My fiance and I recently moved from DC (where I was getting my Masters) to Baltimore (where my fiance works), reducing his commute drastically. This is very exciting for us in part because the rent is far more reasonable but mostly because now we are closer to all of Mike’s work friends.
For us, this means we have lots of opportunities to entertain. Mike and I are passionate foodies and love including our friends and families in our food-filled joy! We both come by it naturally. Both sets of parents are big entertainers – by the time we get to Thanksgiving dinner we’re already stuffed with cheese, sausage, and beer. If we had a family motto it might be, “You can never have too much good food and beer and cheese”
But you know what I’ve realized?
Entertaining is expensive!
Not only do we love to make good food but we also love us our drinks too. I grew up in a beer lovin’ family and Mike is from California which automatically qualifies him as a better wine connoisseur than I. We’ve found ways to make this cheaper – I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s wine selection and prices but Maryland’s liquor laws are archaic so we can’t use TJ’s anymore for that.
Since this whole entertaining thing is a new opportunity for us, I’m not willing to complain about the financials that much. Seriously, we LOVE having people over and feeding them. But soon it’s going to be time to start thinking about how to do this dinner party thing on the cheap.
Some people have suggested BYOB. I give this suggestion a B+. Part of the experience for us is sharing cool new wines and beers that our friends don’t know or haven’t heard of.
Mike’s friends have been really considerate and have offered to bring things (ingredients, libations) which is great! I’d certainly love to take them up on it from time to time but as the host I also want to provide. I have to say it’s always easier to take family up on these offers than new friends. My sister lives close by and we have been trying to work out a system for getting together and sharing the fiscal responsibility. My kitchen is bigger and I have a better space for entertaining but we make sure to split up the ingredient costs.
Speaking of my sister, she’s working on a new blog, Tiny Kitchen Food Project, which will be awesome!