Easy baby shower food on a budget

25 Perfect Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget – Instacart

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.

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.


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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Simple Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget

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Inside: You want to host an amazing baby shower, but you don’t want to spend hours preparing or shell out a small fortune? We’ve got you! Here are tips to save money, plus several super simple baby shower food ideas.

Planning a baby shower? The costs can add up quickly if you aren’t careful. And the category that’s most likely to wreak havoc on your budget is FOOD.

So if you want baby shower food ideas that won’t break the bank, keep reading! We’ve got several tips to help you plan a baby shower menu on a tight budget.

We’ve also rounded up several real examples of simple baby shower food ideas where you can control the costs by preparing them yourself or saving time by buying prepared foods.

Let’s get started.

Related: How to Throw a Perfect Minimalist Baby Shower

9 Tips to Save Money on Food Costs When Planning a Baby Shower


Here are several ideas you’ll want to use to slash your food costs in half (or more!) when planning your baby shower menu.

(If you just want actual recipe and food ideas, skip to the next section.)

1. Avoid mealtimes for big savings.

The biggest way to cut costs on food when planning a baby shower is to time it right — aka not during a meal time.

A more economical option is to put out a nice selection of snacks and/or desserts for guests to enjoy.

2. Find a co-host and split the cost.

Simple math here: divide the cost in half (or thirds!) and your out-of-pocket expenses shrink. If you and another family member or friend — or even a group of friends! — can co-host a shower, it eases the financial burden on everyone.

There’s no need for a five-course meal or a dozen different desserts, especially if you’re planning a low-key affair. Keep your menu simple and streamlined to save money (and your sanity!).

When you avoid mealtimes, your costs already go down. But don’t make the mistake of then overdoing the appetizers.

You could do a few simple appetizers and 1-2 desserts. Or you could do JUST desserts (I’ve never seen a baby shower without desserts, which is why I didn’t suggest just appetizers).

4. Presentation matters.

This tip goes hand in hand with the above point. A inexpensive and/or simple menu doesn’t have to be boring, and presentation can make even the most basic spread look fabulous.

Pinterest is your BFF here. Get inspired and re-create a beautiful spread on a budget. Guests will never know you didn’t spend that much! 

5. Be your own caterer.

Having an event catered is expensive. No question about it. Plan to prepare and serve the food yourself (or recruit family and friends to help!) for a budget-friendly baby shower.

6. Skip the alcohol.

It goes without saying…alcohol ain’t cheap. If you want to plan a baby shower on a tiny budget, skipping the cocktails is one way to go.

If you can’t see yourself nixing alcohol from the menu, do your research and find some festive (yet cost-effective) drink recipes to offer guests.

Stick to water with fruit, an easy punch recipe and of course, coffee.

7. Shop around to find the best price on food and supplies.

Food can be bought for a fraction of the cost at discount stores (like Aldi!) and still tastes every bit as good. You can also shop in bulk — usually at a lower price per unit — at warehouse stores like Costco.

When shopping for supplies (paper plates, napkins, streamers, etc), be sure to check your local dollar stores for huge bargains.

8. Consider making it a potluck (see creative ideas!).

No one says you need to shoulder the burden of baby shower costs alone. You can take it beyond splitting the costs with one or two friends.

Is your crowd a tightknit group of family and friends coming together to celebrate a new baby? If so, it’s totally appropriate to ask everyone to bring along a side dish or dessert.

Don’t want to go this route? That’s okay.

Here’s a fun alternative to try instead: Ask guests to bring classic pregnancy craving foods along. Then, set up a “cravings table” for everyone to sample from.

You can provide a few additional items, but make the cravings table the focus of the event.

Another trendy and easy idea is to do a charcuterie board theme. Get 4+ friends to bring various ingredients. You can divide and conquer, with one person covering 1-2 categories (you don’t need all of these to make it work):

  • Deli Meats
  • Cheeses
  • Spreads &Dips
  • Fruits
  • Olives & Pickles
  • Nuts & Crackers
  • Chocolate

Make and serve these simple vanilla cupcakes as your one dessert to go with it.

9. If you can’t avoid a meal, consider a self-serve buffet.

Another affordable option could be a buffet-style menu. Here are a few ideas:

  • Brunch – Include breakfast pastries, a fruit platter, and a coffee bar (see if you can borrow a Keurig!). A waffle bar with toppings could be another fun option.
  • Tacos – Set out taco meat, hard and soft shells, cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes.
  • Salad – This might consist of different types of lettuce, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, cheeses, and an assortment of dressings.
  • Soup – Borrow some slow cookers and make big batches of several types of soups to serve. You can also include soup fixings like shredded cheese and a variety of breads, croutons or crackers.

There are so many options. This crowd-pleasing choice will save both money and time.

Simple Baby Shower Food Ideas on a Budget: From Appetizers to Desserts

The key to keeping these items low budget is to apply the above tips.

Remember you only need 2-3 appetizers (make sure on is vegetarian friendly!), and 1-2 desserts max. Only do more if it truly brings you joy.

You don’t need to go crazy, and you don’t need to please everyone. Although I will recommend asking the mom-to-be what her favorite appetizer is and any diet restrictions, and make sure to include it.

These are grouped by category, with several recipes for each one. Hopefully you can find a few things that work for your event.

1. Crockpot Meatballs

These are SO easy to make! Just dump frozen meatballs in a crockpot, add a sweet or savory sauce of your choice, and boom, done.

Put a bowl of toothpicks next to the crockpot, and call it a day.

If you need specific recipes, here are a few that look delicious (#1 is esp. easy and delicious!):

  • Crockpot Grape Jelly & BBQ Meatballs
  • Honey Garlic Crockpot Meatballs
  • Best Crockpot Meatballs

For more easy crockpot ideas, from meats to dips, THIS post has great ideas.

2. Chips & Dip

This can be a super easy category with both hot and cold dip options, depending on the season and/or your budget.

  • Pita chips with layered hummus dip (warning: lots of chopping)
  • Tortilla chips with guacamole, Pico de Gallo, or 7 layer dip
  • Pita or Tortilla chips with an easy hot dip

3. Fruit & Dip

Sensing a theme yet? Dips can be super easy. You can get them pre-made at Costco or your local grocery store, or you can make them yourself.

Popular pairings for fruit are:

  • caramel dip with apple slices (bathe these in lemon water)
  • cream cheese fruit dip with strawberries
  • melted chocolate with strawberries or pineapple

4. Bread & Dip/Spread

This can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Grab a baguette or pita bread, slice it up and pair it with one of these dips.

Here are some recipe ideas:

  • Herb & Olive Oil Dip
  • Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Beer Cheese Dip (with bread bowl)


Veggie Tray (with dip, of course!)

Make sure to include a couple different dips, such as hummus and veggie dip.

With this option, go easy on yourself and buy the dips from the grocery store. Your time is valuable, and the savings is negligible.

Of course, if you have a favorite homemade veggie dip that you think kicks the store version’s butt, by all means, go for it!

6. Chicken or Egg Salad Sliders

Chicken salad or egg salad are great options to make in advance that keep well in the fridge. You can also opt to pre-buy these (I’ve seen chicken salad at Costco!).

Pair with Hawaiian sweet rolls.

You can put the sandwiches together in advance, but I recommend keeping them separate and let your guests make their own to eliminate soggy leftover sandwiches.

7. Cold Salads

Another easy to prepare in advance option, OR purchase them from your local prepared food section.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Easy Creamy Potato Salad
  • Amish Macaroni Salad
  • Easy Greek Salad

Although for this one, I highly recommend going with the prepared food options. So easy, and the cost-savings of doing it yourself is probably negligible.

8. Cookies or Bars

Cookies can be super complicated, but they don’t need to be. You don’t need royal frosting, decorated like an artist cookies.

Try simple sugar cookies without frosting, cut into baby shower shapes. Or go with a simple dessert bar for an even easier dessert.

Related: 15 Things to Do at a Baby Shower Besides Games

9. Cupcakes

You don’t get much easier than cupcakes. Go with a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting for maximum ease (you can dye it pink or blue if you know baby’s gender).

You can even get by without purchasing frosting tips by using a gallon-sized ziplock bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.

10. Candy

Candy is a super simple way to make a dessert table look colorful and pretty. Borrow some glass vases and bowls to put these on display.

Choose colors and candies based on theme. Buy in bulk to save money, but going with candy can save you so much time, too!

You could even offer little favor bags at the candy table for guests to put together a to-go bag. Getting favors and food done in one fell swoop just makes sense. Plus it’s clutter-free!

You Might Also Like: Eco-Friendly Baby Shower Favors for a Sustainable Shower

Don’t Be Afraid to Host a Simple Baby Shower

As you can see, there are so many ways to cut costs when planning the menu for a baby shower.

It doesn’t need to be a super expensive endeavor. Your guest of honor will so appreciate the time and effort you put into celebrating her special day.

She’s probably not going to look back on her baby shower and think, man, I wish the hosts had worked harder on that baby shower food. She’ll look back and remember WHO was there, and maybe what gifts she received.

So don’t be afraid to divide the work if at all possible, and keep it simple.

You’ll save a ton, enjoy the shower itself more, and no one will know the difference.

Read Next: 25 Inexpensive Baby Shower Gifts – Both Practical & Affordable

Amy Thetford

Amy is a freelance writer and blogger who homeschools her tribe of tiny humans while pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a published author. She is fueled by coffee and the desire to do ALL. THE. THINGS. She has the attention span of a squirrel, though somehow manages to make it through each day with everyone fed and happy (well, mostly happy! Ha!) while striving to make every tomorrow better than the last. You can hear more of what she has to say over at Real Talk with Amy, where she blogs about all things motherhood.

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Delovaya Gazeta.Yug

150 dishes with step by step photos

Recipes according to GOST for children in kindergarten from 1 to 7 years. Proven recipes with step by step photos, calories and cooking time. Breakfasts for children, lunches, dinners

Breakfast like in kindergarten Porridge like in kindergarten Soups like in kindergarten Second courses like in kindergarten Side dishes like in kindergarten Kindergarten vegetable recipes Desserts and pastries like in kindergarten Salads like in kindergarten

Children are often reluctant to eat in kindergarten. The food is unusual, not homemade, “strange”.

But it often happens the other way around: “I want it to be like in a kindergarten!”. If this is your case, then this collection of kindergarten-style recipes is perfect for you and your child. Read more

With or without apples, with jam or sour cream, these pancakes are good for everyone.

Sauerkraut soup like in kindergarten is recommended for older children.

Kindergarten-style cheese omelette is a wonderful breakfast for the whole family. Due to the presence of cheese in the recipe, the omelet is not bland, so parents will also like it.

Oranges are citrus fruits that we see on the shelves of shops all year round.

Fish baked in an omelette like in a kindergarten - a dish that is absolutely predictable in taste.

Too many parents experience their children's dislike for vegetables, and this is often frustrating.

Adding another great soup to my kindergarten recipe box. Bean dishes are always hearty and healthy, and green peas, moreover, not only cook quickly, but also please with their beautiful green color.

After a year, the children's menu expands significantly and one of the first dishes that are introduced into the diet of babies is puree soups.

Pretty satisfying, thanks to potatoes, and fresh, thanks to cucumber, the salad will surely appeal to children.

In winter and spring, it is recommended to introduce dried fruits into the children's diet, since fresh fruits at this time of the year contain much less vitamins and nutrients.

Another salad in the piggy bank of recipes according to the kindergarten's technological maps.

From the age of about a year, fruits are introduced into the child's diet. Of course, if a child has few teeth and still cannot chew pieces, then we can only talk about fruit purees.

I would never have thought that rabbit meatballs like in kindergarten can be so tender and juicy!

Carrots stewed with rice and prunes, like in kindergarten - hearty, tasty, slightly sweet and, thanks to prunes, very fragrant dish.

Almost everyone remembers this pasta and cottage cheese casserole, it was a frequent guest on the tables in many kindergartens.

Boiled pasta baked with eggs, as in kindergarten, is suitable not only for a children's table, but can also be an interesting side dish for people on a diet (suitable for diets No. 3, No. 4c, diets No. 6, 7, 8, 10 , 11 and 15).

Soup-puree from zucchini, like in kindergarten, turns out to be very tender, calm, pleasant to the taste.

How many children love cauliflower? I don't know them :) Usually, the very smell of boiled cauliflower already drives the children out of the kitchen, but not in this case.

Fish patties with vegetables baked like in kindergarten - quite an interesting dish.

Delicious and fragrant garnish with a golden crust is potatoes baked in sour cream, like in a kindergarten.

Now even small children know that it is healthy to eat vegetables, but few people realize that the color of these vegetables is also of great importance.

Delicious, hearty and healthy chopped chicken fillet with scrambled eggs and vegetables, cooked like in a kindergarten, the whole family will like it.

Using the most common and familiar products in every kitchen, let's cook krupenik like in kindergarten.

Kindergarten-style juicy vegetables in a milky sauce are sure to please the smallest eaters.

You will not find anything tricky or unexpected in this salad of fresh vegetables with vegetable oil like in kindergarten.

Potato fritters with curd filling, prepared like in a kindergarten, are tender and satisfying.

Vegetarian borsch mashed like in kindergarten - a simple and good soup for the whole family, especially if you have small children.

Viscosity refers to a rather thick sticky porridge that is difficult to mix and does not spread on a plate.

I propose to bake apples stuffed with raisins, as in kindergarten. A very tasty combination of sour apple pulp with soft raisins and sugar will not leave indifferent neither children nor adults.

It is a pity that in those days when I visited the kindergarten, I could not appreciate the usefulness and deliciousness of the dishes that were prepared for us.

Kindergarten-style pumpkin puree is smooth and tender.

Perhaps, for someone, an apple is not the most familiar ingredient in a salad. But I add it very often and, as it turned out, kindergarten cooks do the same.

Fish dishes must be present on the menu of both children and adults.

Vegetables are a very important part of the nutrition of children, and adults too. But what if the child refuses them? One of the recommended ways is to prepare colorful salads.

“Health” cupcake, prepared like in a kindergarten, turns out to be very light, finely porous and moderately moist.

If you want to treat your family with Stroganoff cookies cooked in the same way as in kindergarten, then you will need to follow the technology of creating this dish, because it is prepared without frying.

Not always a child wants to eat vegetables, but this is so necessary for a growing organism.

Spinach soup with sour cream like in a kindergarten - with a slight sourness, dietary, with a fresh taste.

Personally, I don't remember any fruit salads on my kindergarten menu. But this does not change anything, fruit salad, like in kindergarten, is definitely provided there.

Children's diets are useful not only for children, but also for adults, especially for people who care about their figure or follow various diets.

Probably the simplest and most familiar salad is tomatoes with cucumber and onions.

This light vegetable soup is perfect for both children and adults who are tired of heavy meals.

For me, dried fruit compote is strongly associated with childhood and winter, or rather with Christmas, because my mother always cooked it for this particular holiday.

Is it possible to give a child fried food and from what age? Isn't yeast harmful? I am not particularly competent in this matter, I just prepared delicious pancakes for you according to a kindergarten recipe.

Kindergarten-style vegetable soup that will appeal to both children and adults.

I love simple and precise kindergarten recipes: you can always add your own flavors, seasonings, but the base... The base remains unshakable.

Fish is introduced into the diet of children quite early. It is prepared in different ways, including in the form of cutlets.

Dracena is a type of regular omelette. But if the main ingredients in an omelette are eggs and milk, then in addition to the above, sour cream and flour are added to the drachen.

These Kindergarten cupcakes turn out golden beauties! The taste is simple, creamy and fragrant.

Children's menu - the most useful and safe, both for kids and adults.

For some reason I don't remember such porridge in childhood, although I went to kindergarten, it turns out that porridge is included in the diet of children's institutions.

Kindergarten meals are very often on my home menu.

Milk soups begin to be included in the children's diet very early. They are mainly made with cereals or pasta, but vegetable dairy products are much less common, but they are wonderful.

Delicate vegetable soufflé can be prepared for lunch as a second course for a baby or as a main course or a side dish for dinner.

I propose to cook sour cream sauce from the kindergarten menu. This sauce is in perfect harmony with vegetable casseroles, main courses, pancakes, pancakes.

I propose to cook liquid Hercules oatmeal from the kindergarten menu, which your kids and not only will surely like!

Surely, on the Internet, you have come across a lot of recipes for rice casseroles!

Very often I cook dishes from the kindergarten menu for my home. It's so delicious, tender and healthy.

Of course, everyone knows that mashed potatoes are the most delicious vegetable food, well, at least for me.

Beetroot salads appear quite often on my dinner table: beetroot is a healthy vegetable for both children and adults.

Beetroot caviar is a cold appetizer that can be prepared at any time of the year, since beetroot is a vegetable that is on the shelves of our stores all year round, and for a very small fee.

I met this salad a long time ago, but definitely not in kindergarten.

Pleased the family with another dish according to kindergarten recipes - beef patties like in kindergarten.

By and large, pancakes are loved by both young and old. And these airy pancakes on kefir, like in kindergarten, will definitely not leave anyone indifferent.

Like all kindergarten soups, the one below is neither complex nor full of ingredients or seasonings.

This raisin rice porridge is claimed to be runny. But, in my opinion, it lacks at least 200 grams of milk to liquid, or even more.

A side dish in a child's menu is very important, especially if it is made from vegetables.

Kissel as a child I loved: both the one that my grandmother cooked, berry, and the one that was sold dry in packs, remember? True, I don’t remember absolutely milk jelly from kindergarten, so many years have passed.

To be honest, I didn’t have any pleasant memories of kindergarten food, the more interesting it was for me to cook several children’s dishes according to the recipes of their technological maps for the Menu of the Week website.

In my practice there were sweet casseroles using pasta, vermicelli and lasagna plates, with the addition of cottage cheese, raisins, vanilla.

By and large, such a vegetable salad can be not only a side dish, but somewhere an independent dish.

Another salad for the kindergarten piggy bank. Simple ingredients, no complicated processes.

The name of the salad speaks for itself - "Sunny" - light, bright and cheerful!

Children are often reluctant to eat in kindergarten. The food is unusual, not homemade, “strange”.

But it often happens the other way around: “I want it like in a kindergarten!”. If this is your case, then this collection of kindergarten-style recipes is perfect for you and your child.

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