5 Frugal Meals to Serve to Guests

One of the things I often let get away from me is inviting people over for a meal.  Or at all, really.  We don't have a big house, and I worry that people won't want to come over to a house so small.  Which is really silly when you think about it, because if someone turns down an offer to come to our house based on the size, well, I guess they weren't really good friends to begin with.  And if I was honest with myself I don't really believe there is a long list of people who would turn down an offer to enjoy a time of food and conversation, no matter what the size of our or anyone's house is.

That being said, extending hospitality can feel stressful on a tight budget.  But it really doesn't have to be.  Yes, you may have had a chance to be blessed by eating steak when you were invited over to your friend's house last time, but it doesn't mean you have to serve steak as well!  There are so many yummy options that can fit your budget.  Here are 5 frugal meals to serve to guests.

1.  Loaded Potato Soup, homemade bread, and a side salad.  If you can't impress your guests with steak, pull out the homemade bread. :)  Few people can resist a slice of freshly made homemade bread slathered with butter.

2.  Spaghetti, homemade bread, and a side salad.  Spaghetti might seem too casual to serve to guests, but when you add some hamburger to the sauce and pair it with some bread and salad, it is anything but casual.  

3.  Chili, homemade bread, and a side salad.  I know I sound like a broken record with the bread and side salad, but it really completes many meals.  Chili is also a crowd pleaser, easily made in the crockpot, and so delicious.

4.  Homemade pizza, and a side salad or cut veggies and dip.  I love making this meal when we have families with a lot of kids over.  I usually make some cheese pizza for the many kids who don't want any other toppings, and then I will make a pizza with a lot more toppings for the adults.

5.  Hot dogs/hamburgers and a side or potato salad.  Fire up the bbq and enjoy the outdoors next time you invite guests over.  When we invite families over kids often prefer hot dogs over hamburgers which are cheaper anyways.  We will cook both hot dogs and hamburgers and everyone can have their pick.  Enjoy a homemade potato salad, or garden salad on the side.

Also, when someone asks what they can bring, always respond with a yes.  We will often suggest someone bring a salad or dessert if they offer.

What are some frugal meals you serve to guests coming over that aren't in the above list? Does cost scare you away from inviting people over for a meal?