Written by Tracey Nash
Image by @yungmiami305
It’s no secret that we’re living through a cost of living crisis. Energy bills are soaring, fuel prices keep yo-yo’ing, the cost of groceries are high, and to top it all off, winter is coming. In an attempt to save money you may have already vowed to stay home more and spend less. Community is one thing that we should never be without. If like me, you thrive on quality time, then you’ll agree that nothing compares to the high you feel when surrounded by people you love. As winter creeps in, try to make a conscious decision not to become a hermit.
I love to host friends at my home, while sharing food and deep belly laughter. Pre-pandemic I would happily cook a three course meal when hosting guests, but in this season I want to have maximum enjoyment while still keeping costs within budget. To spread the cost of hosting, why not consider assigning friends to help you out. Seek out the chefs and bakers in your friendships circle – ask one person to bring a salad, another to bring nibbles for starters and assign another to dessert and drinks while you tackle the main meal. I remember doing this during my university days and it’s a really cost effective way to come together as friends without breaking the bank.
Hosting friends doesn’t have to be an arduous task, think of ways to make it creative and fun. In my friendship circle I’m known for hosting Games Nights. Forget the traditional board games and think, ‘Come Dine With Me’ cooking challenges; 90’s Pop Culture Trivia and Karaoke. Hosting from home doesn’t have to be boring, for every games night that I host I switch up the games, the guest list and the menu. Here are a few things I do to ensure that my guests have a great night:
1. Set the atmosphere with a great playlist. I once went to a housewarming party and unknown to the guests, the host was syncing the music with our conversations. It was like having a personalised soundtrack to the night!
2. Make room for new friends. I consciously make space for my single friends to come with a plus one. This is a good way for you and your friends to meet new people in a comfortable setting.
3. Create fun house rules. You want people to enjoy being in your space, but boundaries are important too. Here are some of personal faves that I use to get people talking:
– Talk to someone you don’t know, we make new friends here
– If you cheat at games night… don’t get caught!
4. Leave your guests with something to remember. There should be an element of entertainment that brings your guests together. There’s nothing more awkward than being invited into a group setting and people are sitting in their cliques. Whether you’re having a movie night, splitting the room into teams for Pictionary, or Karaoke, have something in mind that will keep people entertained.
My motto for this season is, “The economy is down, but enjoyment stays up!” And this is not a disregard of the economic situation but a reminder that we are not born to work, sleep and die.