Oh Baby! Frugal Baby Shower Gift Ideas

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Frugal baby shower gift ideas

Baby showers can be one of the best parties to attend. But trying to figure out what to give, without busting your budget, can be daunting.  Here are a few frugal baby shower gift ideas to get the wheels turning in your brain and keep your checking account full.

Frugal Baby Shower Gift Ideas and Tips

This post will also include some frugal baby shower tips, as well as gift ideas. The tips will help you find the best deals on gifts, or create a DIY baby shower gift that would be perfect for the parent to be. 

Look But Don’t Touch The Registry

The infamous baby registry.  It can be so inviting to guests to just look down an online list, pick a gift, and call it a day. But, by paying attention to what is chosen, you can see what products are important to the mom-to-be and what kind of shower this may turn out to be.

For example, if most of her picks have to do with breastfeeding, you know that’s something truly important to her and can gift accordingly. In the same aspect, if you see 200 dollar dressers and 600 dollar cribs listed, you can assume this party just might be a bit more upscale.

The best part is that once you figure these hints out, you do NOT have to buy gifts right from the registry. You’ll be able to keep the new mama’s wish list in mind and randomly find frugal baby shower gifts in places where you actually shop, like your favorite department stores or even the grocery store.

Check The Grocery Store For Baby Deals

The grocery store is one of those places most shoppers tend to overlook when it comes to things other than groceries.  Next time you’re picking up a bag of groceries from the store, take a walk down the baby aisle.

More often than not, you’ll find a great sale not only on diapers and baby food, but baby lotions, pacifiers, sippy cups and more.  These are all items that can easily be turned into a cute frugal baby shower gift, like a baby basket. 

Also, take a look down the laundry detergent aisle. Sales on Dreft and “Free and Clear” detergents pop up quite a bit.  A most grateful mom-to-be will squeal if you can give her the gift of a laundry detergent stockpile. You can pair the detergent with packs of onesies, and call it a gift!

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Stick To The Basics

When guests go shopping for baby gifts, and get caught up in all the cute outfits and fun toys, they forget those things are mostly temporary. Getting someone a newborn outfit for their baby means that gift will only get used maybe once or twice before the baby grows out of it.  

Onesies, sippy cups, burp clothes, crib sheets and baby socks are just a few things you can focus on.  But don’t just grab a few in size 0 to 3 months and call it a day; make sure to be a responsible gift giver and think ahead. 

When a friend of mine was having twins, I got her items that would last up to one year with her girls. I got her onesies, but made sure to get multiple packets in each size up to 18 months.

I got her sippy cups, but made sure they were the small size ones to start off with and then the 8oz ones for when the girls were older.  

Her girls are 7 now, and she still talks about that gift. It set her up for success and gave her a mini stockpile of baby items she knew she would need eventually.

Give Gifts To Other Members Of The Family

Keep in mind that you don’t always have to go “full baby” at a shower.  The parents or older siblings can be the recipients of your frugal baby shower gift.

So often, other members of the family are neglected when a new baby arrives.  Create a “date night” basket filled with a Blu-ray or DVD, large popcorn tub and a box of microwave popcorn. 

Or, for the older siblings, create a gift filled with cool toys or crafts for them to play with while visiting mom at the hospital.

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Offer Your Service

Do you love to babysit? Are you a good cook? Do you have a knack for cleaning and organizing? Offer up those services as a gift. 

Most moms won’t ever think to ask for help, so offering it up to them before it even comes to mind is a great way to give of yourself. 

New moms tend to not have much time to cook a quality meal, so you can offer up your services there. Plan to come by the first few weeks after baby is born, to cook a meal for her in-house. You can also cook some of your cheap and easy weeknight meals, and drop them off to her a few days after the baby is delivered. 

Do you love to clean? About a week or two after the arrival of baby, I guarantee you she will need help in that area. Offer these services to her at the shower, so she knows you would love to be on the short list of people she can depend on during her time of need.

Inspiration Goes A Long Way

Please don’t forget the mamas!  If you can’t give them advice from experience, find a parenting book with great reviews, or a heartfelt card to add to those gifts. 

Truthfully, a hand-written note expressing how proud you are of your friend or family member will make her feel like a million bucks.  Your love is one of the most, and least, expensive things you can give a new mom.

Quick Baby Shower Gift Tips:

Keep a look out for online deals at places like amazon.com. These sites do offer deals on baby items, and at a great price!  Also, if you order online, don’t forget to check with sites like Rakuten to see if you can get cash back on those purchases.

Watch your drug stores. Just like the grocery story, this is yet another place to find hidden baby item deals. You may also get a cash back deal if you spend a certain amount.

Gift cards are more than welcome.  Unlike giving these around the holidays, giving a gift card to a new mom is giving her license to shop for whatever will make her life easier at that time.

Since babies can be particular when it comes to the type of bottles, disposable or cloth diapers, and pacifiers they like, giving a gift card gives her the chance to try out other items and see which ones fit her baby.

I hope this post about frugal baby shower gift ideas was helpful! Have your own ideas to share? Leave them in the comments below!

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

Plan Your Year Now!


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  1. 4.13.10
    Sarah said:

    I have such a cleaning/personal care stockpile that I like to give a gift for the parents. I include things like an Automatic Shower cleaner, some fun bodywash & shampoos, etc. What better gift for mom & dad than to not have to worry about cleaning the shower for at least a month?

    And my baby gift is almost always diapers – size 3 🙂 People get so loaded down with size 1 & 2, and babies dont stay in them very long. I figured if it was me, 4 or 5 months down the line I would appreciate not having to run out to buy a pack of diapers.

  2. 4.13.10
    Amy said:

    Onesies and socks!!! As a mom, I wish I had gotten more of these, in multiple sizes. I can’t stand for my daughter’s tummy to hang out when it’s cold, so she wears onesies under everything. I have bought so many plain white onesies and plain white socks, it’s crazy.

  3. 4.13.10

    I usually give a “midnight madness” basket with baby Motrin, baby cold medicine, thermometer, nose bulb, earache remedy, etc. You can find list of suggested items online or by flipping through a surviving-your-first-year baby book. My friends who have received them stll talk about it almost 3 years later!

    I also give books that I enjoyed when my DD was little. By keeping an eye out on Paperbackswap.com, and Amazon + the local Half Price Books, I scored 5-6 books for less than $10!

  4. 4.13.10
    Alex M said:

    I’ve had to give a few baby showers (or be one of the hostesses) and it’s tough for me since I’m not baby-oriented!

    I try to use baby items for decorations — small laundry or storage baskets lined with a blankie, in which you put a teddy bear that has balloons tied to it. I’ve used washcloths with rubber ducks on them, etc.

    My favorite shower was for a friend who loved the show The X-Files. We did an alien impregnation theme and had a picture of a baby with a tail on the cake…

    When it comes to gifts, I always get onsies and receiving blankets… it’s best if I don’t try to even figure out the real baby stuff.

  5. 4.13.10
    Karen said:

    As a seasoned baby shower veteran, I always tell my newly pregnant friends to register on myregistry.com. Not only does it make it easier for them, since they can pick things from any store to register for, but it makes it easier for bargain-hunting guests like me to buy things on the list where ever it’s cheapest and then go back to the website to mark the gift as purchased–genius! That and cupcake themed baby showers are my two favorite ideas!

  6. 4.14.10
    Anonymous said:

    I like Karen’s idea. I had a baby 3 months ago and for my pre-baby showers no one got anything off the registry. We spent a lot of money stocking up on things we’d registered for. And our registry was small, I only put things on there we really needed! Instead we had massive piles of pink newborn sized clothes – not so useful for my “little” 9-pounder! I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where things were to exchange them. We had one after the baby shower and that was great! People stuck to the registry and we got tons of sippy cups, bowls, plates, utensils, our high chair, boppy, larger onesies – things we really need in the next few months and now won’t need to spend money on! I say stick to the registry or find a deal that’s close to it, and then go to the store to have it marked off (if you buy it elsewhere!) People register for a reason!

  7. 4.14.10
    Krissy said:

    Found you from UPB10 and I love your blog! Following you now! I hope you stop by and follow us as well! Have a great week!


  8. 4.14.10

    Easiest way to save money….live in England. We don’t have baby showers, wedding showers, a prom for every year at high school (just when we graduate university) we don’t tip, we don’t eat out except for a treat, such as an anniversary, we cook at home, we hang our laundry outside to dry, we walk places, much cheaper placce to live. If you can get past immigration, you’re welcome xxxx

  9. 4.14.10
    Joy said:

    I like to make a diaper “cake” for friends cause weather it’s their first or third they will need diapers!

    Depending on the number the child is effects what I add to it. Blankets, washclothes, towels, and other small baby items. They are fun and fairly easy to make, and there are always deals to be found on diapers for us coupon savey peeps!

    oh but I don’t use newborn diapers I use size 1 they outgrow those newborn ones so fast and there is no returning open, rolled diapers:)

  10. 4.14.10
    Amiyrah said:


    way to go on getting the size 3s! Size 3 and 4 are the sizes that babies spend the most time in and are needed the most. Thats the bulk of my stockpile right now for the little girl lol.


    I know what you mean! That was one of my biggest wants on the registry I created this time around. AND, I’ve been stockpiling them myself. I just remember onesies getting ruined so much(and outgrown quickly) with Sonny Boy and I want to make sure we don’t ever want to have to run and get packs of them when we need them.

  11. 4.14.10
    Amiyrah said:


    great gift! I did a gift like that for an older friend that had her first daughter about 4 years ago. I even wrote a cute little note on why she needed the items(I included a few bottles of “grown up” tylenol too! lol).


    I used myregistry.com last time, and still didn’t get all that I needed lol. If it wasn’t for MIL spending oodles of money on the baby when she came after he was born, we would have been in lots of trouble. I still think sticking to the registry isn’t necessary unless you are planning to get a big gift off of it. Things like onesies, bottles, pacifiers, burp clothes, etc DO NOT need to be tracked through a registry. The more you have, the better. Yes, people make registries for a reason and that reason is mostly to tell their guests “this is what we need help with the most.” This time around, I registered on Amazon so if a gift is cheaper on amazon, they can get it from there or look for a seller right on that site who is selling it for even less. It’s been working so far!

  12. 4.15.10
    Kristi said:

    I suggest washclothes! I don’t think you can ever have enough. Now that my son is 1, I use them even more! I just buy the Target Circo kind, they seem thin and cheap but they work great! I love them!

  13. 4.15.10
    Kimber said:

    In college, I had a good friend get married and I made her a “quote book” to put in her gift basket. There were quotes, poems, and song lyrics about love, romance, and marriage. It was a hit and got passed around at the shower. It took some time, but it wasn’t very inexpensive – I printed it off on nice paper and paid a few dollars to have it bound. I think this would work great for a baby shower gift – funny, sweet, sappy, and inspirational stories about babies and motherhood. It’s a thoughtful gift that the mom can enjoy during her countless hours of nursing or bottle-feeding!

  14. 4.15.10
    Melissa said:

    I agree that you don’t need to shop off the registry… I think unless you are shopping for a specific large item that the family wants… Not to mention, a lot of first time moms register for a bunch of crazy stuff that they don’t need and probably will barely use… I am throwing a baby shower on Saturday and the mom-to-be registered for so many unnecessary gadgets… I really hope the experienced mothers can weed through it and find the useful things that she registered for and get those for her! I knitted her a blanket that matches the unusual colors of her baby’s room… rust red. Not a normal baby color, but I was privy to her decorations and stuff so I could really personalize it. I also bought an outfit for when the baby is about a year old (on sale of course), and made a diaper cake… Which is being used as the centerpiece for the food table, and as a gift for the mom.

    Great blog post! I thought you gave very practical advice.

  15. 4.15.10
    Anonymous said:

    I have to disagree with your registry suggestions. My baby shower was last month and hardly anyone bought things off our registry. Instead, we ended up with tons of clothes that we might not even be able to use depending on size. Now we have to buy what we really needed from our registry.

    I can’t tell where most things were purchased so it is too time consuming to hunt for stores to return unwanted/unneeded things.

    We registered for a reason and I think it’s an insult to have someone look at the registry and find something similar cheaper. BTW, the most expensive thing on our registry was a pack and play.

  16. 4.15.10
    Precious said:

    Hi Amiyrah,

    Here is a post I did on a baby gift that I gave to a friend’s son and DIL.


    A good friend in AZ picks up the plush animal baskets after Easter at Target, etc. at 75-90% off and puts lotions, onesies, washcloths, wipes, a little outfit…..just about anything you could think of for baby in them and then shrink warps them! She buys enough baskets discounted to last all year. She gave my DIL and son one when my grandaughter was born. It was a little yellow chicken plush basket. So cute!

  17. 4.15.10
    Jennifer said:

    I found this post through a link on MoneySavingMom and I am glad I did. I am going to a couple of baby showers in the next 2 months and it has been a little while since I had my own. This helped remind me of what I found to be great gifts and will help me in my shopping for these upcoming gifts. I love the idea of buying in multiple sizes. I usually try to buy things like onesies about 2 sizes bigger but love the idea of buying multiple sizes. And the grocery aisle tip is good too. It just so happens that a local store to me has Huggies on sale for $6.99 this week and I have a $3 coupon…$2.99 for a pack of diapers~wow!
    Thanks for the great post. Hope you don’t mind if I link back to it in a post I am writing tomorrow.
    Glad I found your blog.

  18. 4.15.10
    Anonymous said:

    Anonymous,i think what you just said is an insult. You got pregnant.
    If you couldn’t afford it,bad idea.
    A baby shower is for friends and family to celebrate,and help out if they want to.
    Some of us like to spend our money wisely.Going off the registry and
    buying things every baby needs is
    not only great,Its a gift.
    You should appreciate your gifts.

  19. 4.15.10

    I love this article. As an aunt (9 times over), and a friend to many new moms I have had the chance to go to many baby showers. I went to a shower once where each person had to write a message on the back of a diaper using permanent marker. I decided that I liked that idea so much that I made a gift out of it at another shower. I wrote Bible verses on all of the backs of the diapers.
    Go here- http://frugalnewlyweds.blogspot.com/2009/11/frugal-baby-shower-gift.html
    for pictures. It was a hit, so I think I might try it again. Thanks for giving so many other frual ideas!

  20. 4.16.10

    One thing to consider as well is resale shops. You’d be surprised how many new items (still with the original tags) are there!

  21. 4.16.10
    Anonymous said:

    Many of my friends are starting their families and having babies now, so I have had lots of showers to go to recently. For my gifts I have been buying a couple of items from the registry and then pairing them with items like J&J bath wash, lotions, diaper rash cream and other useful items that I have been able to get with good deals using coupons. I filled a decorative diaper caddy my friend wanted with all the bath stuff, wipes, hangers and diaper rash cream, along with some onesies (funny onesie theme) and then shrink wrapped it like a gift basket. I loved putting the gift together. For another friend I got the diaper bag she wanted and filled it with some small goodies from the registry along with bath product deals, wipes and bottles. My friend said it was one of her favorite gifts. The latest one I did was for my oldest friend. I started by getting all of her bath items from the registry and then all the J&J bath products and diaper rash cream with coupon deals. That was the plan for her gift. Then a grocery store in my area was going out of business and selling baby stuff at 75% off, so I couldn’t help but buy her different bottles, pacifers, nursing pads and many other deals. I just couldn’t stop and I was so happy to be able to bless her with all my deals. I knew she would be very greatful. I definately love the idea of getting some items from the registry, but also love adding the useful baby stuff as well that not everyone asks for but needs, like the bath stuff. I am trying diaper deals now, so I think I diaper cake is coming in the future!

  22. 4.16.10
    Allison said:

    I always tell people when making a registry, whether for baby or wedding, register for what you NEED! I realize yes, people will buy what they want. That’s the nature of giving. But, for those that do look at your registry, make sure you are getting what you need before you worry about all the extra fun stuff. You can add that later if you want.

  23. 4.16.10
    Anonymous said:

    Anything that is quickly used up is a good gift. (shampoos, lotions, diaper rash cream ect.)

    Also gifts for mom are important too. The pampering I got before and after my son were born meant more than anything we got off our registry.

  24. 4.19.10

    I have a traditional gift basket I try to give new moms. Things that get overlooked a lot like spray in wash, detergent, wipes, diapers, etc. Also, I try to put it all in a small laundry basket and fill in with other inexpensive things like spoons, bowls with lids and plates for later. These are things I still use with my 4 year old, so they will have a stockpile of them when the time comes! I always know what I’m looking for, so if I spot it on sale, I pick it up! These are great tips you’ve given too!

  25. 5.5.10

    I suggest not finding out what you’re having, then you won’t get stuck with a bunch of pink or blue items that you don’t need!

    We didn’t find out with either of our children (and won’t find out with this one either) and it worked out great because we received a bunch of neutral clothes and other items that we got double-use of. You probably won’t get a shower the second time around, so its nice not to panic if everything you got the first time is all pink/blue. Same goes for nursery gear. I find it humorous sometimes how all-out parents go with nursery items because I think, what if your second child is the opposite sex? Will you buy all new stuff?

  26. 7.23.10
    Naughty Girl Guide said:

    Thank you for sharing! I will also share this to my stuff!

  27. 11.11.10

    I’m expecting my first baby in a few weeks from now. My baby showers were great, but the one gift I loved the most was put together by another brand-new-mom. She got me nursing pads, nursing cream, feminine pads, and even some fancy body wash! It was so nice that someone would think to give a gift the new-mom can use! I know my husband isn’t going to want to shop for those things right after the baby is born! 🙂

  28. 11.15.10
    Fakharuddin40 said:

    Lovely gifts. I love it. So much thanks for the nice share.

    Send gifts to Pakistan

  29. 6.19.12
    Anonymous said:

    Great information about baby shower gift. I really like it. baby shower gift



  30. 2.5.14

    Great tips! Wanted to let you know I linked to them in today’s hint:

    • 2.7.14
      Amiyrah said:

      Thanks Jennifer!

  31. 2.28.14
    annie said:

    Just one tip – be careful with stuff that parents might choose not to use, like disposable diapers! We got them from several people, but we have always used cloth, so the disposables just stayed around until we found someone to give them to. We knew the people meant well, but in the end their gift was totally useless while there were several other things we really needed at that time.

    • 2.28.14
      Amiyrah said:

      That’s a good point Annie, but for most of the parents that we’ve shopped for that used cloth diapers, they’ve annotated that on their registry. This is why I mention looking at the registry first. You see exactly what they are looking for, like all natural or organic items, specific cloth diapers, etc. It’s also why I mention just giving gift cards at the bottom of the post. Gift cards are always awesome :).

  32. 6.23.14
    vikki said:

    One of the best gifts I received from a friend was a wicker laundry basket filled with diapers. Well almost 26 years later I’m still using the laundry basket.