Cheap can describe cost or quality of a product. When shopping for baby shower supplies, you want to look for quality items that don't cost a lot. Discount stores and clearance sections are perfect places to shop for budget-friendly supplies.
Before you shop for tablecloths, consider whether they are necessary for your event. If your venue has brand-new tables in good condition, save money by only purchasing tablecloths for the food and drink tables. If your venue has mismatched or old, worn tables you'll want to cover them all. Depending on your budget, you can make or buy tablecloths of different materials.
While you can get plain plastic tablecloths at almost any store, you can also find inexpensive decorative ones for just as cheap. Factory Direct Party, an online retailer, has a great selection of designer plastic tablecloths in patterns like lace and gingham or solid colors all for around $1 each. To get the most bang for your buck, buy a few decorative table covers and mix them in with solid colors. Their flat rate shipping cost of $6.95 and frequent coupon codes listed at the top of the webpage help keep costs down.
For a more formal look, purchase simple burlap table runners for under $3 each from a specialty retailer like TableclothsFactory.com or look for fabric tablecloths at a local thrift store. Many thrift stores have special discount days when you can fill a bag for a set price or clearance out items they have too many of. Look for quality, unique tablecloths without any stains or tears. Save even more by negotiating prices or asking for a friend's and family discount.
Consider what type of table covering best matches your theme. If the shower is rustic, vintage, or generally informal it might be more fitting to use a table runner. Create your own table runner by cutting a plastic tablecloth or long piece of fabric into 14-inch wide strips. Use a fabric rotary cutter or sewing scissors to help you get clean lines on all edges. If you mess up the cuts, glue ribbon down the edges of your table runner to make them look more polished.
Baby showers usually include menus for brunch, lunch or finger foods. If budget is a major concern, consider basing your menu on what supplies you can afford. Serve finger foods so you won't need silverware, or leave out the coffee so you don't need to buy special cups to hold hot liquids. Check with your venue or friends and family to see if there are dishes you can borrow, or if they have any paper goods leftover from other events.
Any decorative supplies with specific party names in the title like "baby shower plates" will typically be more expensive than basic supplies in solid colors. Mix decorative plates with plain cups or patterned tablecloths with plain plates to save money and get a festive look. Dollar Tree is a great place to buy solid-colored tableware because every item in the store costs $1. If you're after disposable items, they carry plates, cups, silverware and tablecloths in a variety of colors. Each color comes in all the items so you can mix and match or go for a monochromatic look. For only $1 each, you can get a 20-pack of plates, a 12-count pack of cups, or a 48-count pack of mixed plastic silverware.
If you want a more expensive look, Dollar Tree also sells real glass and ceramic items like dish sets, mugs and glasses, and real silverware. Savvy shoppers can purchase everything from supplies to decorations and games at a nearby store or online. Dollar Tree also hosts a blog full of craft ideas made with only products they carry to help customers create amazing experiences.
Buy in Bulk
Members-only warehouse clubs are a great place to shop for basic supplies without any specific theme because they sell everything in bulk quantities for low prices. While you won't find a wide variety of colors and themed items, you will find high end basics like plastic plates and silverware that look like real metal or ceramic.
- Costco is a large chain of warehouse stores offering memberships for as low as $60 a year.
- Sam's Club is another members-only retailer offering memberships as low as $45 per year.
If you already have a membership, or know someone who does, you're ready to shop. While each of these stores will cost you up front, they can save money when you shop there all year long for groceries and other household items. An example of a great deal is the Member's Mark 9 oz. Clear Plastic Cups from Sam's Club which come in a pack of 240 for under $10 and are perfect for serving up a colorful baby shower punch.
If you want plates, cups and silverware that look more festive, shop for clearance items after holidays. You'll find pinks and reds with heart designs after Valentine's Day or pastels after Easter. To save on decorative tableware, buy smaller plates and cocktail napkins to use for the meal and desserts - they'll be cheaper than larger ones.
Upgrade plain paper goods with decorative designs drawn on them with nontoxic markers. This works especially well for cups since the marker designs won't touch the drinks. Jazz up disposable serving trays or utensils with dot stickers to make unique polka dot servers. Glue and tie ribbon bows around cups or bowls for a sweet look. Add interest to plain table settings when you use a unique napkin folding technique like the diaper fold. You only need to add little touches in a few places to make the event look more decorative.
Baby Shower Themes
When you are set on working with a theme, Discount Party Supplies can help. With over 30 baby shower theme categories to choose from, you can get all your supplies within a chosen theme for super cheap. Themes include "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in pink or blue, animals like whales or monkeys, and baby gear like onesies or rubber ducks. Each theme comes with options to buy tableware, favors, decorations, and invitations so you can coordinate the whole event. Most of their tableware items sell in packs of 8 or 16 and include plates, cups and napkins. Sets of 16 sell for around $20 while sets of 8 typically go for under $10. Save even more money when you purchase discount gift cards for less than face value then use the gift card to buy your supplies.
Decorations and Games
Planning an event takes a lot of planning and focus, which is why people tend to forget little items they really need. Think about every aspect of the shower and the supplies you'll need for carrying out that particular aspect. Make yourself a party kit for each aspect like games, decorations, prizes, and food service supplies with all the office supplies and miscellaneous items you might need and label each so you'll have them all in one place.
When people have surplus supplies leftover after a shower, they sometimes resell them. Websites like Swap.com are great places to find cheap decorations like unopened packages of paper plates and invitations or gently used baby gear you might need for shower games. Since the items are all secondhand, you'll get them for less than retail value. It may take a little more time to browse the available items, but you'll save big.
Online discount retailer, Oriental Trading, is the holy grail of cheap supplies for all occasions. Known for their expansive selection of bulk items meant for events, you'll find more options than you know what to do with. They've got plates, cups, napkins, silverware, tablecloths, serving dishes, and pretty much anything else you need for food service in dozens of color and material options. For example, you can buy a 20-pack of 9-inche plastic plates in over 20 colors for only $5.99.
Since they also sell themed decorations, favors, and ready-made games you could get everything but the food from this one store. Browse party ideas in their Idea Gallery for great ideas how to make these cheap products stand out. Before you buy, look for coupon codes or free shipping deals to save even more.
Homemade games, favors and decorations are easy to make using things you probably have on hand and a few select baby items you can buy anywhere. Print off free baby shower games like trivia or a word scramble.
Make centerpieces using baskets or large glass bowls you have on hand and fill them with baby items. You can then give them to the mom-to-be as your gift. Use baby diapers, burp cloths, or onesies with markers and paint to create fun, homemade touches to table settings and indoor or outdoor decorations.
Beat the Budget Woes
Tight financial constraints don't have to get in the way of throwing a beautiful and memorable baby shower. When you put in a little extra research time, you'll save big on buying staple items for any event.