Just as the festive budget pinch subsided, the Valentine’s gifts and offerings had their turn in making a dent in your wallet. Don’t let that hold you back from still enjoying the last bits of summer with friends and loved ones, and consider one of these affordable, fun options for your next gathering.
By Jana du Plessis
Take a hike (or a picnic)
Eating out doesn’t have to be associated with fancy restaurants and chef-prepared meals. There’s a charm and scrumptious taste to home-made meals and snacks. Pack a backpack with tasty sarmies, fruit and some chocolate trail mix for sustenance along a beach walk or mountain trail. Invite the family, bring the dogs (do check route and trail websites if pets are welcome) and make a day of it!
Bring and share
You know the saying ‘divide and conquer’? It works just as well when having friends over. Choose a DIY-friendly dish like hot dogs, burgers or pizza and ask each attendee to bring their favourite topping and drink. With you only having to provide the meat, rolls and hospitality of your home, it saves money both ways.
Host a high tea
Preparing a full meal for a bunch of people does not only take time and effort, it can quickly climb a costly ladder. If you’re feeling like company, but not the hefty price tag that comes along with having friends over for dinner, decide on a lighter offering instead. Put together a mini high tea with small sandwiches and a cupcake or two to munch on. Alternatively, mix a big bowl of punch and serve chips, pretzels and dip alongside it. Just take careful note of the eats you choose – snack-like things like cheese, preserves and biltong can be pretty pricey, so stick to cheaper options in the chip aisle.