If you’re looking for baby shower food ideas on a budget, then you’re in the right place! There are a ton of resources out there on ways to save money for a baby shower. Most of them try to cover everything from the venue to invitations.
In contrast, we wanted to focus on a very specific part of any baby shower: the food! Food is a very social thing. A good meal or fun snacks sets the mood and gets people talking. At the same time, the cost of food continues to rise. Plus, having a baby isn’t exactly cheap, so finding ways to cut food costs without cutting flavor is a big deal.
To help you plan a frugal, fun, and impressive baby shower menu, we’ll start by reviewing some general tips. Then, we’ll jump into some frequently asked questions and then finish up specific cheap food options that’ll be perfect for any baby shower on a budget.
Tips For Creating a Baby Shower Menu on a Budget
- Be your own caterer – One of the easiest ways to reduce the food budget for your next baby shower is to do the cooking yourself! It’s more work, but if your goal is to cut cost, becoming your own caterer is the best overall strategy.
- Skip the alcohol – Instead of serving cocktails or other adult beverages, consider opting for a cheaper alternative like punch or perhaps making your own mocktails. We have couple recipes in our list, your guests will be sure to love.
- Think finger foods – Rather than serving a full meal, serve up finger foods, things like mini-sandwiches, pickles, crackers, and cheese. Not only will you save money, you’ll also save a ton of time.
- Go DIY – Think of creating a DIY experience for guest. Set out sandwich spreads, bread, and chips and let everyone create their own meal. And, it doesn’t have to be sandwiches. You can set up a chili bar, taco bar, and even a dessert bar. It’s fun, interactive, and very economical.
- Do a potluck – Rather than doing all of the work yourself, why not outsource some of the work to your guests?! Have everyone bring their favorite dish. Or, if you want to be more organized, you can provide the main dish and let everyone signup to bring complimentary sides.
- Shop at warehouse store – If you’re feeding a lot of people, there are no better places to shop than warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s. Buying in bulk can often be wasteful, but for parties where you’re feeding a lot of people, it’s a great way to save some extra cash.
- Avoid mealtimes – It’s not only important to think about what you’ll serve at your next baby shower, but when. Avoid scheduling your shower at common mealtimes. Instead, opt for the in-between times where people would expect lighter foods and smaller portions.
FAQ for Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget
How much food should you have at a baby shower?
If you’re not serving a full meal, as a rule, most hosts provide 3 – 4 snack options per guest. There should be enough food for each guest to sample every dish at least once.
What is the cheapest food for a baby shower?
- Omelets (or anything with eggs like quiche or frittatas)
- Finger foods
What should I serve at a 2pm baby shower?
Since 2pm is between lunch and dinner, you’re free to serve much lighter foods. Stick with small bites like finger sandwiches, chips and dip, or charcuterie.
What kind of food do you serve at a drive-by baby shower?
For a drive-by baby shower think of foods that would be easy to eat in the car or would travel well like cookies, mini cupcakes, or chocolate-covered pretzels. For savory items, focus on things the can be eaten easily while driving like mini pizza bites, finger sandwiches, or 7-layer dip cups (see below for recipe).
Affordable Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget
Quiche – Quiche is a versatile option when looking for baby shower food ideas on a budget. You can load it up with different cheeses, add meat, or toss in veggies. You can make it with a crust or go crustless to save money and cut carbs.
Chips & Dip – You don’t have to get stuck in a rut with basic potato chips and ranch dip. There are a ton of options from pita chips and hummus to buffalo chicken dip and blue corn tortillas. There are endless combinations to satisfy any palate and fit into any budget.
Filled Doughnuts with Glaze – These filled doughnuts with glaze are ready in just 15 minutes. Serve with a filling of fruity jam, creamy whipped cream, and sweet sugar icing, and decorate with the glaze and sprinkles. These donuts make a perfect snack to serve at your baby shower, maternity party, or baby cocktail party.
Sheet Cake – You can make yourself or pick one up for cheap at Costco or Sam’s Club. Sheet cakes are another “blank canvas food.” They’re super-easy to decorate and most importantly, they’re very economical.
Peanut Butter Cookies – These peanut butter cookies are tasty and only require 3 basic ingredients to make them! They’re super quick, budget-friendly, and, most importantly, delicious.
French Toast – All you need for this brunch classic is bread, eggs, milk, and cinnamon. From there the sky’s the limit. You can create an amazing toppings bar of syrups and fruit compotes made from apples or berries.
Omelets – Omelets are like a blank canvas. Much like the French toast, you can create a toppings bar for your omelets with veggies, cheese, mushrooms, and meats.
Mini Strawberry Bundt Cakes – These mini strawberry bundt cakes really bring the “wow factor”! They’re high-impact and very affordable, making them a great food idea for a baby shower on a budget.
Cupcakes – If you want to create an individualized taste experience, cupcakes are a great choice. Cupcakes are cheap to buy and even cheaper to make at home. You can offer your guest different topping options and let them build their own. It’s fun for them and saves you time.
Ham & Cheese Pinwheels – These hot ham and cheese pinwheels are rolls loaded with plenty of meat and swiss, then topped with a butter poppy seed sauce and baked to golden brown perfection.
Mini Tacos – Much like the sliders, mini tacos are a great way to impress your guests without breaking the bank on a full-scale meal. The great thing about mini tacos is that you have so many options for fillings and topping. And, it lends itself very nicely to buffet-style situations where guests build their own.
Fruit Pizza – This fruit pizza is a sugar cookie crust topped with cream cheese frosting and a variety of fresh fruit.
Soups & Chili – A good soup or chili is the perfect dish for a baby shower on a budget, especially if you’re hosting it in the Fall or Winter. You can make a classic chili or go with something more unique such as white chicken chili. For soups, there are so many options, from potato to corn chowder.
Apple Walnut Chicken Salad – This chicken salad recipe is a perfect frugal dish. There are only a handful of ingredients, prep is minimal, and the taste is off the charts. You can serve this up in a sandwich, with crackers, or in a lettuce wrap to cut carbs.
Berries & Cream Waffle Sandwiches – These berries and cream waffle sandwiches are so cheap and easy to make. Strawberries and whipped cream are sandwiched between two mini frozen waffles and finished off with a blueberry on top.
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats – An easy, delicious, and inexpensive treat for a baby shower. Update the sprinkle colors to customize for the party! Hint: since you can customize the topping, it can be used as part of the gender reveal.
English Tea Finger Sandwiches (3 RECIPES!) – Nothing says “baby shower” quite like finger sandwiches. These sandwiches are simple, elegant, and very affordable for any budget.
Charcuterie – You can spend a fortune on an upscale charcuterie spread, but that doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, if you’re strategic you can serve a low-cost spread that looks very high-end. Use expensive pickles and olives, use summer sausage instead of other dried meats, and stick with cheeses like cheddar and swiss. For more tips on creating an affordable charcuterie board, check out this article from Feast for a Fraction aptly titled How To Make A Charcuterie Board On A Budget.
Pink Chocolate Covered Strawberries – These chocolate covered strawberries are ideal for a baby show on a budget. They only have 2 basic ingredients, are very customizable, and look like cute little works of art.
Sugar Cookies – Sugar cookies are very inexpensive to buy or make. Alone, they’re not too exciting, but they can be customized to match any theme or color scheme. You can buy them and frost and decorate them in all sorts of ways for extra pizazz.
Pink Sherbet Punch – This easy 2-ingredient pink punch tastes great and will add a pretty decorative touch to your baby shower.
BBQ Sliders – If you choose a non-mealtime for your baby shower, then you can opt for a scaled-down version of a meal. Instead of serving up BBQ with all the trimmings, you can offer BBQ sliders and chips.
Sandwich Platter – As we mentioned before, sandwiches offer a lot of value for the money. You can create an amazing make-your-own sandwich bar with bread, meat, veggies, condiments, and other sandwich spreads like chicken salad or pimento cheese.
Fresh Strawberry Mousse Parfaits – These pretty pink strawberry mousse parfaits are a fresh and light sweet treat. Only a few ingredients are needed to make them the perfect easy make-ahead recipe for showers, brunch, or any party.
Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips – These cinnamon sugar pita chips have just four ingredients, are quick and easy to make, and are extremely affordable. Serve with yogurt dip, ice cream, or fruit salsa, and you’re in business!
Cake Pops – These chocolate cake pops are made with moist chocolate cake, delicious chocolate frosting, then coated in more chocolate and dipped in sprinkles! These can be made with a box mix to save on time or a cake made from scratch!
Sausage Balls – Bursting with flavor in every bite, these sausage balls are the perfect appetizer or snack. Made with sharp cheddar cheese, savory pork sausage, and Bisquick, they’re ready to serve in just under 30 minutes.
Cheese Ball – This easy cheese ball recipe is a real crowd-pleaser. It’s made with relativity inexpensive ingredients like cream cheese, bacon, and green onions. If you’re short on time, then this recipe is ideal because it takes just 10 minutes to prep!
Mini Vegetable Frittatas – With eggs, cream cheese, and a handful of vegetables, you can whip up these mini vegetable frittatas in minutes! They’re great for little hands and totally delicious.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip – Perfect for Fall Baby Showers, this Creamy No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip will have all the guests ooohing and ahhhing. This pumpkin party dip only needs 6 ingredients and is super easy to make.
Baby Shower Punch with Ducks – This fruity and frothy baby shower punch is so refreshing. One of the cutest and easiest baby shower ideas out there!
7 Layer Dip Cup – The perfect baby shower appetizer. It’s hands-free and totally delicious. Taking a standard dip and making it party-friendly.
Veggie Pinwheel Rollups – Creamy vegetable cream cheese rollups are packed full of delicious herbs, cheese, and vegetables all rolled up in a tortilla. These yummy bites are full of creamy ranch flavor and are perfect for a party appetizer.
Yum! I hope you’re hungry and inspired to plan that upcoming baby shower with our list of 29+ baby shower food ideas on a budget.
Let us know any of the foods you tried and what you thought. Plus, do you have a favorite frugal baby shower food? If so, tell us about it in the comment section below.