Being Frugal with Friends
Sharing food with friends is one of life’s great pleasures. When we think of having dinner with friends, we often think of getting dressed up, going to a nice restaurant, and sharing a few bottles of wine. But these things can be expensive which can not only add up quickly but put a strain on your relationships with your friends.
One great way of maintaining your social life while still sticking to your budget is by starting a supper club with a few of your friends to regularly share a meal made by one or all of you. The format and guidelines of your supper club are flexible and can vary widely from club to club. Your club might choose to eat at a different person or couple’s house each meeting where they are in charge of the full meal. Or your club might meet at different houses but you each make individual courses of the meal (like a potluck). Again, how you do it is far less important than the outcome which is being able to spend quality time with friends while still sticking to your budget.
How to Start a Supper Club
The first thing to get you on your way to a successful supper club is to pick your membership. Invite somewhere between 6 to 8 adults. These can be a few couples, a girls’ only affair, four friends who have each brought friends — it doesn’t really matter as long as you all live close enough that the location is within driving distance for one of you (and thus for everyone when that individual hosts a dinner).
Make sure you set a schedule that seems reasonable for everyone involved. Some people might be too busy to meet every other week, so a once-a-month supper club is a better option. Just make sure that your club’s intervals between meeting times aren’t irregular and that you haven’t left too much time in between dinners, or your members may just forget about the club altogether. The goal is for it not to feel like an obligation, but to have it become part of your regular routine.
Choose Some Guidelines
Just as your club may decide to have individuals do all of the cooking or opt for more of a potluck-like setup, your club can have whatever guidelines you prefer, just as long as there are some. While it may seem like setting up rules for a friendly, casual dinner party is a strange idea, establishing a few guidelines will make sure that no one feels left out, overburdened, or taken advantage of. You might feel better if no one talks religion or politics, you might choose to make your dinner phone-free, or you might decide that whoever cooks the meal isn’t in charge of doing the dishes. Knowing that part of your goal is to make sure you stick to your budget, you can set price limits for your supper club, so no one makes an extravagant dinner leaving you feeling like you have to spend beyond your budget to provide a similar experience.
Making sure to make your financial goals part of your club’s purpose might even lead to more help with your budget as friends who share similar goals are shown to help get to those goals faster.
If you are currently living with a debt situation that you don’t feel discussing even with friends, you’re not alone. CreditGUARD can help. Our certified counselors can help you move toward a better financial tomorrow discreetly from the comfort of your home. Call us today at 800-500-6489 to learn more about credit counseling and debt management.