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Baby Showers

Baby Showers on a Budget
by Nicole Eades

Want to host a baby shower, but you don't have a lot of cash to do it? Well, fear not, because we have some money-saving tips that will help you stretch those dollars without compromising such a special event for the mom-to-be.

One thing you can do to save money is to carefully choose what time of day you have the shower. Avoid typical mealtimes, such as noon, so that you will not be responsible for providing a full meal. Early afternoon showers work well. Most people will have already eaten lunch, so a few small finger foods, punch and a cake are really all you need. Resist the urge to have such a large variety available that the guests can pick and choose their personal favorites. I learned this lesson the hard way. When I hosted my friend's shower, I had a table full of food and several options of beverages. It was too much, and I ended up with leftover food that would feed my family for days. All I really needed was a tray of vegetables and dip, maybe some nuts or chips, the cake and punch. Those that do not like what is offered will not starve before leaving the shower, I promise. You might also want to provide water because most moms-to-be try to drink a lot of it.

Another good way to save money is to find a co-host. Not only will this cut your cost, it will help alleviate the stress of planning this important event alone. Although it's okay to simply ask for financial assistance from a close friend or relative, it's better to ask for their assistance in actually planning the event. My mother offered to make the cake for my friend's shower, and I gladly accepted her offer. It saved me a little money (which I obviously spent on other food), and it was a personal touch that meant a lot to my friend. Accept help from anyone that offers and solicit help if needed.

Printed invitations are very popular right now, but they can be costly. To save money, you can make your own invitations. If you know how to rubber stamp or have excellent handwriting, you can make handwritten invitations. If your handwriting is difficult to read, you can design invitations on your computer and print them at home. This is a great way to personalize the invitations. You can make it look exactly as you want, and you will save a few dollars in the process.

For those moms-to-be that already have every baby item on the market from previous babies, one good way to celebrate without spending much money is to host a casserole shower. Have each guest bring a casserole, suitable for freezing, for the guest of honor. Since she already has the stroller, the high chair, and everything else she will need for the baby, make life a little easier for her when she brings her new baby home by providing easy meals for the family. Have the guests bring a casserole in a disposable container (write heating instructions on the lid), a smaller version of the casserole to sample, and copies of the recipe. Then, you will not have to provide food, other than the cake, because there will be plenty to eat, and you can make recipe books as party favors! Just make sure the mom-to-be has somewhere to store all the frozen meals.

Here are a few other small tips to save you money:

  • Use balloons instead of flowers.

  • Decorate with items that the mom-to-be has already purchased for the nursery, like wall-hangings.

  • Host a theme shower, and have the guests bring something related to the theme to help decorate the tables.

  • Make the cake.

  • Don't buy ready-made vegetable or meat trays. It's much cheaper to make your own, although it does require a little more time.

  • Wrap your own gift to the mom-to-be in nice baby themed wrapping paper, and use it as a centerpiece on the main table.

You can host a fabulous baby shower on a small budget. Be creative and have fun! Your guest of honor will enjoy the celebration during those last few uncomfortable weeks of her pregnancy.

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