Should there always be food available when having people over?
Once a week, people will be at my house for choir rehearsal in the evening. Everyone knows they're to have dinner before coming over but should I still put out some snacks? My only concern is that I don't have a lot of money to feed people. I don't mind putting out something to drink, like tea and water. Maybe if people wanted to chip in a dollar or two, I can offer to shop for snacks?
I would want to have something, but that is just me. If there are over 6 or 7 people coming every week, I can't imagine they would expect you to feed them on your own. I don't know how it is in your circle of friends, but in my experience people would probably enjoy taking turns bringing the snacks. You can start a list. I'd ask several people before I started the list though. Perhaps there is a tradition of not eating at choir practice?
I could not imagine having people into my home and not offering them something. ...but I am Southern...lol
I don't think it has to be anything elaborate...cookies and lemonade, cheese straws and ice tea,etc
I think sueatmo has a great idea. You provide tea and water, and someone else brings the snack each week--as long as people don't make this into a big deal where it then becomes a competition to bring the best. Bu then you're choir folks so not competitive ;)
Bahahahaha! My first thought to the above was, "I'm a Jewish mother; it's not possible that there wouldn't be food available." At any time. Day. Night. Three a.m. A nibble? Sure. Full meal? Pretty much name it. It's almost a sickness.
To answer your question though, I think taking a quick survey of people's expectations is the way to start; it nobody wants it, don't trip, if they do, take up a collection weekly for the snack kitty, maybe $2/person, or start a roster and have people take turns. Set a dollar limit, though, so that people won't get into the wonderful world of one-upsmanship, which wrecks the whole point of providing a nice simple snack for a group of friends w/ similar interests. Would like to point out that you're already extending yourself as a hostess for a non-food event, so your contribution is done, etiquette-wise.
Offer a Fresh Vegetable Crudite Platter with some Bottled dressing. ......very inexpensive and you would be surprised how far you can stretch it with only 5-6 vegetables.....but then, I have a number of Asian Grocery store available to me where a number of vegetables are never over 99 cents per pound.
Splurge with a can of olives.....you can find them in dollar stores.