How To Make Your Home Feel Welcoming On A Budget, Part 2

Can I tell you a little secret? Entertaining doesn’t cost a lot. Procrastination does. Every time I’ve gone over budget for a party or spent more than what I felt like it was worth (because what’s the point of spending more than you have to, right?), I’ve always regretted it. It’s also always been because I had too much on my to-do list.

For the past several years, I’ve been a big fan of Money Saving Mom. Not only does she have great money-saving tips and coupons, but she also promotes time management. Why? Because not only can procrastination eat up our time, it eats up our wallet, as well. Seriously, y’all.

We all have the same amount of time in our day. Something I’ve struggled with over the years is busyness. There’s just no point in being busy just to be busy. I’d much rather streamline my time to be productive. Think of our day as a budget. We all have a choice in how we use our time. Are you making the most of it?

Here are a couple of my tricks for entertaining while not spending a lot of money or time.

  • Pare down the menu – Stick with a protein, veggie and a carb. Add a bread if you really want to. Added tip – Utilize your crock pot!
  • Don’t overbook your day – This is especially true for the day of an event. Don’t have it where you’re coming home just 15 minutes prior to having people over for dinner.
  • Plan in advance – If you aren’t waiting until the last minute, you won’t overspend at the store for food. You might find some great deals a week before your dinner party that you’re able to freeze. Or, instead of buying a pre-bought dessert, you can use low-cost ingredients to make one yourself.

Check back for Part 3! What are some tips you use to help yourself not procrastinate? Thank you for reading!!

Traditions and Recipes

(Birthday girls get birthday pie in the South)

Last night I made some pies for a rehearsal dinner. Every time I make pies now, it reminds me of my granny. She was the pie queen. Every single crust of hers was perfectly thin and flaky. Just enough of the filling would soak in to make it delicious and worth every calorie. Like most Southern cooks, she never measured; she just felt the give the mixture gave to let her know if more milk, sugar, etc. might be needed. It never mattered. They came out just right each time.I wish I had that talent. I, on the other hand, have scoured over a dozen recipes my granny had written down (just for chocolate meringue pie) to try to find one that remotely tastes like my granny’s did. Before she passed away, I had her try some, and she gave me pointers for improving it – let the crust bake for about 90 seconds longer, increase the temperature about 15 degrees. Suggestions like these. About six months before she passed away, she gave me the approval. But, truthfully, I think she said it to be nice. No pie could ever touch hers.

My mother-in-law has always joked that if someone asks for her recipe, she gives it to them with a minor alteration. Maybe a slight measurement change or missing an ingredient that isn’t vital to the dish. She said that way people think, “Hmmm, it just isn’t quite as good as when Jane Smith made it.” However, I truly believe that it never is the same anyway. Recipes keep memories alive. Sometimes that right bite takes us back to our granny’s house, with a window AC unit, open windows in the kitchen that had simple white curtains blowing in the summer breeze, our bare feet on the laminate flooring and the perfect creamy bite of chocolate meringue pie in our month. No earthly mansion could compare to the paradise we experienced in that moment. No need for keeping up with the Joneses, as we had something they never would – a pie made with love from arthritic hands and a beautiful heart.

Although I’m missing my granny a lot lately, I’m so thankful for every memory I had with her and the recipes I get to share with Katherine and Grant. I hope you have plenty of memories like these, as well. If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section. Let’s keep the memories alive.

As always, thank you for reading!