Baby Shower on a Budget

In my last article, I spoke about co-hosting a baby shower for my best friend who is due in March. We kept with the theme of her gender reveal, blue and green.

Money, at the time, was tight. Mr. Cozy Cottage was still going through medical stuff and had surgery in January with a few complications that put him out of work for a week. It was still slow season for him and we were broke from being new homeowners and forgetting about pesky things like property tax (don’t worry, we paid it, but we weren’t used to expecting it in December). Needless to say, every bit of money he brought home was used wisely. For the past couple of years, Mr. Cozy Cottage has emptied his pockets at night. He would leave $5’s, $1’s, and change on the nightstand and pocket the rest. The man is notorious for breaking bills, whereas I’m an exact change kind of person. Well, I would come by in the morning and pick up the change to deposit it into the spare change jar in our room, and then tuck away the bills for savings. Because he does this every day, I accumulate money quickly without him missing it. This went to pay for his Christmas present. After the holidays, I started saving again. I saved $100 and determined that it was going to be my baby shower fund. I didn’t want to ask him for any money to go to it, since he was already stressed enough.

I’ll say this before we get started. I failed. I used $1 out of my weekly grocery money because I went over budget by $1. I’m ashamed.

Not really. I’m actually pretty stinkin’ proud, if I do say so myself! I can’t believe I pulled it off. That $100 ($101) paid for all the food, the decorations, the game prizes, and the gifts. Do I rock or what?!

I also had the best partner in crime a girl could ask for, my bestie Erica! She is absolutely amazing at crafts and decorating!

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She’s probably going to a bit miffed about posting her picture like this, but I felt I owed it to her because she is so awesome.

Here’s how we did it:

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Remember to keep the decorations sparse. Our decorations were cute and cheap (just like us!) and really didn’t cost a lot of money. We hit up Dollar Tree and Party City, and the rest was DIY. Really, crepe paper streamers, tissue paper garland and poofs, and some balloons make one heck of a cute shower. I love my little rain cloud dangling from the ceiling fan!

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Plan your shower for an “in-between” time. Our was held on a Sunday afternoon from 2-4 in the afternoon…right in between lunch and dinner. By planning this way, you won’t need a lot of food, just light appetizers. People will still be full from lunch, and not hungry enough yet for a full meal.

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Keep your food simple. Our shower food consisted of plain pretzel rods, candy- and sprinkle-coated pretzel rods, cake, babies in blankets (Li’l Smokies wrapped in croissants), and some alphabet cookies that were too cute to pass up. We also provided only one beverage: the traditional Southern baby shower punch of 7Up, pineapple juice, and lime sherbert. Don’t knock it till you try it.

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Encourage a few low-key games. People don’t want to be there all day. We did a guessing jar of Legos and “Don’t say baby.” We also encouraged guests to bring a pack of diapers for an entry into the diaper raffle.

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Along with games, keep your prizes very simple. A wine glass, manicure set, and loofah make a great prize…and it cost $3 from Dollar Tree. The diaper raffle gift cost just a bit more, but it was all created with Dollar Tree items too.

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Remember that the shower is not about making you a wonderful hostess or making everyone happy. This is about showering the mom-to-be and the baby-on-the-way with love, adoration, and lots of adorable and useful gifts.

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While it is about mom, make sure your guests don’t feel unappreciated. We gave them an opportunity to leave best wishes in the guestbook (Illustrated Harry Potter books), leave some helpful advice for the new mom, and treated them with favors of Nutter Butter babies.

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Most of all, have fun. Find deals where you can, don’t stress, and fill the shower with love and laughter!

And don’t forget to write down the gifts Mom receives so she can send out thank you notes!

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