Throwing a party doesn’t have to be a hassle mentally, physically or financially. A potluck is an excellent way to divide party-planning duties amongst those on your guest list. Whether it’s a gathering with family, old college buddies, your church community or a neighborhood meet-and-greet, a potluck is a form of entertainment that won’t break anyone’s bank. And when it comes to hosting, it’s one of the least stressful types of parties you can put together!

Potluck Pros

  1. A Potluck Makes Planning Easy
  2. A Fun Way to Save Money
  3. Learn New Recipes
  4. Connect with One Another

A Potluck Makes Planning Easy

It’s as easy as pie! Like, you literally can bring a pie to a potluck and your job is done. What could be simpler? And if you’re planning to host a potluck your responsibility is just a little bit bigger, but not by much!

As the host, you’ll organize who will bring what to the party, in addition to contributing either the main entree, a side item, a special game or something essential like table setup and seating.

By using our potluck planning tool, it’s quick and easy for everyone else on the guest list to sign up for a particular dish, drink or party supply without any confusion or risk of duplicates. Oftentimes, the host will provide plates, tableware, glasses and such, but it’s perfectly fine to assign those items to guests, as well!

As the host, you’ll save plenty of time not having to prepare a three-course meal for 40-something people or shop for every potential request from your invitees. That’ll give you even more time to clean the house or decorate should you decide on a special theme. You’ll have that much more time to sit back, relax and enjoy the party, too!

A Fun Way to Save Money

Today’s entertainment comes at no small cost. If you’re looking to experience a whole lot of fun without creating a hole in your bank account, a potluck is the way to go. All you need is a venue, whether it’s someone’s house or a rented space, and maybe a friend to help divvy out duties.

Remember how we mentioned earlier that you’ll save a ton of time by not cooking a full-blown meal for four dozen people? You’ll save just as much money by prepping only one of the many dishes served at your event. Everyone pitches in a little and the result is one massive spread.

As a guest, you’ll likely spend somewhere between $10 and $15, depending on the dish you decide to cook. If the party is BYOB, throw in an extra $12 for a bottle of wine. Compared to the cost of a meal at a fancy restaurant, you’re coming out ahead and getting a much larger feast. You also get to share with a room full of people looking to have a great time!

An important principle to note: Whatever you decide to contribute, whether it’s a pitcher of sangria, a batch of brownies or mashed potatoes, you only have to make enough for a majority of the people who will be in attendance, not the exact number. With each guest bringing something to the table, you can rest easy knowing there will be plenty of food for everyone to try.

Learn New Recipes

So, you’ve decided to host a potluck (or you’ve been invited to one!) Now, it’s time to plan the perfect dish. If you’re an expert cook, here’s your opportunity to show off the famous casserole, hand-made spring rolls or delectable dessert you know everyone will devour. If you’re new to the kitchen, you just found the perfect excuse to learn a new entree recipe, so give it a whirl!

While you could take the easy way out and pick up some potato salad or mac ‘n cheese at the local deli, the point of the potluck is to create a meal with a little extra love and care. It’s best to go the homemade route, but if you really feel like paying an expert to cook up a dish for you, we’re not here to judge!

In addition to learning how to cook something new, you may also discover a dish you’ve never tried before and find you really like it. Fall in love with someone’s artichoke spread or roasted Brussels Sprouts? Strike up a conversation and ask for the recipe. Now you have another dish to add to your kitchen tool-belt!

Pro-tip: Ask your guests to write out recipe cards to place next to the dish. It will serve as a huge help to anyone with food allergies as well!

Connect with One Another

Food is the greatest unifier. It’s long been an essential part of any special occasion including weddings, birthday parties, baby showers and even couples game nights! A potluck is no different. The food is the centerpiece of the event and an excellent excuse to gather with loved ones. Most importantly, a potluck is about spending time with those around you, sharing a meal, having an excuse to reconnect or get to know someone better, and most of all: building a sense of community.

With each dish a person chooses to bring, you get a small glimpse into their personality. It could be a family heirloom recipe passed on for generations, or maybe someone just swears by the Kroger-brand buffalo chicken dip and they really want you to love it, too!

Next time you want to bring together a group of people, whether it’s a holiday feast or a TV watch party, consider hosting a potluck. It will leave your belly full (and your wallet too!) You’ve got no excuse to keep putting off that get-together you’ve been meaning to throw. Get your guest list together, and use Potluck to make organizing easier!