invites from Target for 70-80% off and found the matching Thank you notes a few weeks after for $2 a pack.
For utensils, I purchased the silverware at the dollar store, the napkins from big lots $2 a pack for pink 75 ct. The cups I also purchased from Big Lots $2.50 for 50 ct. Hefty brand. I purchased 2 packs of thermal cups with lids from the dollar store and plates from Aldi as that was the most inexpensive place--cost about $2.50 for 50 ct.
For favors, I purchased small plastic flower pots from the dollar store (12/$1) and since they were thin, doubled them up and filled with pink themed candy, stuffed with green Easter grass and stuck a packet of flower seeds in them as a thank you. You can throw in a poem as a thank you--for the ladies to plant the flowers and watch them grow and think of baby.
The menu was simple, I purchased most of the items from Aldi to save on money.
Deli sandwiches on mini croissants or soft artisan rolls (It was recommended to me to purchase 6-7 lbs of meat for the event. In actuality I purchased 4 1/2 lbs of deli slices and had almost half left over to give away.
For cheese I purchased deli slices 12 in a pack for $1.99 at Aldi. I had cheddar, swiss, provolone and colby. I also had a pack of pepper jack that was not opened.
The rolls/croissants, I used approx 2 packs of mini croissants/rolls cut into halfs that ladies could make small sandwiches. I had a tray of croissants and a bag of artisan rolls left over.
Salad (used approx half a 5 lb bag)
2 dressings: Italian & ranch (had many other varities not open)
Veggie Tray ( 2 lg. cucumbers, 1 tub of cherry tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, baby carrots)
Hummus (From Aldi)
Salsa (Aldi, $1.69 for a large jar)
French Onion Dip (A little over $3) had a lot left over
tray of Strawberries (Took advantage of a 10/$10 sale at Meijer) Used probably 4-5 pints, had half left over.
Bowl of honeydew and cantaloupe melons (took 1 melon each cut up) Had a lot left over.
Crock pot of Baked Beans
Pampered Chef cold veggie pizza
Mini garlic bread "Sandwiches" cut into small squares, topped with pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella & spinach (Vegetarian Option) (only used 1 large loaf of frozen bread--purchased store brand $2 a loaf.)
Bowls of chips and pretzels around the room as centerpieces for people who want to chat & munch.
Cupcakes (funfetti & red velvet) with 1 can of frosting (Not homemade, but cost $2 total
Cookies $2.50 from Aldi
Donuts $2.50 from Aldi
Ice cream Bar:
-Purchased a large tub of Neopolitan ice cream from Aldi for $4.99
-Various cones, waffle bowls ($1 each box, generic brand)
-Sprinkles, coconut, candy like gummy bears, orange slices, maraschino cherries (all $1-2 each) and a bag of M&M's from Aldi
-Can of Whipped Cream less than $2
-Fudge sauce, caramel (Less than $2 each)
-Also made a "chocolate peanut butter eclair cake" that used a half box of chocolate graham crackers, 2 packs of Vanilla pudding, cool whip, peanut butter and a tub of chocolate frosting. I purchased everything generic.
Water bottles (24 for $2.75 at Aldi)
Name brand Soda (Purchased 10/$10 on sale, only used maybe 4.
I had the option of punch but ran out of time. You can use 2 liters of ginger ale, 1 frozen limeade and 1 frozen orange juice---delish!
Coffee (Keurig K-cups), tea (supplied from home & hot cocoa set out)
Purchased 1 large hazelnut creamer ($3)
I purchased a lot of the items that did not perish ahead of time and so saved money and time. I also had about 5-7 helpers and everyone loved it! Planning is key. Don't be afraid of just doing a simple punch and cake shower either. It doesn't have to be overboard but can be frugal & fun! Also ask your friends or relatives to possibly bring a dish, people don't mind! :)
Prizes for game winners, stock up on baby items and when all is done, the prize winners give the mom the prizes.
In our area baby showers consist of ladies coming to someone's house with gifts, to visit with the new mom and the baby. We give them after the baby is born. The hostess serves tea, coffee, maybe juice or punch, a decorated cake or maybe some dainties. The entertainment is mostly holding the new baby. Sometimes they have a memory game where the hostess makes up a tray with about 20 baby things on it (baby wipes, a soother, Orajel, a diaper, thermometer, brush and comb, diaper pin, and so on) and everyone gets to look at this for about 10 seconds each. Then they have to write down what was on the tray. Those that get closest to all the items, get a small prize -- decorated candle or something from the dollar store. Taking lots of pictures is also part of the deal. It is always quite low key; expense is not an issue as one uses their own dishes and decorations are optional. Sometimes someone decorates a box in some theme (like a John Deere grain wagon if it is a boy baby in a farm family) or gives a larger gift like a stroller that you can put the gifts in, and then make a big deal of bringing them in. A bassinet or even just a new clothes basket is also good, as babies always have lots of laundry. The mom opens the gifts, passes them around and everyone says nice things and admires them, and every one visits. Usually, there are friend and relatives, I'd say 15 to 25 is the usual number. You don't want hordes as it would be too overwhelming for mom and baby. If you are dealing with someone who might have lots more friends, you might give a shower for neighbours and family, and then one of the new mom's girlfriends might give a shower for the younger crowd and work friends. Whatever seems to work for you. It should be very informal and low key.
A frugal baby shower is very very possible. After having read previous posts from the last several years right here on this site I can assure you that the ideas offered are great ones. I will give some advice just to reiterate what others have previously posted. Food is not a necessity. Have the shower mid afternoon. After lunch time before dinner. Your guests will know to eat prior to arrival and will not want/need to eat while there. A cake, drinks, and nuts/pretzels is all that is needed. I had my shower at 2 PM and the biggest part of my food (at least 75%) was not touched because most people did not expect food and had already eaten.
Also the cake is just as good home made. It shows you put more love into it than just going out and buying one. Throw away cake pans with lids can be purchased for $1 at just about any Dollar Store and cake mixes and icing are fairly cheap. You should be able to make a nice cake for less than $10 and it should easily feed 20-30 people. Once again I had plenty of cake left over too. I think out of 20 people 2 had ice cream so save $ there too. Most people will be just fine with whatever you have to offer. It is a day for Mom and baby, not a dinner party for guests. Just to give you a sigh of relief, my baby shower was done for less than $40 and I had food (BBQ on buns, pasta salad, chips) and ice cream that was not needed. I had matching decorations, plates, utensils, games, gifts for prize winners, and even balloons. I purchased everything except for food products at the Dollar Tree. I'm not sure if there is one in your area but it is available online(www.dollartree.com) and every item is $1. Good Luck with the shower. You will do great! And congrats on you to the new grandbaby!
I would like to have a baby shower for my daughter. This would be her first baby and my first grandbaby, but I really can't afford it. I thought you all might have some ideas on what I could do to have a frugal baby shower.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Teresa from VA
Baby Shower Central - Free Games and More:
Local dollar stores are definitely the way to go, but make sure to check them all out! Some are definitely better than others. You can usually find baby shower invitations, cups, plates, table covers, utensils, decorations, and prize gifts at most of the dollar stores.
Instead of mailing out your invitations, hand deliver them. Of course you could also e-mail the invitations, and that would be the greatest savings!
As far as the cake goes, you can even make it. I too gave a "frugal baby shower" to one of my friends, and decided that with the high cost of cakes that I would try to make my own. It turned out great and cost me about $8.00 to make a 1/2 sheet size. However, if you don't feel confident enough to make it yourself, ask your family and friends if they would know of anyone who would. But before you decide, make sure that you know how much they plan on charging you for it. Some people charge as much as the bakeries do. If you have to buy one, check out the warehouse club bakeries such as BJ's or Sam's Club. We got my husband's 50th birthday cake at BJ's (a whole sheet cake) for $26.99, and it served 50+ people.
As far as party favors go, we made cute little pink and blue "baby diaper favors" and filled them with little candies (M&Ms, mini mints, etc.) for each guest. All you need for each one is a paper napkin and a little safety pin. Take a napkin, leave it folded as it is when you buy it and then fold it in half again at opposite corners, making it into a 'triangle', bring the three points together (middle point first, followed by the opposite two), overlapping them slightly so that it forms a little pouch and pin it at that point, then fill the 'little diaper' with the candy.
Cake, punch, and coffee is fine, but if you really feel that you want to serve food, make "finger sandwiches" made from ham salad, tuna salad, and egg salad. All three are relatively cheap considering that a small amount goes a long way. Cut the sandwiches into quarters and place on a serving platter, serve along with potato chips.
If you want to play games, prizes can also be bought at the dollar stores. There are many games that you can play. Make up game sheets and then copy them, suggestions include "Baby Word Scramble", where you take a list of about 20 baby words with their letters all scrambled, give each guest a copy and the first one done wins the prize. Example: YABB RWSOHE would be "BABY SHOWER".
"Baby Shower Bingo", make up a list of numerous baby items or terms, such as diaper, baby bottle, shower, mother, father, labor, etc. Then print up blank bingo card, of 25 spaces (5X5) with the middle space marked as "Free". Give each guest a copy of the blank card and tell them to print a baby item or baby term in each block. Start calling from your list, and tell the guests to mark off any items that you call that is on their card. The first guest to get bingo (five in a row in any direction or 4 corners), wins.
Another really cute game is to pass around a ball of yarn, string, or ribbon. Tell each guest to unwind and cut what they would believe to be the exact measurement of the expectant mother's belly. After all have cut their estimated length, then have the mother-to-be walk around the room, wrapping the guests estimates around her belly and see who comes the closest. That winner gets a prize!
Buy about 6-8 jars of different kinds of baby food, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, vanilla pudding, green beans, spinach, fruits, meats, etc. You would be surprised to see that some of the foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes, or peas and spinach look so very much alike. Then, put a number on each of them, writing down on a master list what number was what kind of food. Remove the original labels prior to the party, place the jars in a basket and pass them around during the party, along with paper and pencils for each guest to guess what kind of baby food each of the numbered jars are. Guest with the most correct answers wins the prize. Make sure to keep the original labels that were removed, and then they can be taped back on, and then given to the "mother-to-be".
Finally, you can make up a little question and answer sheet. Each guest puts their name on the top of the page. Then answer various questions: Will the baby be a girl or boy? How much will it weigh? What will the baby's length be? What color hair will it have? What date will be or she be born on? What time? How long will her labor be? Time of birth? Baby name suggestions: Boy/Girl? Who will he or she look like? This sheet will be kept by the "mother-to-be" for her to compare after delivery of who got most of the questions correct. I did this for my sister-in-law's shower, and she let everyone know who was the closest in all of the questions after her delivery.
Sure hope this has been some help to you. Again, congratulations! (06/20/2005)
By Debbie from NJ
Another favorite is the "memory game". On a tray or other flat surface (could use a box lid) arrange many small baby items, at least 15-20 items. These are things you have picked up at the dollar store and arranged on the tray: sample size baby powder, oil, and lotion, a jar of baby food, a baby brush and comb, baby nail clippers, and a rattle. You get the idea. Things that are purchased in sets (like the lotions) should be separated to fill the tray. You set this up ahead of time and cover with a dish towel, receiving blanket, whatever. No peeking! When you are ready to play, you gather the guests around the tray and uncover it, everybody has one minute to observe the tray and try to remember what is there. Then you cover it back up and everybody has two minutes to list as many items as they can remember. The person with the most correct wins a prize (something from the dollar store, like a candle or coffee mug). The mom-to-be keeps the contents of the tray to fill her diaper bag.
For refreshments, my guests have always been quite happy with cake and punch and coffee, maybe a dish of mints and a dish of pretzels or nuts. You're not there for a dinner party.
Have a great time! (06/24/2005)
By Becki in IN
I am helping plan a baby shower for a 16 year old. I need any frugal ideas you may have. There will be approximately 50 guests. We are on a tight budget.
By Colleen from Greensburg, PA
To make them, simply bake in paper cups and cool; frost them and then use different designs (squiggles, dots, etc. across the center or top and bottom), add some jimmies or sprinkles, insert a white candy stick into the side of the paper, tie a pretty ribbon there, add a big gumdrop at the bottom of the stick! (You can get pretty creative with these, use small plastic food bags filled with colored frosting to make the squiggles and lines).
For a keepsake for the new mommy: pass out 3x5 cards to everyone and have them write down "Words of Advice" to give her for the new baby and sign their name: she can later put these into a scrapbook as a lasting memory.
If your insistent of having food: first see if others would pitch in to help. Serve small dinner rolls filled with ham, tuna or egg salad; make deviled eggs (2 1/2 dozen), a pasta salad, an ambrosia salad for a fruity touch. Serve punch with sherbet floating.
Balloons and streamers if you need some decorations are cheap enough to get, but cut fresh flowers from a garden are just as pretty.
A nice touch is to have a couple plastic totes handy for new mommy to pack small gifts in to take home and also can be used to store baby items in. But no matter how frugal you have to get, have the shower! She will most definitely be grateful :D. (09/01/2010)
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