Sunday, 26 February 2012

Frugal socialising

Hello Dear Reader,

This is not a blog for those familiar with the steps of the frugal dance, but those on the one two, one two, feet together stage. You see, the old me used to eat in restaurants and meet friends for drinks in pubs. A few rounds of drinks? £50, then dinner for two? That's another £50. A bit of make up, something new to wear, well that's another £50. A work's Christmas do can cost about the same! You can carry on with that old rope or do something different. Start with.......

I don't mean no to going out, or no to a few drinks with friends or no to eating dinner that some one else has cooked. Here are just a few things to try. You could having people over for coffee and cake; a simple home made jam sponge will do. Meet friends on the beach with a picnic, your treat? It's just sandwiches, a bit of cake and a flask. Nothing at all difficult. Work your way up to inviting people over for supper. You will feed a house full for the price of dinner for two. Find your signature dish. Mine are: beef bourginon, lasagne, pizza, roast dinner and all the trimming and a veggie mezze. Make a desert, such as a cheesecake, or lemon meringue that you can make earlier, chill and serve later. Casseroles are a good staple as they can keep hot if people are delayed.

You certainly don't need a sophisticated table. Look out for table clothes and napkins in charity shops, it's a good place to look for cheap and cheerful plates, cutlery and glasses too. I like to serve food in tureens and leave guests to help themselves to however much or little they would like. None of my plates or glasses match and have an eclectic look which I hope allows guests to feel at home. Today, I very much felt at home and was treated to lunch cooked by Foster Mummy. I do most of my socialising in my own home or in the homes of my friends. It's years since I sat in a restaurant (unless we save our Tesco vouchers) and I don't miss it at all.

Now over to you, how do you socialise on a budget? Do you get together with friends, or colleagues, or friends from church. Does anyone still have 'safari suppers', with one course in one house and then off to the next house for the next course?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx


  1. That is so true - it costs a fortune to go out! The cost just escalates - new shoes, new bag to match, drinks etc. I actually went one step further and totally gave up drinking and that has saved me a fortune, but I don't think most people would want to do that. Tim and I both have very real personal reasons for giving it up - both having alcoholic parents and having childhoods ruined by alcohol.

    My friends now are from a different set of people who are into fitness and don't tend to drink so I still socialise just in different ways. We now meet u for exercise instead of drinks. Funny how changing one thing ca change your life completely.

  2. I've often thought about those safari dinners, such a good idea and sounds great fun.

  3. I have to say I dont find this a problem. I dont really socialise as I dont have any friends, family or partner but a great issue to blog about Froogs. x

  4. Had friends over last night and cooked them this:

    So easy to do in the slow cooker and I received lots of compliments!

  5. Potluck, where we organize a complete dinner at one house, but everyone brings a dish. We have even done Thanksgiving that way.
    I have begun lowering expectations for family who drop by for meals. I used to go all out every time, with steak or something fancy, but last night it hummous and veggies for appetizers, homemade chicken soup and cheese biscuits for the meal and rice krispy squares for desert-the grandkids favourites.
    It is a more relaxed meal for the cook.
    Take care,

  6. Tea and a natter with my bestie. About once very six months we might go out to lunch (it's cheaper).

    Pot of tea, some toast, or if I'm too lazy I'll pick up some croissants. Then we do a fridge rummage.

    And yes, she has arrived still wearing her pjs.

  7. Never eat in restaurants; too much food and too much salt and so expensive. No one has plenty of money these days and you just cannot beat home cooked food. Always take food with me if I go out for the day. All the museums over here have a lunch room where you can eat your own picnic.
    I also take a flask - coffee out is astronomic.
    We have a lot of pot-lucks here in the States where everyone brings a dish; iced tea, tap water and coffee to drink. If you can give up alcohol you save a fortune and improve your health.
    i also never buy new clothes for functions I have to attend. A nice pair of clean black pants, a sparkley top and some junk jewellery, stuff I ve had for years or was given to me. I notice no one else is any better dressed than I am and I feel comfortable and presentable.

  8. We have pot luck at our church often. It's lots of fun and cheap and we get to taste many new dishes. JB

  9. I'm lucky that my best friend lives across the road from me. She has got a fancy coffee machine, so I frequently wander over for coffee armed with a homemade sponge cake to share. She's also got a huge flat screen tv and I've often nipped across in pjs and dressing gown for a comfy evening watching a film and sharing a huge bowl of popcorn.

  10. Have theme nights with friends in each other houses. We have celebrated Dicken's birthday, Chinese New year, Medieval Night, Famous Explorers and Call My Bluff.

    Soon to come- Titanic Night, Brunch Meet and Greet (Olympics theme)and Oh La La French Night. Dressing Up is obligatory as is bring a bottle.

  11. For our school staff Christmas "do" we have an organised potluck. We put up a list on the noticeboard where you sign up against a bowl of green salad/ bean salad/potato salad or whatever and then bring that. Certain people are detailed to cook a salmon/turkey/ham. Everybody pays a certain amount and your costs are refunded from that kitty. Any profits go towards buying a few bottles of wine. It has always been a wonderful meal. The venue is a local sports club that has a lot of connections with the school. Pleasant venue (with a bar for those who want it), fabulous food and not a lot of cost involved each. My daughter's staff Christmas "do" cost her and her husband £40 each. I'm not convinced that they got any more fun out of it and certainly, from their account, our food was incredibly better.

  12. Your blog is great, I have just given up the rat race and am now living on meagre means. But I have never been happier. I do so much less, but actually enjoy every day living and special days are something I really treasure. I am a hopeless cook (really hopeless) the trouble is I quite like my weird food so struggle to cater for those with more mainstream tastes! I am obsessed with come dine with me, trying to work out if I would ever be brave enough to go for it. Your post has inspired me!

  13. Me and my pal alternate at each others houses, for coffee and cake. Much cheaper and we can have a good old moan :)
    Twiggy x

  14. We went to visit friends this weekend and we ended up spending SO much money. All through a sense of either obligation (the friends we were staying with wanted to go out for a meal, and how do you say no to that?), or embarrassment because we were hanging out with other friends with whom I used to be on a level financially, and in the last few years things have changed enormously - my earnings have gone down and theirs have gone up and I am sort of ashamed about that.

    I am really angry at my lack of assertiveness (and a little bit at their lack of sensitivity, as well, although mostly at myself). I find it very hard to say no to friends who want to spend money, especially if I feel I will end up being left out of a group. And I am very embarrassed to be thought of as mean or tight, so I often end up spending simply in order not to look bad.

    I have got better at it in the last couple of years, but I really let the side down this weekend - I think in part I was compensating because my friend's husband (who used to be a really good friend himself) really looks down on us and our lack of success, I think, and I find it humiliating. I think he'd think nothing of scoffing or laughing at me if I tried to say I don't want to spend too much money on this or that. These are people who think nothing of blowing £100 on a Sunday afternoon bowling and a meal. Of course, we could simply not go, but I worry that we'll be excluded and miss out.

    I wonder if any of you have faced up to this problem, and how you dealt with it.

  15. Hi 64zoo lane - I'm sorry that happened to you, but they are not real friends if they don't have the brains to know you're on less money and can't afford it. They may have put all that on credit cards and may not have ready money either. Just say we can't afford it! Tell them it's lovely to see them, stay for a coffee and a chat and if they want to go out, let them, give them a a kiss good bye and see them some other time. If they make any thing of it, then they are twats and you are well rid of them! I've had a great time over the last few years as I know who my real friends are!

  16. We often go to a training restaurant. Generally the food is great and if you drink alcohol is cheaper. Yes it still costs but I do enjoy the experiences and because they are few and far between they are extra special.

    Many of local Asian takeaways are not too bad. However most meals are cooked from scratch at home.

  17. Restaurant food is often a let down anyway when you are used to home cooking. We have get togethers where every body brings a contribution. x

  18. It´s amazing how it adds up when you go out; I inevitably find you feel like you´re treating yourself and end up having a big blowout because you´re óut´. But now my mummy friend and I have perfected the art of tea and cake afternoons. We take it in turns to have everyone round. I usually make a cake and some bisuits, buy a packet of something cheapish and make a big pot of tea. It´s actually much more relaxed that sitting in a cafe I find and much cheaper too!

  19. I have a friend who will often organise BBQs at her home - she provides the venue, and everyone brings their own meat, a salad or dessert to share, and their own alcoholic drinks. Cheap, easy on the host, and plenty of food - what more can you ask.


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