Sometimes that "mystery meat" isn't such a bad thing.
Recession Mama: What about entertaining on a budget? I am a real fan of the potluck dinner. If I'm invited to dinner where the host is preparing all the food, I ask to bring wine, a dessert or an appetizer. If the offer is rejected, I bring flowers or chocolates for the host's family to enjoy later. People always like to bring something -- I know this because of the number of scented candles in my closet.
With the potluck dinner, everyone brings something and no one feels that the host is terribly put upon. With my friends, we also rotate houses. This is not your mother's potluck.
Well, maybe it is your mother's potluck. I hosted one last winter where everyone had to bring a dish from their childhood. Let me tell you that cream of mushroom soup was an ingredient in fully 50% of the dishes. Also prominently featured were Velveeta, fruit cocktail and canned tuna. We all laughed at the hideous concoctions with names that included the words "Polynesian" and "surprise," joked that we should have eaten before attending the party, then we had dinner...and seconds.
Turns out, all that easy to prepare, lowbrow comfort food we grew up on is delicious. The next theme will be "Dishes we made with our roommates in college" and then maybe "Dishes we made to impress a date." I can't wait!
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!