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Here are a few ideas to get you started on your shower that aren't too hard to do and less expensive than that!

The cake or food definitely makes the shower. (After all, short of bringing the present, most people just come for the food!) At my wedding shower we had a lavish feast...for next to nothing. How? DO IT YOURSELF! Here's what you do:

For cheese and crackers tray, veggie tray, and chips and dip tray: Most delis charge a ton for the same thing you can do at home. Buy the trays as inexpensively as possible. My friend worked in a deli and I got huge trays for $0.50 apiece! Buy cheese, crackers, chips and dip on sale and use coupons! (Search coupon exchanges and you may even be able to find coupons for free items that you might need!) For the veggies and fruit, if it's too late to grow your own, go to a fruit stand. They are tons cheaper than a grocery store.

We had a watermelon cut out like a basket with a handle. We scraped out the melon and filled it with slices of strawberries, kiwi, oranges, grapes, apples and a few other choice fruits. This looks great as a centerpiece for your food table, so there goes the expense of buying an expensive floral arrangement!

Also, I made the punch myself. Find a recipe and buy the ingredients as cheaply as possible. Then, borrow a punch bowl and glasses instead of renting or buying them. My best friend's mom had a wonderful antique china set that worked perfectly!

My cake was another thing I saved a ton on. My best friend's mom makes cakes professionally and she was honored that I asked her to make mine. She didn't even charge me! So, if you know someone who makes cakes, ask them. Even if they do charge you, more than likely they will give you a discount. If you don't know anyone who makes cakes, shop around until you find the cheapest rates, then order that cake.

For the streamers and balloons, catch them when they're on sale. After a holiday is the best time...if the colors match your choices, that is! Otherwise, shop around for the best deal or ask a friend who recently had a shower if she has any decor left over. I used the same streamer for my wedding and baby showers...both seperated by two years!

The invitations will lend a more personal touch if you buy or make blank ones and fill them in yourself instead of ordering printed ones. And, of course, it costs less!

Instead of buying expensive games, invent ones yourself, or search the internet for free ideas. More than likely you'll find cool games for nothing...well, except costs of gifts. Of course, if you have a talent then you can make your own gifts. I make soap and for my sister's wedding shower, I made decorative soap to give as gifts. Everyone loved it.

You can drastically cut the costs of a shower and you'll find that instead of diminishing from its finished glory, you will be more satisfied with yourself and your efforts if you save in the end.