Scripture commands hospitality but sometimes it can be a challenge to figure that into our finances. Check out these 5 inexpensive hospitality ideas!
Inexpensive Hospitality Ideas so Entertaining Guests Won’t Break the Bank
There seems to be a growing trend toward seclusion for one reason or another in our society. One of the big reasons is that we have a false sense that we cannot let each other in unless everything is perfect. We think our hosting needs to live up to Pinterest standards.
I know there are a lot of other contributing factors but social media has, in many ways, done harm to our actual socializing. We have to choose to have genuine personal relationships and live in such a way that we welcome others with hospitality.
The house must be clean and the finances in order so that we can lavish our guests with the perfect meal and we must know how to do it from scratch.
In reality though, hospitality is about making our guests feel loved, welcomed, embraced, and cared for. It has very little to do with cleanliness of the house or the meal that is served.
We don’t need to feel like our homes need to be showpieces. Very few people live like that in real life. If you do, more power to you! You can be an excellent housekeeper or just one who is skating by. You can be a gourmet chef or just decent at heating up frozen pizza. We all have different skills and abilities and we need to celebrate that, not compare.
There are no hard and fast rules to welcome – just love the people in front of you with what you have, be it little or much!
The reality is, a lot of the time, my children have toys strewn throughout the house, my dishes overflow (cannot wait to get a dishwasher!!), and the laundry sometimes takes on a life of its own.
In the midst of all that, I can still choose to be hospitable and loving.
Related: Guide to Creating a Welcoming Home
But what if you feel strapped financially? You can’t imagine welcoming someone else in because all you can see is $$ with every bite they eat or sip they take? I understand the temptation to fall into that way of thinking but the question becomes: what can you do about it? Perhaps one idea is to look for creative, inexpensive ways to be hospitable.
Related: Hospitality is about Connection, Not Perfection
Hospitality Is Commanded
I think the first thing to remember is that God is the giver of everything we have, the owner of it all, and the one Who brings people to us. He has commanded us to the be hospitable (Romans 15:7; 1 Peter 4:9) and He has also provided for us. We need to trust God to work out the details as we seek to fulfill the commands of Scripture and love people well.
We are also supposed to be generous and that command doesn’t change based on our finances (Romans 12:13) (though what is generous for one is not necessarily the same as is generous for another).
It is genuinely wise to consider finances when deciding how you are going to be hospitable. Here are a few ideas I have come up with that are inexpensive but also genuinely a blessing to people.
Related: When Finances Make Hospitality Hard
Watching children for a friend, church member, or neighbor
This is one of my favorites! Children, especially young children, are happy with just about anything. If you have attention to give, they are thrilled. Sit and read, chase them around playing some crazy made up game, turn the sprinkler on – they will be happy and their parents will feel blessed by your openness. This costs almost nothing but is a perfect way to welcome others.
I am a pastor’s wife and this is an area I feel particularly passionate about. I am happy to watch pretty much anyone’s children but especially those from our church. I really want them to grow up feeling connected to and blessed by being in their pastor’s home. I hope someday some of them will say that many of their favorite childhood memories happened in our home. I pray often that it would translate into a lifetime of love for the church and comfort in the presence of church leadership.
When putting together an entire dinner seems daunting or far too expensive, hosting dessert is a great idea. Put on a pot of hot water or coffee, make some brownies, and you are all set. It can easily be done for $5 total and you can be a blessing those around you.
One of my all-time favorites! I love coffee and usually a coffee date doesn’t happen inside my house which is even better for a mom of littles craving human interaction!
For me this has meant conversations about life, spirituality, and the church. I have discipled college students by working through gospel centered books together or Bible study materials and I have been discipled as I sat with Godly women – young and old – as they worked through their trials and joys.
Coffee (or tea if that’s your thing) is inexpensive and can happen anytime during the day and anytime during the year (which is great when you live in snow country!). Literally one of my favorite means to inexpensive hospitality!
So you really want to host a dinner but can’t seem to fit it in the budget? A simple solution is to have everyone bring something! You make a main dish and then have everyone bring something that works well.
As an example: Do a cookout. You supply the meat and buns. Someone else brings chips and drinks. Another brings potato or pasta salad. Another brings fruit or veggies. Another brings paper products. Another brings dessert.
It won’t cost you nearly as much. It won’t take nearly as much time. And everyone will be blessed. Thanksgiving is another meal this works well for but I would say there are a lot of great options.
Meet at a park
Go for a walk. Have a cookout. Watch your children play.
Spend time in conversation, loving one another and finding ways to come alongside each other in the journey of life. This is free aside from the gas it may take to get there and is a great way to connect and be welcoming.
Inexpensive Hospitality is Still Just as Beautiful
The moral of the story is – get out and do it. There are so many ways to get creative with inexpensive hospitality. Hospitality is commanded in Scripture for the entire church. It may not look the same for you as it does for others but it is a command that we ought to take seriously. And, as is true with all of God’s commands, it is truly for our good.
Related: Christian Hospitality for the Glory of God
Looking for some more inexpensive hospitality ideas and tips? Check out this FREE printable I’ve put together for you! Subscribe below and 21 Frugal Hospitality Ideas and Tips will be sent directly to your email!
What are some of your favorite inexpensive hospitality ideas?Let me know in the comments below!
Love this so much! I so often spend hours cleaning my house before people come over, but this is so encouraging to open my doors regardless of my messy kitchen or dirty floors! I somehow came across your blog from a comment you left on someone else’s blog, and you have so many great articles!
I’m so glad you found my site and were encouraged!! That is why I write 🙂 It is such a blessing when we are able to open our doors and welcome people into our hearts whether or not our houses are perfectly together! <3