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Baby Showers on a Budget

Money Saving Tip of the Month (featured column)
submitted by Marilyn A.

Recently we held a beautiful baby shower for my daughter and I was amazed at how frugal we could be.

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She has many friends, so we needed to rent a hall. Luckily, a good friend is the steward at the local VFW, so he was able to give us a great deal on a 2-hour hall rental on a slow Saturday afternoon. We had access to the fine kitchen and all appliances, and when I went in early the day of to organize and decorate, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the tables and chairs had all been set up for me.

The "Grammys-to-be" divvied up the food: she did chips and dips, I did a fresh fruit platter with lots of good stuff from the reduced produce rack and a punch (use those Juicy Juice coupons!). I'm a cake decorator, so that was a contribution I was happy to make, and, thanks to double-coupons, I was able to buy cake mixes when they went on sale for pennies.

We got together to make a wrap sandwich platter using reduced "Deli Ends" cold cuts and cheeses. When properly dressed, rolled and wrapped, nobody notices oddly-shaped pieces of cheese. For the vegetarians, we whipped up some hummus (chickpeas are cheap-cheap!) and tabbouleh.

Cookies and brownies rounded out the buffet, and if you haven't tried Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix in the pouch, you should. Add a few extra walnuts and good butter and you'll swear they're homemade. There are always coupons a-plenty for them and they go on sale frequently. Same with the brownies.

All the plates, cups, cutlery, napkins and tablecloths came courtesy of the local dollar store and we made dozens of brilliant crepe paper flowers for centerpieces and decorations. I used the 50% off coupons for ACMoore and Michael's you get in the Sunday newspaper and started stockpiling crepe and tissue paper months ago.

We carried out the flower theme for guest's gift bags, too: I bought white mini-gift bags when they were 4/$1, then pasted a pretty flower seed packet on the front. We lined the bags with pink tissue paper and added a handful of cherry cordial chocolate kisses and some soap flower petals and tucked in a note...

As another bough is added to our family tree,
You can well imagine we're as happy as can be.
We're so glad you could join us at this baby shower,
Please think of our new seedling as you watch your blossoms flower!

Since none of us are fond of baby shower games, we decided to have an activity instead. One of the aunties works at Target, so she bought a few dozen white Onesies of various sizes, and we set up a table for guests to "Create a Designer Onesie" with fabric pens bought, you guessed it, with a 50% off coupon. What a lot of pretty Onesies await the little one!

It was a glorious day with family and friends and a good time was had by all. And with the money I saved, I was able to splurge on a few boxes of Thank You notes, with postage stamps, for my daughter to send out.

With so many great things available at craft stores and all the great grocery deals, combined with coupons and a little planning ahead, any festivity can be amazing.

AND affordable!

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Copyright © 2009 by Marilyn A. All rights reserved.

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