Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Entertaining Doesn't Have to Be Expensive

Do you host friends at your house very often??

We set a goal this year to host friends or family at our house at least once a month.  We made a list of friends, coworkers, etc at the start of the year and are working through it.  There are good friends, new friends we'd like to get to know better, Olive's school friends, neighbors, and more on that list.  It's been fun.

We've also spent a large chunk of our married life living in apartments so it feels exciting to be in a home with plenty of room to entertain.  Being in a home we love is definitely a blessing!  I will say that we hosted things when we lived in much smaller spaces - book club, dinners with friends and family.  It was fun and we made it work.  So don't less your space or lack thereof prevent you from hosting in your home. 

I wanted to share 6 tips with you today to help you save money when you host!  We had some friends in town for the day on Saturday and here's what I put together for our dinner.  Aren't the dishes and serving pieces pretty??  I just love this combo.

// 1 // FOOD
There are lots of ways to save on food:
- Use coupons to order pizzas or ask for speicals
- Ask everyone to bring something to share and you take care of the main dish (side dishes, salads, beer, paper products, etc)
- Make your own desserts
- Serve lemonade and fruit infused water
- Buy alcohol at Sams
- Plan your menu around what is on sale that week at your grocery store

Keep an eye out for clearance party supplies or bulk party supplies at Sams and stock up.
The Dollar Tree, Target, TJ Maxx and Walmart are my favorite spots to gather party supplies.  I also love to buy holiday clearance after the holidays that will work for other events. 

See the polka-dot napkins in the picture above??  They were on SUPER clearance at Walmart after Valentine's Day last year.  I loved them because I knew they'd work great for Easter, Olive's bday and other events.  The straws above are from The Dollar Tree.  I just pick out the colors that work best and they feel a little fancier.  The floral paper plates are from Sams and I'm tempted to pick up another pack at that price!

I keep an eye out for things that will work with my dishes, holidays or pretty patterns.

I have a fun collection of green and white dishes.  Our everyday dishes are all white.  Over the years I've collected white and green cake stands and serving platters.  This way I know I'll be set when we host a bigger gathering because all of my pieces go together.  Mix and match to get a lovely spread.

// 4 // ASK FOR HELP
Make a to do list and divide up the tasks.  Have your husband stop to get ingredients, ask your kids to help tidy up the house, clean during nap time and give yourself plenty of time to pull it all together so you don't feel stressed.  If you plan ahead you won't have to spend a lot of time and money at the last minute getting things ready.

// 5 // HOMEMADE
Are there things you enjoy making that could save you money??  A party banner?  A dessert??  A box of brownies or a batch of cookies costs just a couple of dollars.  It's much cheaper than buying a fancy dessert.  I'm not great at making bread so I'll usually buy an artisan bread and then make other things homemade.  Figure out what you love doing and then add in premade things to save you time.

// 6 // HOME
Host things at your home.  Dinners in your backyard or dining room will be cheaper than going out to eat and I bet everyone will enjoy themselves more in the comfort of your home.  We host more things when the weather is nice.  Kevin can grill and we can all hang out outside.  Less clean up.  Less fuss. 

How do you save money when you're hosting people in your home??


  1. Great tips! You definitely have things down to a science. I think it is very cool that you made a list of people that you are working through. I know that your hospitality is a blessing to them!

  2. I LOVE this post! I love hosting friends and family over for a meal, but I struggled a great deal during the first year of parent-hood. I was too worried about the house not being as tidy as it used to be or having sink full of clean bottles to put away still laying out. Just recently I got over it and realized our group of friends are in the same spot of life, and when they come over no one seems to mind that there's a few toys in the living room but me! I'm my own worst critic for sure.

    We've recently had two different families over and we had the best time visiting with each other and letting our girls and their kiddos just play around the house. I just had to let my worries go.

    Like you said, with a little planning ahead in the days leading up can ease alot of last minute work and stress. And I always plan the meal based on what I already have on hand or what I can make from sale items.

  3. I agree with all these tips. Especially when hosting a birthday party. I can not wait till we move and we can have birthday gatherings at home.

  4. Such great tips! I always love heading to my Dollar Tree to pick up items for entertaining. They have the cutest spring floral plates right now too- I've been so tempted to buy them even though I don't really need them lol.

  5. Love these great tips Whitney! Entertaining doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. I think so often I over complicate things when I need to remember K.I.S.S.! Why do I so often do that?! I would definitely entertain more if I could just be more chill.

  6. I love your tips! I also have white every day dishes, with an assortment of different serving pieces and smaller plates to mix it up. One of the areas I save on entertaining is beverages - I usually only serve water at meals. Most people drink water with their meals anyway. I try to have a big pitcher of chilled water with ice, and then offer coffee for dessert.

  7. Do y'all have At Home stores in your part of Indiana? I know it's a Midwestern chain that has a few other stores in the brand. They always have tons of cheap paper products. I love seasonal napkins, and I have found lots of great options there.


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