20 Money-Saving Tips for Hosting a Baby Shower on a Budget

Planning a baby shower is a wonderful gesture to show your friend how much you care and to offer support as they embark on the journey of parenthood. However, it can also be a pricey undertaking.

If you want to host a shower without breaking the bank, we have some tips to keep the price low but the event classy.

1. Keep the Guest List Small

You don’t have to throw a large shower for it to be meaningful.

In fact, one of the best showers I ever threw for a friend was a small, intimate affair where the mom-to-be got to visit with everyone and didn’t have to rush around.

A small guest list requires less food, less space, and less money.

2. Opt for a Virtual Baby Shower

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that most things can be done through a Zoom call. Plan a virtual baby shower so guests who can’t fly in still get a chance to join.

This will lower the costs and ensure the mom-to-be can invite people from all over the world.

3. Consider a Baby Sprinkle

A baby sprinkle is a smaller shower that works well for someone who is having their second or third child.

A sprinkle is more casual with less of everything since the mom already has the big ticket items from their first pregnancy.

The focus is on community and support more than expensive gifts, and this means the sprinkle is also a much more low-key and inexpensive option.

4. Have an Open-House Baby Shower

An open-house baby shower ensures you don’t have to serve a full meal.

Open-house showers mean guests come and go during an allotted time so the mom-to-be gets to spend time with everyone without being overwhelmed.

There’s no need for games, elaborate decorations, or even a room rental. Open-house baby showers work well at someone’s house. 

5. Host at Your Home or Other Free Venue

Room rental fees are a huge expense, and this fee alone can eat up your shower budget. Look for a free place to host the shower instead and save tons of money upfront.

A shower at someone’s home is a great idea. Some churches will also let you use their basements or banquet halls for free. Parks can also be a great location if the weather is good.

A group of woman enjoying gift-giving at a baby shower.

6. Invite Someone To Cohost

You do not have to go it alone. Ask a friend or two to help you cohost the shower and split the planning and the costs.

Make sure to split duties and let each person know what they are responsible for so there is no confusion.

If you communicate effectively, cohosting makes throwing a baby shower less stressful for everyone involved.

7. Set the Time for Midmorning or Midafternoon

Don’t want to pay to serve a full meal? I don’t blame you. Set the baby shower time strategically, and you won’t have to worry about it.

A midmorning or midafternoon shower will ensure your guests have already eaten a meal and won’t be expecting food.

You can even put on the invitation that a full meal won’t be served so everyone knows. This substantially cuts down on the costs of a shower.

8. Accept Offers of Help

You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to paying for a shower.

Maybe there are friends or family members who can’t help with the actual planning, but they do want to contribute cash to help you make the shower dream come true. Take the cash!

Just because you are the primary host does not mean you have to foot the entire bill.

9. Send Digital Invitations

Invitations are expensive, and they are truly unnecessary in this digital age. Send a digital invite to save cash and make an environmentally friendly choice.

You can always print out a paper copy if the mom-to-be wants it for a keepsake. However, everyone else will likely toss a paper version anyway, so don’t waste your money.

10. Skip the Theme

You don’t need a theme for a baby shower. If you skip buying themed items that all have to fit together, you can focus on finding bargains and save a lot of money.

You may have a color that helps guide your design choices, but you don’t need an entire theme to guide the shower.

11. Make Your Own Decorations

Feeling crafty? You can find inspiration all over the internet if you are up for making your own decorations.

This will cost much less than buying premade items, and it can be fun if you are into DIY adventures.

You can also ask friends or family members to help you make the decorations so the job can be done quickly and with assistance.

12. Use Balloons To Cut Decoration Costs

Add some balloons to a room, and you won’t need a ton of other decorations. Balloons are inexpensive but add a pop of color to any space. 

13. Have Party Favors Double as Decorations

Combine the cost of party favors and decorations by letting your guests take decorations as their party favors when the shower is over. This also makes cleanup faster!

Flowers, succulents, and candle holders are all excellent to use for decorations. Just have guests grab some when they leave to make the decorations do double duty as party favors.

14. Plan a Potluck 

Potlucks split the cost and the work of throwing a baby shower. Create a signup sheet online and send out the link with the invitation.

Ask guests to sign up and bring a favorite dish for the shower, and you are finished with the main meal planning!

Bonus points if you ask guests to bring an index card with the recipe to share with the new mom-to-be.

15. Opt for a Food Bar

Food bars keep you from having to pay to cater a meal or prepare one with intricate ingredients that add up quickly.

Try a taco bar, nacho bar, salad bar, or ice cream bar, and let guests serve themselves.

Food bars limit the number of ingredients needed, and they offer your guests options without the need for a full-course meal.

An assortment of sweet toppings for ice cream displayed buffet style for a party.

16. Skip the Adult Beverages

The mom-to-be can’t drink at the shower, so there is no reason to provide adult beverages for everyone else.

Skipping alcohol can save you tons of money, and anyone who wants an adult beverage can go grab one after the shower.

17. Plan Free Baby Shower Games

You can print out all the materials you need for baby shower games online. You won’t have to buy materials and up the cost of the shower.

You might need some printer ink and paper, but that’s about it.

18. Limit Number of Games To Save on Prize Costs

To be honest, games are not even close to my favorite part of a baby shower. If you want to minimize the costs of prizes you have to buy, simply cut out some of the games.

Choose one or two if your mom-to-be really wants to play, but that’s more than enough for a baby shower.

19. Skip the Bakery — Make the Cake Yourself!

Cakes are expensive, and with so many ideas on the internet, you can easily make your own cake for the shower.

You don’t have to make it from scratch, and you can keep it simple so you won’t stress about decorations.

If you absolutely don’t feel confident doing the cake on your own, see if there is someone else who wants to contribute to the shower and is good at baking.

Ask for them to donate their baking skills to the shower effort.

20. Make Homemade Party Favors

Fortunately, there are plenty of people who have created their own party favors and saved money on premade items. Plus, homemade favors let you add a personal touch.

Grab some ideas from websites, and make sure to incorporate items you know your mom-to-be will love.

That’s a Wrap!

You can throw a simple, elegant baby shower without spending a lot of money.

Be intentional about accepting help and finding creative solutions for the best outcome, and remember that guests will come to honor the new baby and mom, not critique every little party detail.