Sunday, September 19, 2010

How To Have Ragin' Paaaaartay!

Dear Cheapskate,

Parties needn't be expensive!  I suggest a party for one. Throw yourself a nice party. Splurge! Treat yourself to something special, like three-bags-for-a-dollar marshmallows from Grocery Outlet. (I saw them today. Go! Run get them!) This will be such a cheap party!

What? You don't think it's a real party unless some guests attend? Ok, fine. If you absolutely must have a party for more than one, here's how to do it:

A party!!

Have your party from 3-5pm. These are “between meals” hours. The object it to confuse your guests about the expectation of a meal. Is it dinner time? Lunch time? Neither? Since they’ll be served only a few snacks your guests will be happier if they aren’t unpleasantly surprised by the lack of a meal.

This happened to me recently when I flew on an airplane for the first time in many years. The last time I flew, back in the 1950’s I think it was, I had a piping hot, delicious meal plus all the extra leftover desserts. I received a box of crayons, a deck of cards, some wings to pin on my shirt, and a pair of cozy foot warmers, plus I got to visit the cockpit and meet the captain. Imagine my shock last month when all I got on the plane was a lousy little bag of peanuts. And I didn’t get to meet the captain!!!!!!!!!!!

Do not shock your guests this way. It would be poor manners to shock your guests.

Serve chips and hummus. You can get an enormous bag of tortilla chips at Costco for under four bucks. Use my hummus recipe (below). Multiply the recipe by ten and you should be good to go. Total cost for snacks: about $9.

In your invitation (use evite or some type of free invitation) indicate “BYOB”. Hopefully your guests will be big on drinks and you’ll end up with a lot of leftover booze.

If you’re worried about having enough glasses (serve tap water), save up empty jars for this purpose. Start saving now!

For fun! If, like me, you’re not used to entertaining, it’s wise to brush up your wit in the days before your party. Look up some jokes online so you can get the conversation rolling with gems like, “Why don't aliens eat clowns? Because they taste funny.”

It’s best to have an ending time. If your guests stay too long they may begin to expect a meal. And if they ate a lot of your snacks the effect of the beans should be kicking in so you may want them out.

I know this will be a fun party!!! Who wants to come????

Cheap Hummus
1 cup dry garbanzo beans
Cook in the pressure cooker with water for 30 minutes
Drain and put them in a blender with
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tahini or peanut butter
the juice from 1 or 2 lemons (get free from neighbor's tree)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika

This post first appeared on The Frugal Hostess.
If you threw a party like mine (the non-loner kind of party, the party with actual human guests) and you still have any friend(s) left, go to the Frugal Hostess's blog and read all her posts. You'll find out how to have a real party!!

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