If you’re as frugal (read: cheap) as I am, but also love good food and socializing, I have two words for you:
I didn’t actually organize this potluck, we have them at work about 4 times a year. I don’t want to impress you too much, leading you to believe that I’m a hostess rivaling the likes of Rhodey Girl because that would inevitably lead to a let down. And I wouldn’t do that to you.
Plus, I don’t want you to think this is my own decor.
I believe that’s called Golden Girls Chic.
I do have some potlucking tips for you, though.
1. Contribute. If you’re invited to a potluck, bring something. Homemade food is always nice, but someone has to be the one to bring the beverages and plastic forks. Just don’t show up empty handed.
2. Don’t overreach. If you go the homemade route, pick a dish that fits into your schedule and budget. There are plenty of things you can bring that are cheap and/or don’t take much time. Case in point: my beer bread.
The cream cheese was $1.99 at Trader Joes and I had all the other ingredients in my pantry. I had some time on my hands to make the bread (who am I kidding, we all know that’s a lie- refer to yesterday’s post- just go with it) but I didn’t want to drop a lot of cash.
3. Bring the popular kid to the party. This is totally an ego thing. Everyone likes to know that other people enjoy their food, right? So make something that people are guaranteed to like. In my experience, these are the first things to go:
Mac ‘n cheese, chips and dip, fruit (I made skewers once with chunks of pineapple and watermelon and they were GONE) and brownies. The fewer utensils and dishes that people need, the more apt they’ll be to pick up your dish.
Also, pay attention to presentation. I think one of the reasons that my fruit skewers went so fast is that they were really pretty.
And remember, if your dish for some insane reason doesn’t seem to be moving, don’t fret. You’re getting a great meal regardless!
I’d also like to take a tip from Grace (of Will & Grace fame)- when navigating a buffet of any kind, stock up on the pricey foods first and then eat the cheapies. Ruthless? Yes. Cheap? You bet. Smart? Duh.
What’s your go-to dish to bring to a potluck?