25 Perfect Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget
Throwing a fun, memorable party to celebrate the new arrival in your life doesn’t have to break the bank. You can decorate a party or backyard and prepare a tasty menu affordably without compromising on quality—it just takes planning. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to start, these baby shower food ideas on a budget will get the ball rolling.
How to throw a baby shower on a budget
Before we get into baby shower food ideas, these are our cost-cutting tips for throwing a wonderful baby shower on a budget.
1. Don’t host at mealtimes
If you host a baby shower at mealtimes, you’ll have to serve full meals, which can be expensive. Instead, throw your baby shower between meals, so you can serve only appetizers and sweet snacks. 2 p.m. is a popular time for these events.
2. Keep a pared-down guest list
On average, guests eat around 5 pieces of food at baby showers. The more people you invite, the costlier the event will be.
3. Ask guests to bring food or drinks
If you still want a full party but can’t afford to feed everyone, ask your guests to bring over food or drinks. It will be a baby-shower-meets-potluck type of event, which can be a lot of fun.
4. Choose local, seasonal ingredients
The cheapest food for a baby shower is the one that’s local and in season. Research what fresh produce is cheapest, then come up with recipes using those ingredients.
5. Stick to a menu theme
Following a themed menu can help you pinch pennies. For example, if you’re using chicken for 1 appetizer, make sure to include it in another snack. This way, you don’t have to buy as many ingredients and end up saving money.
6. Ditch the fully stocked bar
Choose just 1 or 2 drinks to serve—preferably non-alcoholic for baby showers. No need to keep a handful of spirits and mixers on hand.
7. Make your own decorations
DIY the décor using things you already have at home. Visiting a thrift store can also help you throw a stylish baby shower for cheap.
Affordable appetizers for a baby shower
Plate up these tasty, budget-friendly appetizers for your guests.
1. Ham and cheese sliders
Ham and cheese sliders are simple, easy to make, and affordable.
2. Pulled pork buns
Pulled pork sliders are also a popular snack for baby showers. Don’t skip out on the barbecue sauce.
3. Turkey cheddar hot pinwheels
With pre-made pizza dough, deli turkey slices, and cheddar cheese, you can make this comforting finger food.
4. Tomato and broccoli mini quiches
Quiches are sophisticated but surprisingly cheap to make. For this version, use ripe sliced tomatoes and broccoli florets for the filling.
5. Hummus and roasted veg toast
Spread homemade or storebought hummus on toasted bread and top with an assortment of roasted veggies.
6. Build-your-own chili
If you’re looking for a more filling snack, chili is the way to go. Let your guests add their own toppings.
7. Potato skins with bacon
Hollowed-out baked potatoes, bacon, and sour cream make the perfect appetizer. It’s easy to eat and packed with flavor.
8. Summer pasta salad
For something lighter, serve individual portions of pasta salad. Toss fusilli and whatever veggies are in season in olive oil and a pinch of salt.
9. Deep-fried pickles
Pickles are a popular satisfying snack among many moms-to-be. Set out a plate of deep-fried pickles with ranch dressing on the side.
10. Babies in a blanket
Give pigs in a blanket a twist. Wrap the dough around the sausage so it looks like a swaddled baby and add chocolate sprinkles for the eyes.
11. Grape jelly wieners
Toss smokies in a grape jelly and ketchup mixture, then serve on toothpicks.
12. Barbecue meatballs
Another hearty appetizer, meatballs doused in barbecue sauce are a crowd-pleaser.
13. Tater tot casserole
Tater tot casserole is pretty inexpensive to make. Use a blend of affordable cheeses to take this comfort food to the next level.
14. Chicken salad sandwiches
Spread chicken salad on soft white sandwich bread and serve with an olive and a toothpick on top.
15. Pesto chicken tea sandwiches
Grilled chicken and basil pesto is another great combination. Cut the sandwiches into quarters so they’re easier to eat.
16. Hamburger meat empanadas
Pie crust and hamburger meat can be turned into delicious empanadas. Salsa makes for a great dipping sauce.
17. Cheese pizza bites
Make finger food pizza bites using a cupcake tin, pizza dough, pizza sauce, and shredded cheese.
Cheap desserts and treats for baby showers
What’s a party without something sweet? These cheap recipes for a baby shower will satisfy your sweet tooth without going over budget.
1. Gendered rice crispy treats
Rice crispy treats are cheap to make. They only call for margarine, marshmallows, and puffed rice. Add red or blue food dye for a gendered twist.
2. Carrot cupcakes
Not into gender-themed desserts? You will probably love carrot cupcakes. Making your own is cheaper than getting it from the store—and surprisingly easy!
3. Fruit on a skewer
Pierce a skewer through pieces of fruit for a healthy snack. Grapes, banana, strawberry, apple—whatever is in season.
4. Caramel apples
In the fall, when apples are abundant, caramel apple slices hit the spot.
5. Waffle bites
Waffle mix is inexpensive, so why not make waffle bites? Cut a waffle into fourths and top with fruits, caramel, or chocolate.
6. Decorated sugar cookies
Take sugar cookies to the next level by decorating them. All you’ll need is icing, food dye, and a piping bag.
7. Ice cream sundaes
Sundaes are perfect for summer baby showers. Choose 1 ice cream flavor and let your guests pick their toppings—pretzels, caramel drizzle, and chocolate chips are just some of the options.
8. S’mores bar
Set up a s’mores bar for a DIY dessert. You’ll need graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows. Don’t forget skewers and a few candles.
Save time and money with a little help from a friend
You probably have a clearer picture of what you’ll serve at your budget-friendly baby shower, right? Now comes the fun part: creating invites, making a playlist, and decorating the space. What’s not so fun is doing the grocery runs—but, fortunately, you can leave that to Instacart. Order everything you need with just a few clicks and focus on the party. You may also want to check out current deals from our retailers.
Grab it now on Instacart:
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