Baby shower on a budget?

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      Hi Everyone,

      My name is Ginny and I have been “lurking” here for a few weeks. I live in San Jose, California. I am married (30 years in May) and we are raising my 15 y/o nephew and 17 1/2 y/oniece. They have been with us 8 years so I guess that makes us “official parents”. The only other kids we haveare the 4 legged kind (and the only kind we wanted). Of course you know how it goes, tell God your plans and he laughs and shows you his plans. It certainly has been an experience and one I am thankful for.

      I decided to jump in about the baby shower.Here is a great free website for planning a baby shower. It has everything!

      https://www.babyshower101.com.

      I have given many baby showers and being the queen of bargains here are a few suggestions.

      If one of your guests or relatives belongs to an organization or churchthat has a hall have them rent it as it cost little to nothing if you are a member. There are a lot of apartments orcondo’s that have recreation rooms that can be used if someone lives in the complex.Does someone live in a tract home that has a pool and rec. room that you could use? How about a golf club or even a conference room at work or school? What about another friend or relativethat has a big house or yard. Is there a nice park? In May the weather should be nice and a park is free.

      Go to the dollar store for plates, forks, balloons and decorations. I find that if you stick to a plain color theme for plates, cups and utensilsthat it is cheaper than buying ones with baby designs on them. You can also use any leftover items for other things since it doesn’t have baby on it. Do you have little kids in the family or neighborhood? Give them white paper plates or paper and have them draw on it and use that for decorations. Different size hand prints would be cute. Does your mom have any of you baby stuff that you could use as decorations, maybe your blanket or books. Go to a thrift store and buy stuffed animals, baby clothes or toysto use as decorations. Find a used baby bathtub and use for flowers or put ice and bottled water in it. Baby blankets for tablecloths. After the shower you can use the items for your babies or donate back to the thrift store and take a tax donation off your taxes.

      Find cookie cutters that have a baby theme. Bake cookies and decorate in baby colors to give as favors.

      I usually do finger foods like chips and dips, crackers and cheese, spinach dip, chicken wings etc. and I always include a hot dish. Spaghetti, salad and french bread is cheap and can feed alot. The sauce can be made ahead to save work on shower day. I serve punch made with sherbert and have bottled water. I always buy the house brands and no one knows the difference. Like 7-up just buy the cheapest store brand to make the punch.

      Prizes can be things you find at the dollar store or do you have a Michaels or other craft store? They have great things in their dollar bin. Be sure and check the clearance bins in all stores. Target, Big Lots, Rite-Aideand even the grocery store.Go to your closest Chinese restaurant and see if they will sell you some takeout containers. (the plain white ones) They usually will sell them 4 for a dollar where stores willcharge more. Decorate with stickers, ribbons, stamp them or have kids decorate. Use to put prizes or favors in (or both). You can do the same with plain white lunch bags.

      Two games Ilike are giving everyone a clothes pin when they walk in and if they catch someone crossing their legs they get that persons clothes pin (or all the pins that person has) and at the end of the shower the one with the most pins wins. The other is I give blank envelopes and have everyone self address and I pull one envelope from “the hat” and that person wins a prize. This way you have all your thank you notes addressed. Saves time and frustration of trying to find everyone’s address.

      Use your imagination. Remember most of the people that you are inviting are your friends. If they are really into the “material life” you probably don’t have much in common so don’t try to impress them. In all the showers I have gone to over the years I can honestly say that I don’t remember the decorations or even where most were held. I do remember being with friends and family and that is what mattered.

      If you would like to email me direct I would be more that happy to give some more suggestions or opinions.

      Have a happy one!

      Ginny

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