It is Friday. And that means that the next few days are ones of freedom and relaxation (unless you work weekends, and in that case, I am sorry). For all you “budget conscious” people out there, the weekend is also a time of conflict. You want to hang out with people, but the usual “dinner and movie” plan will, in all likelihood, annihilate your budget. Fifty bucks down the road, all you’ll have to show for your good time is a full (or in my case, aching) stomach and a tattered movie stub.
Do you want more from your weekend? If you answered, “Yes” then read on! (Am I starting to sound like an infomercial? If so, mission accomplished!)So why not break the monotony and host a game night at your place? The rules are simple and the cost is perfect (cheap to ZERO). Just follow the three simple rules below and Game Night fun can be yours.
Rule #1: Pick a game (or two) appropriate to the size of the gathering. For 4–6 players you can go ahead and pick something with more complex rules or involved thinking.
Suggestions: In a Pickle, Last Word, Scattergories, Apples to Apples, The Game of Things or even go “old-fashioned” and play a card game (Nertz is a great choice among good friends).
I‘ve played all of these in a Game Night setting to varying degrees of success. WARNING: When tried with more than 10 people, these games will become trying and boring to most. So make sure you follow my advice OR ELSE. Also games that require knowledge about the other players (Imaginiff, I’m talking to you) aren’t very fun if you are playing with a new group. Again, consider your audience, and you will be fine.
For 6 or more players, Catch Phrase is my favorite way to fly. But I’ve also played Buzz Word or Taboo with a larger group and had a great time. Bottom line, the game needs to be easy to understand. Bonus points for one that involves shouting out answers which will maximize participation.
Rule#2: Decide that winning is far less important than getting to know people.
Please don’t be ultra-competitive at Game Night! Nobody wants to be or play with “that guy/girl.” Friendly banter: yes. Battle of the sexes: perfect. Making everyone uncomfortable as you punch your best friend and shout, “You’re going down, you idiot!” Not allowed. Get the picture?
The idea is to have fun. You can keep score for bragging rights, but just make sure that no one is getting emotionally invested in the results or else mayhem will ensue.
This is where a small cost may come into play. However, you can still go cheap. Most people will be impressed with baked goods and an assortment of drinks. A game night at my house would most likely include brownies or cookies (or both, if I’m feeling generous). I might even throw in some chips and salsa/cheese dip/guacamole for those (weirdos) who enjoy salty snacks more. Play to your talents. In my experience even slice-and-bake cookies will kill. You could even ask people to bring stuff and create a mini-potluck. The sky is the limit, my friend. Remember, no food won’t ruin game night, but cookies will make it that much more fun.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try your hand at hosting a game night. It really is a great way to spend time with people without spending your future children’s college funds.
Come back here on Monday to find out how to stretch your dollar the most when it comes to groceries — I’ll tell you how menu planning can be your friend! Comment below if there are any budget questions YOU want to Ask Alexis, Blast’s very own budget expert.