Celebrating the upcoming birth of a baby is very exciting, but it is also expensive. Besides paying for diapers and other supplies, it is essential to throw a shower. Although it is fun to gather friends and family for a party, it can cost a small fortune. However, uncovering a few frugal food ideas will help save money. Are you interested in baby shower food ideas on a budget? Here are 22 delicious items that are easy to assemble and are sure to be a big hit.
1. $10 Appetizer Spread
Many showers are scheduled around lunchtime, which means a heavy meal is not required. A nice way to ease into the party is with an appetizer spread. Even though it may seem like an expensive idea, it is possible to create a nice spread for under $10. A cheap platter begins with homemade crackers. The recipe includes flour, salt, olive oil, water, and lemon juice. For under $1, this recipe makes enough to serve a large group. To accompany the crackers, you can plate sliced salami, sliced cheese, wasabi peas, almonds, and olives. You will easily be able to find these ingredients at discount stores.
2. Roll-ups for a Crowd
Most women do not expect a large meal at a baby shower. A perfect finger food appetizer is a roll-up. The beauty part is that each wrap can be cut into eight pieces and includes simple ingredients. For instance, you can assemble a ham-ranch pinwheel. With a few pieces of ham, flour tortillas, cream cheese, and ranch salad dressing mix, you can easily feed over 50 guests. Using some creativity, you can substitute other meats or flavors to suit your individual tastes. The possibilities are endless.
3. Mini Quiches
Quiche is versatile and savory. Not a chef? Any home cook can whip up the dish without hassle. Since it is a basic egg and milk custard poured into a pie crust, it is budget-friendly. The custard mixture has little taste, so you can create a multitude of flavors by adding cheese, bacon, mushrooms, and other vegetables.
To keep things simple, you can line the bottom of muffin tin cups with refrigerated crescent roll dough and fill them with your custard. Will you be too busy to cook them the day of the shower? You can bake the dishes a day ahead of time and warm them before they are served.
4. Veggie Dip Cups
Economical baby shower food can taste good and be healthy. Fresh vegetables can bring beautiful color to any table and offer high nutrition. Home-grown vegetables cost nothing as well. A unique and filling option is serving individual veggie cups. You can simply place dip on the bottom and layer sliced peppers, carrots, celery, or cucumbers on top. Having the dip in-hand prevents messes and allows everyone to relax without fighting over bottles or bowls.
5. Petite Hummus Sandwiches
Petite sandwiches are excellent finger foods and work well at a “tea-party” themed baby shower. A healthy option includes hummus. These types of sandwiches are budget-friendly and appear elegant when served on a fancy tray.
To begin, you should remove the crust from each piece of bread and cut each slice in half. These halves are spread with hummus, a spinach leaf, and a thin cucumber slice. The assembled sandwiches will explode with freshness in the mouths of your guests.
6. Cheeseburger Bread
When you are having a barbecue-style baby shower, grilling steaks and other meats can get expensive. To achieve the same effect at a fraction of the cost, you could try making cheeseburger bread. Simply roll our bread dough onto a cookie sheet, spread a meat mixture on top, and roll. With seam side down, you bake it and cut it into smaller pieces. It is a wonderful finger food option that makes a great appetizer. For added flavor, each piece can be dipped in ketchup or mustard.
Soups and Salads:
7. Crockpot Chili or Soup
Slow cookers are excellent kitchen tools for baby showers. They make it simple to prepare dishes and provide top flavor. You literally drop your ingredients in the pots and walk away. This leaves you plenty of time to prepare other foods or decorate for the party. In a few hours, you are left with fresh and nutritious offerings. For a shower event, you may consider cooking a chili or soup. Both require few ingredients and are extremely inexpensive to make. Since they provide warmth, they work especially well during fall or winter events.
8. Salad Bar Buffet
An inexpensive baby shower spread is a salad bar buffet. It is a smart idea for a spring or summer event and is a healthy alternative to greasy or sweet foods. The offerings should leave guests feeling full, so you must include protein, including cooked salmon, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and cheese. Cooked grains and starchy vegetables, two inexpensive groups of food, will leave hungry guests satisfied as well. To avoid the need to cook the day of the shower, it is possible to prepare items that taste good at cold or room temperatures. For instance, potato salad, macaroni salad, and eggs can be prepared ahead of time. To make serving simple, it is best to use tongs in the lettuce and to place dressings in small pitchers. These allow guests to serve themselves with one hand.
Creative Bar Options:
9. Breakfast Bar
When scheduling a morning or early afternoon baby shower, offering a breakfast bar may be a smart plan. Breakfast foods are cheap, and most people will enjoy this original idea. What is breakfast without cereal? Instead of displaying open boxes, you can place the cereal into clear trifle bowls with scoops. Next to the cereal, you can lay out various toppings, including fresh fruit, almonds, and granola. To complete the meal, small pints of milk can be scattered around the table. For individuals with gluten-allergies, you can offer yogurt as well. When presented correctly, this can be a sophisticated and inexpensive way to feed your guests.
10. Baked Potato Bar
A baked potato bar is an excellent baby shower idea. A large sack of potatoes is very affordable. As your buffet’s base, you can use regular russet or sweet potatoes and get creative with toppings. For example, you can offer the traditional sour cream, cheese, chives, chili, and bacon bits. However, for a different way to serve baked potatoes, you can offer sauteed peppers, fresh guacamole, olives, diced chicken, or taco meat. Black beans complement the flavors of sweet potatoes very well.
11. Taco Bar
Another simple and affordable way to feed guests at a baby shower is with a taco bar. You can offer a range of shells, including soft and hard flour and corn varieties. Today, market shelves are filled with taco bowls as well. To fill these shells, there are endless possibilities. You can provide chicken, beef, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and cheese. As side dishes, you can offer refried beans, rice, and tortilla chips.
12. “Craving Table”
Every mother-to-be has certain cravings throughout her pregnancy. A cute joke to put on the menu is a “craving table.” It is a place to offer some of mom’s cravings. For instance, pickles and ice cream can be part of the display. Guests can be encouraged to bring one of their pregnancy cravings as well. No matter the food, a note card should accompany the item, which explains the food. Why is this a smart idea? Most cravings include foods that can be purchased cheaply in bulk quantities.
13. Take-Out to Stay
Who does not enjoy Chinese take-out? A unique way to feed guests at your baby shower is with food packaged in white takeout containers. Fried rice or sweet and sour chicken would make great menu items. However, these cartons do not necessarily have to be filled with Chinese food. You can package any favorite recipe, including noodles, salad, or other portable treats. Be sure to label the boxes so that everyone knows what is inside. These same containers can be used to package party favors as well.
Since mom should not drink alcohol, a baby shower is the perfect place for mocktails. Not adding liquor drastically lowers the price of the beverages. If the party is celebrating the birth of a baby boy, a blueberry mojito mocktail is ideal. With a cup of pureed blueberries, a few mint leaves, sugar, lime juice, and club soda, the entire guest list will be treated to a refreshing drink. Cheers!
15. S’mores Bar
Having a s’mores bar allows guests to have a blast creating their own yummy desserts. S’mores are year-round treats traditionally made at campouts over a fire. However, you can make them over candles or a gas stove. Since they consist of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, they are economical desserts that everyone savors. Toppings may include peanut butter, nuts, sliced fruit, and cinnamon sugar.
16. Waffle Sandwiches
Waffle sandwiches are delightful treats ideal for baby showers. Waffle mix is inexpensive and can be left on a table with a waffle iron so that guests can prepare their own treats. These items can be eaten alone or turned into ice cream sandwiches. Various ice cream flavors can be left out so that everyone can select a favorite. These items can be topped with fresh fruit as well. This food adds whimsy to the celebration and brings back memories of a county fair or similar fun summer event.
17. Fruit Finger Foods
Nothing is more simple or cheap than serving fruit you grew in your garden. Strawberries, melons, apples, grapes, and any other fruit can be cut into pieces and stacked onto toothpicks. Presto! The mini masterpieces resemble large kabobs always popular at summer barbecues and picnics. These tiny treats can be placed on a tray and served with a chocolate or cream cheese dip.
18. Carrot Cake
Every baby shower needs a theme. If you are planning a party on a budget and do not know the sex of the baby, a Peter Rabbit theme is a nice idea. The center of the event can be a delicious carrot cake. To make the dessert unique and healthy, you an reduce the sugar by substituting pineapple for sweetness. Also, you can use low-fat cream cheese for the frosting. For added flavor, sprinkle coconut and walnuts in the batter and on top of the cake.
19. Popcorn Bags
“She’s Ready to Pop” is a cute baby shower theme that requires little food. This means the budget is minimal. You can simply place popcorn in tiny bags and hand them out to guests as they arrive. Do not limit yourself to butter flavor. Try caramel corn, jalapeno, cheese, and sugar glazes. Popcorn is a great food for circus or movie themed showers as well. Make sure to decorate the bags accordingly.
20. Heirloom Cookie Recipes
Everyone has family recipes that have been passed from generation to generation. A baby shower is the perfect time to celebrate family traditions. Invite your guests to bake and bring cookies that have sentimental value. In this way, the shower will be a “cookie swap” of delicious fun. Besides learning new recipes, this is a great way to keep the food budget low.
21. Ice Cream Station
A nice afternoon delight is a bowl of ice cream. Having an ice cream sundae station at your baby shower is an inexpensive way to feed your guests. It is the perfect way to sooth a sweet tooth, especially with all the possible toppings. Have bowls, cookie cones, and waffle bowls available for a single, double, or triple scoop sundae. Chocolate and vanilla are standards, but you should get creative with some of the crazy flavors on grocery store shelves. No matter the offerings, do not forget the fixings. An ice cream station is not complete without sprinkles, caramel, nuts, cookies, hot fudge, fruit, and whipped cream.
22. Creative Cupcakes
Most baby showers have elaborate cakes that are quite expensive, especially when they are purchased at bakeries. Although these items look nice, something equally as pleasing is a tiered holder filled with beautiful cupcakes. At home, you can easily bake up various flavors, which saves a lot of money. With colorful frosting and festive cupcake liners, these desserts can be transformed into an exquisite centerpiece. Want to save even more cash? Hit the Internet for printable liners. For professional results, be sure to use an icing bag while frosting the tops.
When planning a baby shower, food is the most important detail. There are many inexpensive items that are easy to prepare and taste scrumptious. Getting creative and decorating a festive table will keep guests pleased. The above baby shower food ideas on a budget will make the event memorable without breaking the bank.
1. Naomi, Peter Rabbit Christening, February 7, 2012
2. Jessica Segarra, Blueberry Mojito, May 23, 2013
3. Haley, S’more Bar, August 7, 2013
4. Haley, Cheap Appetizers for a Party, September 24, 2012
5. Leiven Hendrickson, Baby Shower Bites, April 14, 2015
6. Jacqueline Curtis, 5 Easy Shower Food Ideas
7. Haley, Homemade Cracker Recipe, October 31, 2011
8. Jessica Kovarik, Slow Cookers and Nutrition, October 17, 2015
9. Anjali Prasertons, 4 Tips for Setting a Salad Buffet, May 23, 2014
10. Amy Clark, How to Make a Breakfast Bar, January 1, 2015