Is it possible to show hospitality when you’re on a tight budget? Well, judging by the emails and comments I’ve received on this topic in recent months, this is something that many of you are struggling with.
You want to open your home and exercise more hospitality. You want to reach out to your neighbors and co-workers and friends. You want to develop closer relationships.
But for many of you, you feel like your home isn’t large enough, your house isn’t nice enough, and your budget isn’t big enough.
I believe that no matter your budget or size of house, you can be hospitable. You just need to get creative and think outside the box.
Many times, we think of hospitality as being when we’ll host another family or group of people for a meal. While that is definitely one form of hospitality, it is by no means the only form of hospitality.
So how can you exercise hospitality when your budget is slim and/or your home is tiny? Here are some ideas:
1. Host an after-dinner dessert and coffee night.
This could be as simple as brownies or cookies or ice cream. Or, skip the dessert and just serve coffee and tea.
You could also invite friends to come over after dinner for popcorn and games. You could ask them to bring a favorite board game and snack, too!
In each of these instances, it’s simple, it’s affordable, and you don’t need to have space for everyone to sit at a table. People can sit on the floor, if need be! (Or ask your guests if they have extra folding chairs they can bring!)
2. Make a simple and inexpensive meal.
I always keep it simple when we open up our home… mostly because it makes me stressed if I try to cook a fancy meal. I’d rather be relaxed and be able to fully focus on loving on our guests and investing in them so keeping things really simple is what works best for me!
If you’re short on time and you have the money in your budget, you could even do something like picking up the $5 pizzas from Little Caeser’s. It’s not the healthiest option, of course, but most people care more about spending time with you than about how amazing your food is!
3. Serve breakfast for dinner.
Breakfast or brunch foods can be a fun change of pace for dinner. And they are usually inexpensive and easy to make, too!
4. Ask people to join you in free fun.
Maybe your home is really tiny, but don’t let that stop you from inviting people into your life! Look for opportunities for invite people to join you for free fun!
Many areas offer free concerts or festivals or events that would be great for the whole family. Why not ask some friends to join you?
5. Go out for tea/coffee & dessert.
Hospitality doesn’t just have to mean opening your home. In fact, I believe it’s much more than that. It’s about opening up yourself and your heart to relationships with others.
One of my favorite ways to do this is by inviting someone to coffee. It’s more low key than coming to our house and it can feel less intimidating. Plus, it’s super simple, very inexpensive (especially if you literally just order a cup of tea or a cup of coffee!), and can be a fantastic way to begin connecting with someone on a deeper level.
Start looking for ways to show hospitality and reach out to others and I bet you’ll begin to find them all around you! (Need some extra encouragement and inspiration? I highly recommend checking out Jen Schmidt’s book, Just Open the Door.)
P.S. Here’s another idea for a simple way to celebrate someone even if you have a small house.