I was totally new to this scene — it’s the first baby expected among my immediate family and friends. The pressure of hosting can be overwhelming with so much involved — money, food, gifts, invitations — especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory.
While I’m extremely frugal, I’m also a stickler for detail, so I had a crash course in throwing an affordable and adorable baby shower. With a little research and the help of my co-host — my mother — we were able to put together a great party.
Here’s what I settled on, and how I managed to cut corners.
At parties, folks tend to be attracted to the foods that are familiar, yet tasty, so that’s what we stuck with.
Ham biscuits, chicken salad croissants, veggies and dip, fruit salad and a pasta salad were on the menu. What made this affordable menu even better was the fact that all of these dishes could be made in advance, saving us a headache on the day of the shower.
For dessert, we served carrot cake cupcakes, the mom-to-be’s favorite, topped with icing and an animal cracker. The easy cake toppers fit the theme perfectly and didn’t cut into our budget. Consider looking for similar pre-made goodies that can accentuate your homemade treats.
Invitations and decor
The invitations and decorations took the most research. We expected just 14 people at the shower, so buying invitations, plates and napkins in bulk was out of the question. We wouldn’t really be saving anything if there were dozens of paper goods left over.
After considering a few products that could be personalized or pre-printed, we finally settled on some sale-priced Hallmark goods from Shindigz.com. Plates, napkins, tablecloths, a banner, invitations and thank-you cards were all purchased for under $40, and they all matched. Providing thank-you cards for the shower recipient is a nice perk if you can find some that fit the bill.
My mother is an ambitious lady to say the least, and she chose to tackle the feat of providing each of our guests with a box of homemade truffles. She found a simple recipe with simple ingredients, and we ended up with an attractive and delicious favor.
Plain truffle boxes can be purchased at most craft stores, and we chose to line the plain boxes with gold leaf papers. Because we weren’t providing favors for a big crowd, it was an affordable option, but this could turn into a pricey venture. Michaels, A.C. Moore and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft stores have coupons in the newspaper and online almost weekly. These can lead to big savings if your merchandise is eligible.
One of our best finds was the stickers we used to secure the truffle boxes.
I found a seller on Etsy who offered jungle-themed stickers that could be personalized. I ordered 24 stickers with “Thank you!” printed on them for merely $10 — a bargain for a custom product.
Etsy has endless possibilities in the realm of custom paper products, and there’s something for every budget. Many sellers even offer a print-at-home option.
Luckily, these things were the most we had to worry about. There was a request to leave games off the itinerary, which also saved some money.
The location was free because it was held in the mom-to-be’s home. This ended up being a great plan, as she didn’t have to load all her loot into the car when the party was over. Cleanup was also a breeze because we purchased all paper and plastic products, and all of our food could be put right back into the refrigerator.
Do you have any special tips or tricks when it comes to hosting a shower? Share your ideas!