When having guests, most people would like to lay out the red carpet and make their guests feel very welcomed by treating them as they would were they the Queen of England. Royal treatment makes guests feel like their presence is a treat to the extent that the hosts are willing to invest so much time, energy, and money just to have them visit. Who wouldn’t want their guests to feel this special when they come to visit? You may assume that in order to host guests in such a way, it costs a lot of money. This, fortunately, is not the case. There are some things that you can spend money on one time that will allow you to entertain guests nicely for long periods of time after that, so even money spent ends up being cheap in the long run. Hosting royally on a budget will take some extra time investment, but it is worthwhile because then your guest feels loved without you needing to break the bank.
Preparing Their Room
To make your guest room feel extra inviting for your visitors, try modeling it after a room in a five star hotel. The investment of a matching sheet set, together with matching bath towels and face towels, folded onto the bed will make the place seem more inviting. You don’t need satin sheets or high quality towels if they’re all in a matching color scheme- eBay or even cheap department stores are perfectly fine places to look for these.
Some decorations on the wall in the same color scheme as the bed set and towels ties the look together.
A nice additional touch is a vase on the nightstand, possibly filled with flowers- these can even be wild flowers that you picked yourself, or artfully arranged and possibly painted branches, even in a homemade vase. Pinterest is filled with ideas how to make such things cheaply yet aesthetically.
Consider a basket filled with all sorts of goodies for your guests to feel right at home- mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (you can refill these from larger, cheaper bottles each time), bottles of water, homemade cookies, chocolate, spray deodorant, and perhaps also feminine hygiene products.
Meals with Guests
While going out for dinner to a restaurant with guests may feel necessary if you want them to feel welcome, it can be quite pricey. Guests will feel just as special, possibly even more, if instead of taking them out to dinner, you treat them to a fancy dinner at your home.
To make a meal at home a fancy meal, most important is the ambiance. Turn on some nice music on the stereo, ideally soft music, light some candles, and put on a nice tablecloth. (If you don’t have a nice tablecloth, thrift stores are a good source for cheap ones.) Set the table with your finest dishes, and serve a fancy meal. If you don’t have fancy dishes, you can get nice dishes at thrift stores that you can artistically mix and match.
Don’t do a one pot meal- that won’t generally make a guest feel special. Make at least two courses, or three, counting dessert, if not more. Giving everyone their own freshly baked rolls will score points for fanciness, especially if served with nice dips and spreads such as pates. Alternatively, you can put some crackers or pitas or rolls in a basket on the table.
Appetizers will increase the fanciness of the meal; these don’t need to be expensive or even time consuming to make to be nice. Mini foods such as mini quiches plated artistically on little plates are usually hits, as are things skewered or stacked beautifully. Sauces and garnishes will help fancy up those dishes for extra points. Soups are also great appetizers.
For the main course, plating things in the kitchen can help make the meal feel fancier than if everything were served family style. It can also help keep things cheaper because then you don’t need to worry about whether or not it looks tacky and cheap for there not to be mounds of food on the table for the guests. Making one serving of the main dish for each guest present is perfectly fine, so long as you make sure there are plenty of side dishes available for people to fill up on. Main dishes can be stretched to look fancier, like wrapping thinner pieces of meat around vegetables or rice instead of serving giant slabs of meat to everyone.
Drinks can be homemade- so long as there is variety and not just water served, no one will miss the more expensive soft drinks.
While your guests are over, especially if they’re visiting from another city, it is very tempting to want to take them on trips to keep them entertained. This can certainly add to the cost of hosting. Try arranging some cheap or free activities to do with the guests- taking them on a tour of your hometown is always a hit, as are picnics in the park, and hiking. Many city councils publish lists of municipality sponsored events and programs that are enjoyable and free, which are great options for entertaining guests. You can always do a game night at home as a cheap/free alternative to going out.
You certainly can give guests the royal treatment and make sure they have the time of their lives when visiting you without needing to spend a fortune! All it takes is a little pre-planning and you’re set!
About the author:
Penny is a mother who abides by a strict budget and shares her frugal, money saving strategies on her blog, Penniless Parenting. When she’s not busy trying out a new gluten free recipe or chasing her toddler around, Penny contributes her tips on how to live a rich life on a minimum wage on the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a community that provides debt consolidation and money-saving advice.