A while back a friend emailed me, asking for me to share things I've done or have learned from others about hosting. She wanted ideas, easy tips or ways to host guests and friends while on a budget and without having a gigantic home! I think it's so true, we can often feel that if you can't host a gourmet dinner party or don't live in Beverly Hills, then we just won't do anything! But, this thinking is silly! People love to be together, details and fancy is great but it's not a requirement to have an enjoyable and purposeful time! These are just a few things we've done that have been really fun. I'm so thankful for all the gals that have shared these ideas with me and their example of using their home to serve their families, friends and the Lord! Here are 10 simple ideas for having people over!
1. Make a cheap but yummy, big pot dish. Pasta, Chili, Soup... Those things that you make and eat the leftovers for days! Invite 6-10 people to share it with you! Serve with a big salad and you can probably feed 10 people for $10.00 :)
2. Just do dessert! Dinner can be expensive if you're feeding a large group. Invite guests over at 7:00 or later for a dessert night. Make a yummy cake or dessert that you don't often make, something that's treat! Or pick one up from a fun local bakery, Or go way simple and do a Menchie's fro-yo bar or Sundae bar . You supply a few toppings and have your guests bring their favorite toppings to add to the selection. Serve good coffee and light lots of tea lights and you'll feel like you're a fun cafe :)
3. You can still "host" something and not have it in your home. Host/plan a girls lunch at a cool local park or historic landmark. They are beautiful public places and feel like you rented out a cool venue, but cost nothing to go to! Make a big Chinese chicken salad, fresh fruit and cupcakes. Serve with iced tea and sparkling water! You could bring a pretty table cloth and fun centerpiece, that you set up on a picnic table. I love "just because" get togethers! Do it just for fun, just to enjoy the blessing of sweet friends!
4. A little competition is always fun :) Have a tasting night or competition! Chili, Salsa, BBQ, Pizza, Pie, Cookies, Etc... these are all fun things most people know how to make and have favorite recipes for. This also allows guests to help lighten the food load, and most people love to contribute anyway! Also it's a fun way to taste new recipes.
5. Saturday morning breakfast party! Who doesn't like a big warm breakfast! Pancakes, Eggs, Bacon, with glass of OJ or hot cup of coffee. Or go a little more gourmet and make quiches or frittatas, yum and still cheap! Pancakes and eggs cost about nothing and serve lots of people! Set the table in the yard and the adults can enjoy a fun morning together while the kids play outside.
6. Host a play date! Invite one mom or ten! We make lunch for ours kids and ourselves every day, why not treat a girlfriend to a day they don't have to make lunch! This doesn't have to be fancy at all, kids don't care and neither do moms! Make sandwiches and stack them on a cake plate, serve with sliced veggies and apples. Prep the night before so the day of you can just enjoy the play time!
8. Have people over for a game night! Cook up a big pot of chili or do it after dinner and serve root beer floats. We like to play several different games and do them in time intervals. Each game is played for 20-30 minutes and when the timer is up, the person or team with the most points wins that round! It's a fun way to mix it up and play several different games in one night.
9. Invite someone wise over for an evening :) Invite a gal or couple you'd like to be like and ask them to come speak to you and a group of friends about a specific topic you would like to learn more about. Or to do a Q&A allowing you and your friends to ask questions about areas they need help in. This is a fun way to see Titus 2 on its feet!
10. I'd love to hear your thoughts! What are fun, simple and affordable ways YOU host guests? or a favorite easy recipe for a large group?
(p.s. the chili and potato pics are from the web :)