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Old 06-30-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,898,580 times
Reputation: 1896

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I have visited this site infrequently (frugal living) as we are trying hard to change our lifestyle,quite honestly only because we have been forced to right now... have a house still on the market in another state that we had to move from due to a relo and paying for a new mortgage as well...
Kind of putting a little "dent" in our spending habits....

SO-we were secretly hoping that this year we would not have as much out of town company that seem to love to visit us no matter where we relocate to! I guess we should be grateful to have such a close knit family and close friends and that we have always (and still do) live close by many things... as I have stated in my few posts here....
BUT.... we have always gone completely out of our way for our guests.
I always want to be sure everyone feels comfortable and has everything they need,right down to the kind of milk and OJ they drink and their children's fav things as well....
We literally double our grocery bills when we have company,especially when they are coming with children.
It upsets my husband a lot because truthfully when we visit them ,we get what we get,that means,we get what they eat on a daily basis and there is obviously no going out of their way for us.
I don't mind it,but it is very obvious that we "try" a little harder.
They drink 1% we buy skim,their kids like some OJ that is hard to find (well it is some generic brand) we drink Tropicana,their kids complained the last time I didn't buy their brand so now I buy their kind and ours,now I have 2 different gallons of milk in the house,they eat a lot of sugar based cereals,we don't... I buy them (wow-those cereals are expensive!).
Do you get my drift?
Not only do we go out of our way for food,but we do everything with them,they want to go here and there and we really can do these things whenever,we don't want to be spending money on things that we can do on the weekends.

This year my husband has put his foot down with me and said that because we are paying 2 mortgages,we are NOT spending all this extra money on food for them. They will drink our milk and our OJ and if they don't like it,they can go to the grocery store and buy what they want...
I don't think that is being very "accomodating" as a guest (it is hard for me to do that,but I don't mind going to their house and having it done that way for us) ,I just enjoy being a host.
We have already made it clear that we aren't going all over this time when they come and they said that "it was up to us if we just wanted to sit around".... we belong to a pool club and I said we can all go there,the kids will love it and their response was "we have a pool at home" (which they do,but we don't!_).
Sometimes they seem extremely grateful and other times,extremely rude.
One year they came home from the store while they were here and said they felt badly because we had made such nice dinners for them and they had not contributed,so they bought us packs of hot dogs! really?
I don't want to sound ungrateful,but we were insulted...

So..... how do we still be the gracious hosts that we enjoy being but doing in a much lower budget? how do you nicely tell someone "sorry,this is what you get"....
It is very hard for us. (well-me more so than my husband).
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: 23.7 million to 162 million miles North of Venus
5,201 posts, read 4,777,593 times
Reputation: 4219
Hot dogs? Seriously?

The last time we went visiting out of town we bought a brisket, and all of the fixings, and we cooked it too.

I realize you want to put your best foot forward where that is concerned, but if money is a bit tight you will have to cut somewhere else. By doing that your family will be the ones who will have to do without something.
Your kids, and husbands, needs should come before the (unnecessary) needs of any visitor.

Just my opinion but I would say if you are paying two mortgages then you should just feed those who visit your normal fare. It's good enough for you, it's good enough for your family... it should be good enough for visitors.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:44 PM
 
304 posts, read 782,079 times
Reputation: 163
Take care of your own household first.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,846 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
Why do you want to impress these people? I'm curious about your motivation. When in doubt as to what to do, I often think "What do I want as the outcome?" and go from there. If your motivation is to keep them coming, you are doing a great job. If your motivation is to have them like you, I wonder how you can tell the difference between liking you and your catering to their whims. If your motivation is to conserve your resources right now, a hiatus on visitors might be an idea.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,706 posts, read 21,750,727 times
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You just need to be yourselves, your lovely, desirable, fun loving, accommodating selves...but it stops short of the special groceries and attraction fees. Not saying that you shouldn't do something special for them.

A few years ago, my husband was sent on a business trip to Florida; son and I just sucked up the extra room space to make a family vacation. A couple of days into this trip, we were informed that DH would be joined by an associate who would be staying...in the room with him. My husband looked in vain for a room, conventions, and there was nothing to be found. His college friend and wife put (sulky) teenage son and I up for the week, bless them; I hadn't seen them in years.

There were a few difficult times during the week and I'm sure that were not the ideal guests, but we did try. We were welcome to anything that they had, but they did not offer to buy extras or things that they would not otherwise use (everyone contributed to snacks and drinks on the patio two evening) These people had skim milk in the refrig and my teenager told me that he only liked whole milk, so I told him to drink something else. We were so grateful, and they so gracious, that we took them out to dinner two times that week. We couldn't really afford it, but it was cheaper than a hotel room, could we have gotten one. That's not exactly the way that we looked at it, but did it in thanks for their hospitality.

They were kind enough to drop us off, and pick up, from attractions twice that week when my husband was busy with work.

If guests want to have fun with hosts and visit, it should be an activity that is agreeable to all, or you should be their guest in thanks for having them.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,316 posts, read 17,951,460 times
Reputation: 7980
Hmm, I'd just be upfront with them and tell them since you have two mortgages to cover you can't afford to buy the different brands of milk and such. Offer to take them to the grocery to get what they want, otherwise they will just have to eat whatever is available. Another other option is to go on a specific super duper new and improved scientific diet while they are there. Something involving amino acid broth and brown rice exclusively. Betcha they would start buying their own food right away.

We have a pair of mixed vegetarians visit occasionally. One will eat cheese but only if it is goat cheese, the other will eat eggs but only if they come from happy chickens and as far as I can tell neither one of them actually eats vegetables. I take them to the grocery store as soon as they get here so they can pick out appropriate foodstuffs since it is impossible to stock edibles that suit their requirements. They both adore Korean take out so a stop by the Korean restaurant is always in order, too.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,898,580 times
Reputation: 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
Hmm, I'd just be upfront with them and tell them since you have two mortgages to cover you can't afford to buy the different brands of milk and such. Offer to take them to the grocery to get what they want, otherwise they will just have to eat whatever is available. Another other option is to go on a specific super duper new and improved scientific diet while they are there. Something involving amino acid broth and brown rice exclusively. Betcha they would start buying their own food right away.

We have a pair of mixed vegetarians visit occasionally. One will eat cheese but only if it is goat cheese, the other will eat eggs but only if they come from happy chickens and as far as I can tell neither one of them actually eats vegetables. I take them to the grocery store as soon as they get here so they can pick out appropriate foodstuffs since it is impossible to stock edibles that suit their requirements. They both adore Korean take out so a stop by the Korean restaurant is always in order, too.
That is funny the new scientific diet! I am sure that would work!

Seriously, thanks for your input as well as the others...
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,898,580 times
Reputation: 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Why do you want to impress these people? I'm curious about your motivation. When in doubt as to what to do, I often think "What do I want as the outcome?" and go from there. If your motivation is to keep them coming, you are doing a great job. If your motivation is to have them like you, I wonder how you can tell the difference between liking you and your catering to their whims. If your motivation is to conserve your resources right now, a hiatus on visitors might be an idea.

No, not trying to impress at all, we truly enjoy having company ,these are our cousins,they aren't just friends... they are very close cousins...
This year is just difficult on us because of the 2 mortgages and our goal is to still be the accomodating hosts that we are use to being.
We thought that possibly we would have somewhat of a hiatus on visitors because we thought people would be able to somewhat "sense" that things are a little different for us right now.... but hence,they have not and now we are still having visitors,multiple visitors....
I don't want anyone to stop coming,we just want to figure out a way to spend less money while still being gracious....
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,049 posts, read 3,339,938 times
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If they're rude enough to mention that you don't have something that you used to have in the past (i.e. all of the different varieties you've been buying especially for them), I would just mention that you're having a tough time financially but that they're more than welcome to hit the grocery store and you wouldn't be offended.

I think that's a nice way to say "Go buy your own ****".
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,846 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
OK, you answered my questions. If you aren't "trying to impress" and are just trying to be good hosts to family, then there should be no issue with letting them know that money is tight and that you only have a certain amount in the budget for guests. Family should be very understanding about that. Once you shucked that "trying to impress" monkey off your back, the answer became obvious.
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