Eat Well, Spend Less: Hospitality on a Budget

eat well spend less

This month’s Eat Well, Spend Less topic is summer entertaining! I shared my ideas for throwing a party on a budget earlier this week, and everybody in the group is sharing their best entertaining tips as well.

Hospitality is not necessarily one of my gifts, but I want to want to, and I love the ideas that everyone is sharing, not just for their cost savings, but for their simplicity as well!

Here’s a peek at some of the other posts in this series:

Budget-Friendly Potluck Meals

From Jessica at Life as Mom:

potluck meals
source: Life as Mom

Most of us enjoy getting together with family and friends to share a meal and some good times. My mom excelled at this when I was a kid. It seems we often had a houseful of people for the holidays, and she always served up a sumptuous feast.

It wasn’t until I was married and well into motherhood that I realized that those get-togethers were probably pretty pricey! How she pulled it off while on a budget, I do not know. But she never complained. And she always made it work.

There are a number of ways that you and I can make it work, too. One of my favorites? The potluck.

Finances shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying time with friends.

One way to offset the cost of a big party is the potluck. It’s a win-win for everyone since each party carries a little bit of the weight, in terms of preparations as well as costs.

Get all of Jessica’s potluck meal ideas at Life as Mom…

The Gift of a Meal

From Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship:

The gift of food is often the greatest gift to receive.

It doesn’t cause clutter.

It saves the recipient time and money, and lends itself to a nice, peaceful evening.

It (had better) taste great, and palate-pleasing never hurt anyone.

It covers many of the 5 Love Languages: is a gift of service, affords the person more quality time to spend with their loved ones, and is certainly a gift in and of itself, which also allows the regular cook in the house to give a gift to the rest of the family: a good meal.

Get Katie’s tips — and tons of meal ideas with recipes — at Kitchen Stewardship…

Simple, Inexpensive Hostess Gifts

From Katie @ goodLife {eats}:

hostess gifts
source: goodLife {eats}

Hostess gifts don’t have to be extravagant, expensive, or even store bought. Check out these simple and inexpensive make-at-home ideas next time you need a little something extra to tell someone “thank you.”

Edible Gifts

It is always wise to ask your hostess if she needs any help with the food or drinks. Many hosts appreciate extra hands and help, but some prefer to run the show themselves. If your hostess declines your offer, consider treating her to one of these delicious recipes instead.

Any of these fun recipes can be neatly packaged in cute, inexpensive containers to serve as a hostess gift. Some, like the canned homemade salsa, scented sugar recipes, and homemade pancake mix can be made ahead and stored for when the need for a gift arises.

Visit Katie’s post for tons of additional ideas and a recipe for vanilla-scented sugar (mmm!)…

Hospitality Without Hassle

From Carrie @ Denver Bargains:

We love having people in our home for a meal – it is so much easier to connect with people in a home setting, rather than in a noisy foyer at church or a busy restaurant with the kids running wild.  But, it also gets expensive to double or triple the amount of food you make to feed others, and it can also be a lot of work.  Not only do you have to prepare twice as much food, you have to make sure your house is clean, too!

Here’s some simple ways to invite people into your home without hassle and too much extra expense.  To be honest, there are probably not any earth-shattering tips in this post – but I hope that it will give you permission to relax and just do it – just have people in your home without stress and major expense.

Read all of Carrie’s “hospitality” cheats for ideas for opening your home to others without breaking the bank…

How to Host a BBQ Without Breaking the Budget

From Tammy @ Tammy’s Recipes:

budget barbecue
source: Tammy’s Recipes

As I’ve mentioned before when I’ve shared our weekly menu plans, we have dinner guests regularly (4-6 times per month). Since I’m used to cooking from scratch, buying things on sale (or at Costco), and planning frugal meals (most of the time!) we have plenty of food to share and can even splurge and serve extra nice meals to guests.

This year, we’ve hosted quite a few BBQs. No, I don’t have secrets for a fabulous summer BBQ for pennies per person. I do have a few tips on how we host a BBQ for less, though!

This first tip is a no-brainer: Buy food on sale. Or in bulk. Making homemade is even better, but I’ll be honest: I’ve been buying Costco’s 24-pack of hamburger buns. It’s $3 that takes a weight off my week. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not Superwoman and I love to go to bed on time at night… or sleep in a little on the weekend — even if we’re having company.

See all of Tammy’s tips (and recipes!) for a budget barbecue…

The Art of the Summer Potluck

From Aimee @ Simple Bites:

potluck tips
source: Simple Bites

There’s nothing like a lingering, warm summer evening to inspire one to entertain. The children’s bedtimes have long gone out the window, friends and family are in town, and the garden is flourishing – its fruit ready to take center stage on the dinner table.

A barbecue with the guys one week, a garden party with the ladies another week; there is no question that entertaining in summer can eat a chunk out of the monthly food budget. But not gathering with friends is entirely out of the question, as summer entreats us to fill the back patio to overflowing and let the laughter spill onto the neighboring yards.

So how do we receive guests (lots of them) and still have money at the end of the summer for school supplies? This is the subject we’re tackling in our July edition of the Eat Well, Spend Less series. My blogging cohorts and I are talking about Entertaining on a Budget.

My solution to entertaining on a budget is simple: The Potluck. But not just any pot-luck. It must be an organized event, with plenty of communication between host and guests. Read on to learn how to plan a successful potluck, as well as how to be a gracious potluck attendee.

How do you show hospitality while still sticking to your budget?

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