Let’s set the scenery, shall we. It is summertime, you took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course, and you are on the cash only/envelop system. You decide to splurge on entertainment as you pay off your debt in the debt snowball, so you allocate an extra $20-30 bucks for a night out, except this time, you are eating in. So how can you transform your space into an experience?  Well, I’m glad you asked.
Below are five simple transformations that you can do in your home to give you that wow factor at your next meal.
1. Shop your local grocery store for bundles of flowers. I scored five different bundles of flowers ranging from carnations and miniature roses to mums for only twenty dollars. Instead of using the traditional vases, I opted for a pitcher, a few bottles, and an upcycled wine bottle. Be creative. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful atmosphere. In order to incorporate more time with my girls, I let my kiddos help me fill the containers with the flowers.  The arrangements do not have to be perfect, and you are not going to get a ticket from the Floral police so just have fun, and be free to color outside the lines. IMG_1481
2. Shop the sale or clearance first. I went to Home Goods on separate occasions and went with shatter proof dishes with a playful pattern for $2.99 to $3.99 each. I also purchased both clear and aqua drink wear because they did not have five of the same color. It’s ok that every other dish or glass is different. It actually adds more character.  I chose a glass with lots of texture to make the goblets look richer.  The glasses are translucent so when you put ice in them, they really sparkle in the light. Because the dishes are shatterproof, I don’t mind if my kids or my nieces or nephews drink from them. It’s a two for one…Beautiful yet functional at the same time. You can’t go wrong with that. If eating with your family or entertaining guests, the dishes look really nice and add an upscale look to a normal meal.
3. Mix and Match your Flowers. You can mix and match the store bought flowers with ones from your garden. During the month of May, there will be beautiful blooms, so grab a couple of crepe mertiles florals, roses, and leafy stems from your garden and incorporate them in your arrangement. In the picture, I added a few of my roses and azaleas and they blended perfectly. To preserve the florals, always cut the stems at an angle and change your water ever five days.
4. Set up a self serving station. Grab a cutting board or platter that you already own, add a few fresh fruits, cheeses, or meats, and a couple of cold drinks, and you have a gathering spot before the dinner is served. I like to have conversations with my kids and husband before we eat so we can catch up, learn how our day went, and just have small talk. With this nifty trick and less than $20, you can create a fresh appetizer that is healthy for your family. IMG_2184
5. Incorporate the season. I added a few sea shells I bought from the dollar store with a container I already owned. By adding a little bit of beach-themed accessories, a tranquil vibe of summer was added to the space. I picked up a few gifts that were less tan $3.00 each to give to my guests for coming to enjoy the dinner with me.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and you got a few tips that can make your next meal more beautiful without breaking the bank.
Patrice Morié Davis