Keeping Costs Low When Family Visits

Keeping Costs Low When Family Visits

With the holiday season kicking off, a lot of people are starting to fret over the added costs that will automatically happen.  There’s the gift-giving, the office party clothes, and the cost of hosting guests for the holiday meals.  More people doesn’t just mean more mouths to feed, it means more of everything!  Here are some tips and tricks on how to host without going broke.

  • Dial It Back – With a bunch of extra people milling around your house, all of the body heat is going to cause a natural rise in temperature, plus you’re probably going to be cooking, so cut back on the heating. Whatever temperature at which you’re normally comfortable, dial it back about six degrees.  You won’t notice the difference with everyone milling about your house.  You’ll save money and you don’t have to hear your aunt complain that she’s too hot to help with the dishes.
  • Set a Shower Limit – If you have a set budget for most of your expenses, even the addition of one shower is going to register with your bills. If you’re hosting your whole family in your home, chances are it’s going to be a lot more than one additional shower, especially if they’re in town for an extended visit.  Set a shower time limit.  Don’t go crazy with it, but tell people you’d like to keep showers to a certain amount of time in order to ensure everyone has hot water.  However, you’re going to have to stick to it yourself as well!
  • Use What Is Needed – You don’t have to cook everything in your oven at different times. Cook everything that needs to be baked, at the same time.  If there are things that can be cooked in a smaller appliance like a toaster oven, a roasting oven, or the microwave then use those.  They use a lot less energy than your regular oven does and it will free up your time a bit too.  Look around the internet and try to find recipes that can be made in the crock pot too.  Or, if you’re simply the host and the family comes to you, consider making it a pot luck meal.
  • Chock Full – Having people in your house means you are going to have a lot more dishes, laundry, and your food is going to disappear faster. Start their visit with a full refrigerator as a full fridge uses less energy.  Also make sure the dishwasher and the washing machine are full when you’re running them.  Ask guests to leave their laundry in the hallway or in a central location so everything can be washed together, and make sure no one is running the dishwasher without looking in it first.  It may be a running joke, but if it isn’t loaded right, reload it and see how much more you can get in it.   If you don’t, you’ll be wasting money.

Hosting family is always a bit of a harrowing experience.  It’s stressful, it costs more money than you’re used to spending, and – let’s be honest- sometimes you just want your house back at the end of the day.  However, it’s sometimes fun to entertain and have your house brimming with family members.  Don’t shy away from hosting duties just because you think you can’t afford it.

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