October 27, 2013

{Simple Hospitality, Day 18} Hospitality on a Budget




We've been a one income family for most of our marriage and I know what it is like to have to get by with what some people would consider an unreasonably small grocery budget.  And I know what it is like to spend your last 12 bucks on eggs and rice just to get through to pay day. And I don't want to  pretend for a minute that finances aren't a very real barrier to entertaining and hospitality. But I do want to encourage us all to rethink what hospitality looks like and to find ways to fit it into the budget when possible.  Here are some practical ways we entertain on a budget:

1) Serve soup and bread.  A homemade soup and some good bread (maybe homemade?) can feed a crowd on the cheap and is a cozy chance to gather around the table and build connections over good food!

2) Host a potluck.  Split the cost of a get together with your guests by each contributing a dish.  Not only is it thrifty, it's a casual and low stress crowd pleaser.

3) Extend an evening invite for snacks or dessert.  Why not have friends over for popcorn and board games?  Or tea and conversation?  Most of the people we invite into our homes have food in their own refrigerator and are hungry instead for personal connection, words of warmth and love and encouragement.

4) Use what is on sale or in season.  Check the grocery ads before making your menu so that you can reap the benefits of local sale prices.

5) Serve simple foods you would normally eat.  Please don't feel like you always need to serve baked brie and roast beef and individual lava cakes. Having friends over for your regular spaghetti or taco night won't add much to your grocery bill and will likely be thoroughly enjoyed by your guests.

6) Use what you have.  Decorate the table with flowers from the yard or a vase full of twigs and pine cones, or not at all.  You don't need to create a magazine-worthy table in order to bless your guests and be blessed by their friendship.

7) Cheap out on pricey ingredients.  Sometimes when I'm doubling a recipe to share, I don't fully double some of the most expensive ingredients.  Add a little less chicken and a couple more potatoes to that casserole, or top things with a little less cheese than usual.  Sometimes I even dilute the cream with some milk when making cream based sauces and soups.  Nobody will even know and your grocery dollar will stretch just a little bit further.

This is day 18 (several days late!) in a series about simple hospitality.  Click here to see more.


Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  Please take a moment to "like" me on facebook or sign up for my RSS feed.


22 comments:

  1. Such fabulous tips. We are a one income family with four kids and get paid once a month, so this post hits home. I want to entertain, but don't want to break the bank. Thanks!

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  2. Can I add one more tip? We have many children as do most of our friends. We also have many teenagers (most of them boys!) in the group around the table when we are together which adds a whole 'nother layer to the "feed a crowd" idea. We often will feed the kids frozen pizzas or hot dogs, cut up fruit or veggies, oven popped popcorn, and make your own chocolate chip cookies. They eat in front of a movie or competitive Wii game while the small handful of adults grill out an adult palate pleasing spread and chat around the dinner table ! :) the we move to the living room while the kiddos clean the kitchen :) It's nice and I wish we did it more often.

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  3. My lifestyle is different than yours.But I also use the ingredients from local markets(fresh) and mix and match ingredients to get a full meal.

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  4. Let's have a home made soup recipe post?

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    1. I think that's a great idea. I wish I had more recipes I only make the basics and would love to have more to choose from

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  5. I enjoy soups especially this time of year. Loving this series thanks for all the great info

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  6. "Host a potluck" & " Serve simple foods you would normally eat" both seems to be fab for myself. Yup, connecting with our loved ones is more important than food! I really enjoy each and every day of this series and have read each & every post several times! :) Keep rocking.

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  7. I love getting together with friends, we don't do it nearly often enough. When we do I always end the evening thinking, we should defiantly do that more often. I'm not sure what my barrier is. I love your take on things and am enjoying your series.

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  8. These are fantastic ideas! I'm always trying to think of ways to stretch our budget. (Maybe that should be the next "31 Days Of" theme? Just a suggestion.) I'm sure you have tons more great budget saving tips and tactics. I love your blog. And I'm loving this series!

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    1. Same here.. I would love any ideas that can help.. I am pregnant and looking to be more healthy and budget friendly. .lol I owe 6500 on credit cards. .

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  9. I love this post! Thank you, great tips! -Anu

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  10. I went through and read all your posts. . I like how u talk to us like you know us.. I had a few laughs that I really needed.. thanx for your posts its nice to see what you can accomplish by just trying.

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  11. Gosh that soup looks good with the green onions and bacon beside it!

    I just found your blog today. Love it!

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    1. you've been missing out lol

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  12. Have you ever thought of writing a book?!?! I would LOVE to read and read and read all your little snippets here and there!!! You are SO talented and wholesome and REAL!!! I love ALL that you do!!! I

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  13. Good advice Kelly.
    If you have a signature dish that isn't a piggy bank breaker, then go for it as it becomes the dish you are renown for. The other thing is, people would hint at whether or not you'd serve whatever it is.
    I find serving comfort food always works a treat - whether it is a roast with a ton of veg; a casserole with a hearty serve of mash; or the signature soup with crusty bread.
    One thing that used to be big back in the day was the progressive dinner. This is where you take each course of the meal at a different location, destinations predicated on how fancy a dinner it is : number one for starters - whether that is canapes or entree; number two is either entree or main course; three is either main or dessert and destination number four is either dessert or cheese platter and coffee. We also used to do an annual potluck, which was great. We held it at a local hall, so everyone did things that they could keep warm in their slow cookers. Amazingly, no one would repeat another dish! They'd all be different. I had three sons, so they always went home very full and very happy.

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  14. Number 7 is a really good tip. An alternatve to cream diluted with milk is to use powdered cream/milk in sauces as it won't make any difference to the taste and saves ou valuable fridge room.
    mrsdbliss.blogspot.com

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  15. Ok, I commented the other day but I wanted to comment again. Ever find a blog, get totally sucked into the archives and read every post because they stir your soul, and walk away thinking "I wish I had a friend nearby like (blog author)"? Well, that is how I feel about this blog. Love, love, love it!

    That is all. :)

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  16. Kelly, your posts are all inspiring, well written and practical. Thank you for taking the time to write, photograph, edit and post each blog. Your talents are very much appreciated!!

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  17. I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your blog! In the world of Pinterest and professional lifestyle bloggers, it's such a breath of fresh air and sanity to read your blog and be reminded that it's the heart that matters, and not how "Pinterest-worthy" it is. Your series on entertaining has really touched me, and reminded me that it's the people you spend the time with, not how fancy the meal is. May God continue to bless you, your family, and your writing!

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  18. I am head to toe in love with your blog. I discovered it last week and it was such a strong inspiration that besides decluttering my home I started my own blog which I so wanted to write but couldn't manage to start. I'd love it if you spare some moments to read.Much thanks!
    http://bettertheme.blogspot.com/

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