How can I host a baby shower without breaking the bank? Baby Shower Ideas

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friends at a baby shower
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It can be a lot of fun to celebrate a mom-to-be and her baby-to-be, but it isn't always cheap. To plan a baby shower that won't break the bank, check out these ideas from a party planner and women who've hosted.

Save Money on Decor, Food & Activities

"Pick a theme that works well with how your party venue already looks; this will help keep your decor budget low. A brunch timeframe (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or an in-between-meals timeframe (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) for the party will help keep your food costs in check. If you skip the games, you won't have to give out any gifts. Decorating onesies is a popular shower activity, but having guests create an ABC book instead is a more affordable activity. At the top...

"Pick a theme that works well with how your party venue already looks; this will help keep your decor budget low. A brunch timeframe (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or an in-between-meals timeframe (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) for the party will help keep your food costs in check. If you skip the games, you won't have to give out any gifts. Decorating onesies is a popular shower activity, but having guests create an ABC book instead is a more affordable activity. At the top of each page it says, for example, 'A is for...' and then the rest of the page is blank for baby shower guests to fill in with pictures and words." -- Janice Carnevale, Bellwether Events, Washington, DC

Play Budget-Friendly Games

"I like games like 'Guess the Baby Food' or 'List All the Baby Items on the Tray From Memory.' They're fun, and you can play them with things that are probably already around. The most money you will end up spending will probably be on the cake and drinks."

Make It Homey

"Have everyone bring a dish to pass. Make your own cake. Have your baby shower at your own house using your own plates and utensils."

Use Gifts as Decorations

"I like to make a centerpiece or other decorations out of the gift I plan to give the mom. For example, you can use onesies, socks, or bottles to decorate. It's cute but also practical. Also, utilize pictures as much as possible (like baby pictures of the parents-to-be), and don't get carried away with nonessentials like confetti. I also try not to use the themed plates and cups but opt instead for a solid color since those come in larger quantities and cost less."

Reuse & Repurpose

"I'm using some of my wedding decor for my baby shower, since it was rustic theme and my shower theme is woodland. Glad I can repurpose things I already have."

Serve Dessert Instead of a Meal

"Many dollar stores have cute baby shower decorations. You can play a game or two, but we just did a cake and punch. We didn't go to the extreme to feed everyone."

Look into Low-Cost Locations

"Some churches and other organizations will let you use their event rooms for little to no cost. And some are really nice venues!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.