My name is Carrie, and I write about life and stewardship at with all that I've been given. I was excited when my blog friend, who is also named Carrie!, asked me to write on this topic, because hospitality and frugality are two of my main interests, and I think they can certainly go together.
Before my husband and I were even married, we knew that we wanted to regularly invite others into our home. One of the most common (and frugal!) ways we’ve done this is to host potluck-style dinners. I always make a main dish and usually a side or dessert, and then the rest of the meal is up to our guests. We’ve actually made it a tradition (except on holidays) to not assign a certain type of dish. This aspect has added to the uniqueness of each gathering. I don’t think any of us will forget the time we ended up with several desserts but a sparse selection of “real food.” The kids loved it. =)
I like to make things that don’t need last-minute fussing, especially since we rarely eat right away. Crockpot dishes are handy for this. Most recently, I made chickenetti—it’s delicious, frugal, and easy to make!
We keep the set-up simple, as well. If several young children will be present, we get out a small kids’ table, which our 3-year-old thinks is wonderful. I put stacks of (real) plates and silverware on our counter, and we create a buffet of dishes in the kitchen. I like to set napkins and pitchers of water on the table so they are easily accessible. I occasionally mix up some lemonade or iced tea, but offering just water is a great way to keep things simple and inexpensive.
Regarding the size of the gathering, we’ve found that we can comfortably accommodate a dinner for 10-12 guests. We ended up with 19 people at a recent potluck, and it was unfortunately more chaotic than enjoyable!
Do you have an idea for practicing hospitality that you would like to write up and have featured as a guest post on Offering Hospitality? Please let us know!