As the season changes, you will soon be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. As a host, you want to give your guests the best possible experience. It's never too early to start good habits that will make your life easier when you have guests. Did you know that the average host in North America spends over $300 between food and dinner for Thanksgiving only? The cost includes only one dinner for approximately 10 people. However, if you add unexpected guests, people staying overnight, and repeat dinners for guests visiting on another day, you might have to double or triple your budget. Being prepared and organized at home can save you money and hassle in the long run, while improving your guests' experience!
Focus on comfort
Are you going to invite your guests to coffee and biscuits after dinner? The living room is best suited for pre and post dinner snacks. You can't host your guests comfortably without considering your living room setup. Too many hosts improvise with chairs and benches, which may be uncomfortable. Indeed, chances are you will need to use the same chairs around the dinner table, which means you will constantly need to move those chairs. It is a hassle! Ideally, you want to create an inviting space, using a combination of 2 seater sofas, single armchairs, and quirky poufs ottoman. These are comfy and firm enough so people can enjoy a drink without risk of spilling it.
Keep your food organized
Food waste has reached alarming numbers in the United States. Unfortunately, big dinner parties are prone to creating waste, which means you buy more than you need. The last thing you need is to spend money on items you will throw away. So here are some useful techniques to avoid unnecessary food waste:
- Organize your fridge and freezer so you can see at a glance what you have. This will ensure you are not buying twice or leaving forgotten items to rot on the back shelf.
- Keep a list of what you need to buy, updating the list as you go through the week. Ideally, the list should align with your menu plan so you know you are only buying the ingredients you need. It is easy to fall for seasonal promotions, but impulsive grocery shopping is the source of most food waste issues!
- Know about your guests' dietary requirements. This will be important when buying, storing and preparing food for the big day and for overnight guests.
Sharing rather than hamper making
Preparing a cute basket with specially curated hand-size toiletry products next to their bath towel can make the guest bedroom feel luxurious. However, when you have more than one guest, you end up spending a lot of money on environmentally harmful toiletry products. Instead, opt for family-size, eco-friendly bath products that can be accessible to all your overnight guests in the bathroom. They will be cheaper and last considerably longer in comparison. If you have multiple bathrooms, make sure to stock each with all the necessary:
- Hand soap for the sink
- Shower gel or soap
- Shampoo in bar or bottle
- Conditioner in bar or bottle
- Reusable face pad (instead of cotton pads)
- Environmentally-friendly cotton buds
These little tips can help make your home practical, inviting, and manageable. More importantly, they will avoid the last-minute stress the days before your guests arrive! Of course, there is still the question of sharing cooking efforts with some of your guests, but that is a matter for another time!