Friday, July 17, 2009

Staying In: The New Out

Pic from projects/artwork/

More and more people are realizing they have to readjust their spending/saving habits. The credit system is screwed up and has screwed many many people. And to avoid that, people are starting to spend below their means. One of those ways is that people are taking "staycations" and staying in for entertainment and hanging out with friends. I'm still a strong believer in supporting my local pub or restaurant - but sometimes I DO have fight the urge to splurge without sacrificing my social life.

Potluck Parties
If everyone brings a little something, they can enjoy a great meal while learning about some dishes or two from their friends. Sometimes groups of friends alternate homes for a change in environment (and to alternate clean up/set up/etc. duties).

Sometimes these parties can have themes. I personally enjoy hosting potluck parties in which everyone has the option to interact with the food prep. For example, I've held a sushi party before, in which people have the option to roll their own sushi. It was interesting and funny to see the results - but hey, everything looks the same once it goes into the stomach, right? There was nothing leftover by the time everyone left, so it must've been good :) Earlier this week I also hosted a dumpling party - everyone brought beverages and a fruit or veggie snack, and those who wanted got to wrap the dumplings. I spent $20 to feed 8 people on delicious dumplings, WOW! You can do all sorts of foods - Fajitas, Tacos, Eggrolls, even Pizza (pick your own toppings)! And if everyone contributes, you really do save a lot of money.

On that same vein, BBQ's are fun, too! And people can contribute to this as well. Especially on a nice day, these are wonderful, and even more especial, if you do it at a pool, it's even more awesome! Don't own a pool? I'm sure you might have a friend who has one at their apartment complex or some such thing. No? Ok, how about a kiddie pool? Ah, shucks. I ran out of ideas... Well... either way, they're still fun because you've got your friends :)

Movie Night
This can be done in themes, too. Boys night, girls night, horror movie night, Twin Peaks marathon, Lord of the Rings marathon, etc. etc. etc. People can bring snacks and beverages!

Cooking/Baking Night
Do you know a friend or two who makes a dish you absolutely love and always wanted to know how to make? This could be a great way to get that secret recipe from your friend - in exchange for a recipe of your own, of course...

Book/Movie Club
Ok, this might sound too nerdy for some people. But there can be creative ways to do this, too! Read some Paluhniuk or some Murakami for some spooky quirky reading. Or do a graphic novel themed book club! Comic book these days span WAY beyond those superpowered mutants in tights and underwear. Some can be just as moving or intellectually stimulating as any other prose novel.

Craft/Construction Time!
Even people without any artistic ability can have fun doing crafts or scrapbooking. Or you want to build a custom made bookshelf? Invite some friends to help while sharing some beer and pizza amongst each other.

These are just basic ideas, but I hope this gives some inspiration for some creative Inny Outings :) I'm curious to see what else people have done to entertain themselves at home! Yee! :)


Lara said...

We do tapas' competitions! Each cooks a secret "tapa" and then we try to figure out who made each "tapa" and we score them. We do it at a different house every time and there's always a little seedy prize for the winner. It's both fun and cheap! :-)

alterna180 said...

i love this post! we should make our dystopian movie night a regular event. :) and combine it with potluck because you can't watch movies without tasty snacks.

Right Brain Thinker said...

During the winter I have a Hot Hot Hot Potato party. I supply the baked potatoes, drinks and basics and everyone brings a potato topping. It's a lot of fun to see the different baked potatoes that get "assembled"! Also, the first year I used a potato as a stamp on my invitations. Thanks for the great ideas.