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Entertaining on a Budget

Entertaining on a Budget

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

Just because you don’t have a lot of cash doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer! Here are some ways that you and your crew can have a blast without busting the bank.

  • The pot luck “crawl”. Organize a night where all of your friends make a different dish. Then go house hopping to sample each of the dishes. Like a bar crawl, but with food.
  • The good old-fashioned potluck. Get a group together once a week and alternate whose crib the event will be held at. Everyone invited brings a dish. Before you know it, for a contribution of $5, you’ve got a big regular-standing home cooked meal.
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  • BYOB. Everyone brings a six pack (of something LEGAL) and a bag of chips. Organize it around something fun (and free)—a sporting event, a TV series, hey, you can even organize it around election night! Or, forget the “event” and just plug your iPod into some speakers. A party will most definitely ensue.
  • Movie night. Start a film club. Organize a crew for a once-a-week get together where you rent a movie and discuss afterward. Like a book club, but there’s no advance reading (don’t you get enough of that in class?). The upsides: This will work with every crowd—from action seekers, to horror lovers, to the IFC types. And once you’ve all chipped in on the $4 rental fee, you’ve had a good time for about fifty cents.
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  • Card tournament. These are a staple at historically black colleges and universities with Spades, but they will work just about anywhere. Whether it’s Poker, Spades, Bridge or whatever, it’s always a good time. Once you’ve organized a crew with regular game nights, narrow down the players in an end of season “tournament” and make the final game into a big BYOB event, where other non-players are invited. Up the stakes, and play for “dollars” on your meal card — in addition to bragging rights.
  • Bring back the great outdoors. There’s so much you can do outside and most if it’s cheap or free. Bonfires are a great insta-party— especially if you live near a beach. If you have a tent and a sleeping bag, camping is cheap to free and a lot of fun with great group of friends. Or, take the traditional pot-luck outdoors for a barbeque twist. Assemble your crew and let the good times roll!


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