Spring seems to bring out the fun doesn't it? We bring out the grills and invite friends over. I don't know about you but that tends to make me go in panic mode. Is my house clean? Will they like my food? Will what they eat cause them to into antiphalactic shock? (misspelled I'm sure). But most of all, how can we afford it?
I'm going to start building into my budget a little bit of $$ for this purpose. In reality having friends over does not have to be expensive. There are many areas in which to save. Other than the obvious of purchasing food items when on sale we can ask our friends to bring over side dishes. There is nothing written in stone this has to be a meal worthy of Martha Stewart. Although there is nothing wrong with that. I simply find that way too intimidating.
When making desserts do you go all out? Do you serve red white and blue cupcakes for the 4th? Red brown and orange for fall? Well...................if that is your specialty maybe you can decorate with plain colored decorating sugars. I love the sprinkles that come in shapes like bats and ghosts (obviously for Halloween) but they are way expensive. It is more economical to have sugars in different colors or make the frosting using food colors/pastes.
Do you use paper products? I love the paper plates for different seasons and holidays but once again they are expensive. If you want to use paper products buy solid color that can be used for many occasions. Red can be used for the 4th, Memorial Day and Christmas. Plain white napkins are always in style. Or better yet...................be on the look out for inexpensive plates that can be used over and over again. Myself..........I am looking for rectangular glass plates. This will go with any color scheme, won't clog the landfills and I am finding them dirt cheap at thrift stores. Do you have mason jars? These can be really cute holding forks, knives and spoons.
This brings me to this: use what you have. I love the mismatched look. If you need a punch bowl and don't have one ask a friend who does or maybe your church has one. It never hurts to ask. Why buy a punch bowl with the glasses if you won't use it but once in a great while?
Don't be like me and let doubts keep you from having friends over. It's fun!