Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy (And Hospitable!)

The author of Frugalhacks asks a question with which many can relate: "Does your Thriftiness Impact Your Entertaining?"

Do you often think to yourself:

“I can’t host a Super Bowl Party because my television is too small. No one would want to come to my house and watch a game on my television.”

“I would love to have a big group over, but I can’t afford to buy the extra food needed to host a really good party. After all, don’t good parties have great beverage choices and fancy eats? My grocery budget is just too tight!”

” I don’t have enough matching glasses to entertain with.”

“My house is too small to entertain a group of people in. Where would we put everyone? Won’t people be turned off by my home?”

I'll admit that it is often my lack of housekeeping, rather than thriftiness, that usually makes me reluctant to invite guests over. But I also have a problem with wanting to impress others (ha!), and I have been known to go over budget when planning for dinner guests.

But I've found that it really is all in the presentation. You don't have to have matching glasses or fine china or expensive ingredients. Sometimes a bowl of warm chowder (presented in four different bowls!) or a one-dish crock pot concoction and freshly baked bread in any old basket with a clean cloth napkin really can be quite pleasing. In the case of entertaining, simpler really is better. The hostess can be more relaxed if she doesn't have to worry about multiple dishes or timing everything just right, and instead can enjoy the company. Edith Schaeffer's book The Hidden Art of Homemaking has some great tips in this area that I plan to share soon.

Do your efforts to save money impact how often you entertain? Join in on the discussion over at Frugalhacks!

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