Home > The Cost of Guests

The Cost of Guests

October 4th, 2013 at 08:08 pm

We are having guests this weekend. This is the second of three in a row. All guests are coming to visit and see my daughter perform with her marching band. It is a good show!

Having guests is just about as expensive as it is to drive somewhere. This set of guests suggested we go out to eat. Even if we split the bill, I would guess our portion would be equal to the amount I will spend on groceries for the whole weekend. Okay, maybe not. It will be cheaper to eat at home.

I'm making a double batch of chili for tonight. Leftovers will be frozen, and used another time for dinner or lunches. Tomorrow morning, we can have toast or banana bread and fruit. I also have eggs as an option. My sister likes cream in her coffee, so I picked up half and half and some more brother in law drinks a LOT of coffee. Smile

Tomorrow afternoon for lunch before we go to the performance, we will have sandwiches. I bought three types of lunch meat, probably not necessary, but I knew we would eat the remainder for lunches in the coming week. I also picked up cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Darn. I forgot more mustard. Mayo it is.

Saturday night we will have tacos. I have all the fixings. I picked up extra ground beef, so I will make this up and freeze the taco meat for another time. Sunday morning will be a repeat of Saturday morning. More basic eating.

I seem to have followed in my mother's pattern with guests where I want to have plenty of options. I have nuts, chips and crackers for snacks. I also bought beer and wine. I bought twice the amount that I would normally buy on a weekend with two extra people. Geez, I must think they are super hungry people. They aren't.

I shopped at SuperTarget with coupons and my cartwheel and saved $18! But my bill still came to $102. Boo. I hope we can extend our leftovers for many days after the visit.

How do you plan for guests? Wing it? Plan out each meal? Do you eat at home or go out to eat? Do you have a go to meal that you think works great for guests? I love to know!

11 Responses to “The Cost of Guests”

  1. TashaC. Says:

    When the baby comes we'll have MIL for 6 days and then immediately FIL for 8 days (divorced in laws). I am dreading it. MIL cooks, but my kitchen is more meant to be seen rather than used space (very brand new looking after 3 years of very little use). I am stressed just thinking of scratched counters and grease in my oven. I hope the new baby will be a distraction for me. FIL likes to get take out- much more my speed regarding preserving my 3 year new kitchen. FIL also pays a majority of the time.
    Still- I'm not really a hostess and so these visits stress me out and I feel the need to constantly entertain.

  2. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    It sounds like your planning is very similar to mine. I almost always do chili. Everyone likes it and it's easy to make ahead. The other "go to" is home made burgers. Something about a bbq makes everything better. I plan the whole weekend so when someone mentions that we should go out I can say that dinner is already organized. Good luck with your company.

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    In the past when I have made chili and had company, I would set out sour cream, cubed tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped red onion, and shredded cheese. Then let everyone top as they please. Always thought that was kind of fun. Smile

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Depends on the guests, and how much money I have in the budget! We don't have out-of-town guests very often, but when we do, we try to balance it out by having some meals out at restaurants or delivered, and some at home. Usually at least one pasta meal, because that's one vegetarian meal most omnivore guests wouldn't mind having. I also planned a Mexican night (with refried beans instead of taco meat) last time we had guests (though everyone was so stuffed from the restaurant meal at lunchtime, I was the only one who ate it, and had tons of leftovers for later!).

  5. scfr Says:

    Just like you, when houseguests come I gladly spend more freely, and I like to have plenty of options for them. On the island of my kitchen, I set out a mat and in the middle I put a big bowl filled with different fruits. Around the fruit bowl I put out snacky items (nuts, crackers, etc) and let people know that they can help themselves at any time.

    When I had a full house for Christmas (9 people) I made up 2 of these quiches one morning for brunch, 1 w/ the ham and one w/ mushrooms for the vegetarians. It fit the bill for the gluten-free folk. Very easy to make (no need to roll out a pie crust because you use chip or cracker crumbs). Just added a side dish of mixed fruit. It was a big hit and I got requests for the recipe. I used "Good for You" tortilla chips from Costco, and then we had the leftover chips with guacamole and salsa another evening. And this recipe actually is pretty economical ... It makes a great brunch meal since it is hearty.

    I try to include local specialties, things people probably can't get where they live. So, I keep Texas beers & wines on hand, and splurge on things like tamales made locally. I start keeping an eye out for things like the wine & beer on sale months ahead of time.

    If houseguests invite us out to dinner, I gladly take them up on it and let them pay if they offer.

    I have a little water pitcher w/ a topper that doubles as a glass that I put in the guest room on the bedside table. I also put out a couple of my books that I think they may like. Those are little touches that make them know how happy I am that they are there but cost nothing.

  6. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Fall is a great time for houseguests because it's soup-and-chili-in-the crockpot-season! Sounds like you have a great plan. For me it depends on the guest, the budget and my work schedule... Enjoy your weekend!

  7. snafu Says:

    We regularly have out-of-town visitors and I figured out it's all in the planning. It's 2/3 to 1/2 less expensive to make meals at home. If youngsters are involved it feels so wasteful when they insist on ordering foods they barely actually eat! An inexpensive, good quality wine is a tiny touch that makes guest feel important. There are lots of inexpensive breakfast casseroles/quiches better prepared in the evening and popped in the oven 1st thing. Pancakes and waffles can be made ahead and frozen. I'm always astounded and how much folks like chicken and waffles - cheap, fast, delicious.

    Our international guests just love it when we do Traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner. Baking and bought-on-sale Turkey and last can of cranberries + mashed potatoes, gravy and green bean casserole is really easy.

    Adding to the terrific suggestions already made - try individual meat loaves which cooks in your slow cooker/crock pot while you're all visiting or attending an event. Shred it with two forks and drown the meat in heated BBQ sauce. Serve with coleslaw on a bun. If you don't eat pork substitute
    chicken or leftover frozen turkey. By the way, Beef Bourguigone that was Julia Child's favorite is beef stew with root vegetables. We do several made in advance desserts like Brownies cupcakes and fruit crisps.

    Anything that can go in a wrap makes a terrific lunch plus it uses up a plethora of leftovers.

  8. snafu Says:

    sorry sentence contracted...meat loaves cook in oven, pork butt needs hours in crock pot/slow cooker

  9. Buendia Says:

    These are all great suggestions, esp. with Thanksgiving right around the corner... I am gluten-free, my brother/sister-in-law are vegetarian, my father is pescatarian and my mother is a carnivore! It makes planning pretty difficult. But one of my favorites is a tortilla espanola (spanish omelette) since eggs and potatoes are cheap. I'll also make a french toast casserole with almond milk for breakfast. But the taco bar is a great idea - I'm going to use that! That way the veggies can pile in vegetables and my dad can put in some fish, my mom can have chicken or something.

  10. SicilyYoder Says:

    I have guests most weekends since I have grown foster kids. This weekend, I will be alone after noon tomorrow. I will probably eat a sandwich.

  11. ThriftoRama Says:

    We have a lot of house guests, and at this point most or all have a gaggle of kids under 6 with them. It makes it hard, because it seems like every other kid in the universe is a picky eater!

    I always make a point of making big breakfasts fresh in the morning-- eggs/omelettess/ pancakes, waffles, bacon, etc. to get everyone on the right foot. Lunch is usually lunch meat/ pb and J's etc-- something you can assemble yourself when the big breakfast arrives.

    Dinner is more elaborate. Either take-out or order in pizza. For some friends I have food to cook lined up, but they just aren't into home-cooked meals. They eat our all the time or eat out of packages, and I suspect they don't like things like steamed veggies as sides. It's strange, but oh well. Guests first!

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