I love hosting. It’s my favorite way to spend time with friends. I love being in the comfort of my own home—especially because it means I didn’t have to take an expensive Uber anywhere or find parking—and sharing my home and my recipes with friends. I much prefer hosting at home to restaurants because at restaurants, you feel this pressure to either leave within two hours or, if you don’t, continue to order things, which gets expensive. And you’re stuck seated at a table. You can’t wander around, relaxing on couches or various nooks and crannies. You can really kick back in someone’s home, never feeling rushed. Hosting at home is also much better than meeting everyone at a bar, where it’s often impossible to find seats for everyone—or at least seats all together—and it’s so loud that you can’t hear one another.
When I host at home, I get to control the guest list. There is no knowing who will be at a bar or restaurant. There could be rowdy and annoying customers sitting nearby. They could be screaming kids. There could be a loud heavy metal band playing. Or, we may just run into other friends who we didn’t invite to meet us there, and that’s awkward. When I host at home, I have full control over who is there, and who isn’t. It’s the best way to hang out with friends. But it can also be very expensive. Even when you tell friends to bring something, you’re still the one taking most of the expenses on the chin.
Even though you’re paying way less per-plate and per-drink when you host, you’re now paying for all of the plates and all of the drinks, and that adds up. But just because you aren’t rolling in dough to use to roll your literal homemade pizza dough doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the joys of hosting. Here are tips for hosting on a budget.
Make one signature drink
You do not need to buy a bottle of gin, a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of vodka, two types of wine, and two types of beer, just to make sure everyone’s particular tastes are covered. You are not a full bar and nobody expects you to be. Make one signature cocktail, and tell everyone they’re welcome to bring their favorite booze if they want something else.