Maybe your budget is limited. Hospitality is still an art you can (and should) practice. The purpose of hospitality is not to showcase your home or dazzle guests with amazing food.
Hospitality is simply “receiving and entertaining strangers or guests …with kind and generous liberality” (Webster).
Hospitality is a Scriptural command. Leaders in the church are required to “be given to hospitality.” Each member of the church should also seek to use their home to minister to the needy, mutually “sharpen” friends, and “entertain strangers”.
In our fast-paced, online society, taking the time to open your home and engage with people right around you is especially important.
10 Way to Show Hospitality on a Budget
- Create a welcoming environment using what you have. A scented candle, pretty music or jar of wildflowers add a warm touch and are inexpensive. Use items you have and remember that hospitality is not a Martha Stewart contest!
- Open your home, without serving food. If your food budget scarcely lets you feed your own family, you can show hospitality without serving a meal. Watch a friend or neighbor’s children to give them a break. Invite a friend over in the afternoon, just to chat.
- Remember, you don’t have to host dinner. Invite a friend for lunch or breakfast. One of my favorite times of fellowship was over brunch. My sister-in-law and her husband invited several couples over and made homemade waffles topped with strawberries and ice cream. It was delicious, simple and fit their budget.
- Make homemade cookies or brownies. Whenever you make cookies, make a big batch and freeze the extra dough in wax paper to pull out for fresh hot cookies at a moment’s notice. Many cookie recipes freeze well: Almond Crunch Cookies are some of my favorite!
- Compile a simple rotating company menu. Think through the meals and desserts your family loves. Make a list of meals that you can serve when company is coming. They don’t have to be expensive or gourmet. Soups, homemade pizza and Savory Lentil Rice Casserole are delicious, yet budget-friendly.
- Keep ingredients for those meals stocked. This will save on gas money and impulse purchases… and relieve a whole lot of stress!
- Shop your cupboards and use what you have. Maybe unexpected company is coming and you’re almost out of groceries. Get creative. A missionary shared an inspiring story of a time she only had one onion, some cheese and spices in the house. Company unexpectedly dropped by. Instead of panicking, she turned the onion and cheese into a savory creation that her guest raved about!
- Make bread or biscuits to serve with your meal. Homemade baked goods are increasingly rare and enliven even the humblest of meals.
- Serve water or make your own iced tea. Add sliced lemon to “make it fancy”. Homemade tea costs a fraction of store-bought. I buy a box of 100 tag-less tea bags at Walmart for $1. Using four per quart, that’s enough to make more than six gallons of tea. Better yet, grow your own mint!
- Share the load. Let your guest bring a side. If you are hosting a large group, plan a meal that all can contribute to, like burritos. Have each guest bring a filling or two. Or, host a potluck type event.