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How to Plan a Baby Shower on a Budget

Planning a baby shower doesn't have to cost the earth and a half anymore. We have some nifty ideas to help you throw a wonderful bash for the mommy-to-be while maintaining an even more wonderful budget.
Tip to plan a baby shower on a budget
Host the baby shower at a time of day when people are not generally hungry: post-lunch but pre-dinner. This is a great way to save up on full-course meals and serve finger foods instead.

Being given the responsibility of planning a sibling/friend/relative's baby shower is certainly flattering and is a mark of the loving relationship that the two of you share. But this responsibility comes with its share of expenses. Expenses that you may or may not have foreseen. Expenses that you're now fretting over. Expenses that you shouldn't be fretting over. Buzzle has broken down the baby shower into possible expenditure-incurring sections and shown you how easily you can save a lot of money on each of them. Trust us, it really is as easy as it sounds. Get ready to get amazed!

Save on the Venue
The venue is one of the biggest causes of concern when hosting any kind of event, let alone a baby shower. To ensure the comfort of the mom-to-be, hosting it at home is probably the best idea. If you think your home won't accommodate all your guests, you can ask a friend or relative (who's also part of the shower and has a big enough house) to have it at their place. This will save a lot of money and will be much more convenient for guests and mom-to-be alike. If you've got your heart set on an outdoor shower, then move part of the celebration out into the garden of the home or host the party at a public park after taking the requisite permissions.

Save on Invites
There's something about handcrafting an invitation for any kind of event. The luxurious (read: expensive) paper, the delicate (read: expensive) printing, and the little handmade (read: expensive) envelopes to hold them in. OK, maybe it's not as expensive as we're making it out to be, but the truth is that spending no money is better than spending even a little money, right? So, ditch the paper, do your part for the environment, and send virtual invites to everyone. Use e-mail or social media to send invites that you can design on your computer. Websites like evite are also a perfect option to send out well-designed invites.

Save on Décor
The mantra to save on décor for any event is to buy in bulk and buy in advance. Popular retail stores always have items like balloons, bunting, streamers, etc. Buy these when you see them at a good price, no matter how far off the shower is. If you're using just flowers for décor, stick to seasonal varieties. Flowers in season are likely to cost lesser than exotic ones that are not in season. A word of advice: instead of creating elaborate floral arrangements, opt for just one type of flower. Let it be the highlight of the décor. Just pinning or hanging two flowers on curtains, on windowsills, on the coffee table, etc., will render a fresh and vibrant mood to the baby shower.

Save on Food
As mentioned above, having the shower at a time when no one's expected to be very hungry is a sneaky, yet effective way to save on the cost of a 4-course meal. Since you have to serve food, make it something that is light, healthy, popular, and most important of all, inexpensive. Sandwiches, cheese and crackers, salads, and the like are wonderful items that anyone at a party will enjoy. Not convinced? Still wanna serve a complete meal? Well, the best way to save on that is to prepare the food yourself. You'll save on catering service and tipping charges this way, and your guests will get a chance to 'ooh' and 'aah' at your culinary skills. Remember, don't refuse help if you're offered it. If someone offers to help you with the cooking, by all means, accept. Still not convinced? Try a potluck baby shower! As for the cake, instead of spending on an elaborate designer cake, tap the baking skills of (you've got to know at least one such person) that friend or relative who's a magnificent baker.

Save on Tableware
Along with food comes the cost of tableware. And while we agree that any event can be judged by how well or not its tables are dressed, a heartfelt baby shower celebration has no need to worry. Use mismatched linen as a way of decoration. If you simply must have matchy-matchy linen, before buying or renting, consider asking people you know if you can borrow from them. Neighbors, friends, family—there are so many resources you can tap. Cutlery, instead of buying can be rented or borrowed. If you're sure your guests won't mind (read: be honest enough to tell you that it's tacky), you can even ask them to bring their own. It'll add a quirky and fun touch to the whole affair.

Save on Entertainment
No need for fancy games that require you to gather a lot of material. For entertainment, you can just make a playlist that you think will be enjoyed by almost everyone and let it play in the background while you'll take up an activity like writing messages to the baby for every birthday. All you need is paper and pencils.

Save on Favors
With DIY being the rage all over, favors have become one of the easiest items to save money on. Edible favors are the darling of the DIY world and for good reason. They're easy to make, don't cost as much money as store-bought ones, and have that much more sentiment attached to them. Cookies, cupcakes, granola bars, jams, syrups, pickles, etc., are options that will be a hit. Make sure you wrap them in cellophane packs and tie ribbons to prettify them.

There you have it. A perfectly budget-friendly breakdown of a baby shower that will still be as fabulous as ever. Didn't we tell you it was easy?
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Published: December 19, 2013
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