The current tough economic times require everyone to cut back on spending and give up extras. However, some events still deserve to be celebrated! With some planning and careful shopping, you can throw a great baby shower without breaking the bank.
Before doing anything else, you must decide your budget. Determine how much you can spend on the event, and then make the budget a little less. This will allow a little wiggle room for surprise expenses and if you do not need the extra money, you can splurge at the last moment.
As for invitations, if your Mother-To-Be and her guests are computer savvy, you could simply email the invitations. However, you do not have to sacrifice paper invitations to save money. You can make your own, either by printing them off a computer, or by using paper and pretty pens. Not only will this save you money, but it will add a personal touch to the baby shower.
The location of the baby shower can be a huge money saver. Of course, the simplest answer is to hold the shower in the home. However, if this is not an option, the mother-to-be's church will probably let you use their reception hall. Also, check with your local park. The fees to rent a gazebo may be less than the alternative. To decorate, skip the pre-printed banners and use balloons and crepe streamers. Blow the balloons up yourself instead of renting a helium tank. Use your own real dishes instead of buying disposable, and use paper dinner napkins instead of party napkins. For party favors, you can make your own sweets packets with some candy and plastic wrap, or simply tie ribbons around nice smelling votive candles.
There are many different options for the menu as well. If your guest list is a small, close-knit crowd, you can make the food yourself or request that guests bring a dish for potluck. If your baby shower is in the afternoon, potato chips and chopped vegetables with dip will give your guests plenty on which to snack. You can make the cake yourself, or make a variety of cookies for a dessert tray.
Your guests probably cannot afford to buy extravagant gifts any more than you can. There are many cost-effective gifts that will be more helpful to the new parents than a pricey rattle the baby might not even like. New parents always need tons of diapers, wipes, bottles, and bottle liners. Baby clothes are always a good gift, but most people forget to get larger sizes. By time the baby is 6 months old, he or she will not fit most of what was given at the baby shower. Coupons for free babysitting are good options. Also, gift cards to the parents' grocery store or homemade frozen meals will be priceless in the coming months.
Finally, for any part of the baby shower, try passing by the party department of your local supermarket. Instead, head for the crafts department. With a little ingenuity and a hot glue gun, a budget friendly solution can be found to any problem!