Entertaining 101: Must-have items to have on hand for unexpected guests

If you love at home entertaining, even unexpected guests are usually welcome for you.  However, you may be tight on funds and maybe even space is even tighter, but you want to be prepared just in case you have an unplanned chance to host a few or many people. Of course you can order a pizza or other takeout/delivery snacks, but that lacks a personal touch. And BYOB after college can be seen as gauche.

These items are so simple and easy to keep around that they create the illusion of going to trouble for company, even though these tips are not too time-consuming. Your guests are probably more interested in spending time with you and may not immediately care that you are prepared, but they will notice that you care enough to make an effort.

Here are some consumable items to always keep on hand (without breaking the bank nor taking up too much space) for welcome, but relatively unexpected guests for affordable entertaining at home.


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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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