Bringing something to eat to other people's parties

starinastarina Posts: 665Registered Users Curl Neophyte
I'm invited to three cookouts this weekend. I made something for today's, but I don't think I'll make anything for tomorrow's, and I think I'll skip the third function altogether. I just get so tired of making things for every party/function that comes along, yet I don't feel right if I don't. Sometimes the host will say bring a side dish, and sometimes they don't mention it at all, but I still feel like I should. I know the host/hostess is spending a lot of money probably to do these things, but that's their choice, right? Sometimes I do it because I really want to, but other times I do it because I feel obligated.

Am I being selfish about this? How do you all feel about it? What do you do when you are invited to a function?
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Comments

  • misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
    If I had 3 different functions in one weekend, as much as I like to cook, that's a bit much for anyone.

    If the host asks everyone to bring a side dish, I would feel obligated to bring something. When they don't specifically ask, by all means don't feel like you have to bring anything. I know when I host a party and tell people not to bring anything, I mean don't bring anything. :)

    If you do wish to contribute a dish, who says it has to be homemade? Buy something prepared and transfer to one of your own plates or bowls - who's gonna know the difference? :compress:
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  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I try to take something to parties when I go. BUT - I would definitely feel it was too much to take things to three parties. I'm an introvert, though, so for me if it feels like too much to take something to a party, I'm more likely not to go. My forcing myself to be around people factor and my it feels like a burden to have to take something factor are about equal.

    Could you call and ask, and pick up chips or something?
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    I bring wine when I go to someone's house, or chocolates or flowers.

    I don't like being asked to bring food for a party, unless its a work potluck or something like that where there isn't a host. If I invite people to my house, I expect to entertain them completely - food, drinks etc... and I expect the same when someone invites me. I don't care if I'll be drinking pop and eating off paper plates at their house, but I'm too busy cooking for my own family to have to also cook when I'm being invited out.
  • merynmeryn Posts: 1,807Registered Users Curl Novice
    starina wrote: »
    I know the host/hostess is spending a lot of money probably to do these things, but that's their choice, right?

    Yes, but it's your choice to go to all three. If you feel overwhelmed or obligated, don't go.

    Just bring a small gift, wine, flowers or something. One of my favorite hostess gifts is a roll of homemade shortbread dough (something fancy, like lemon-lavender or orange-rosemary). She can throw it in the freezer or fridge and use it later.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I always bring something to dinners or cookouts. But a lot of times it's something store-bought, like a bottle of wine or 6-pack of beer. I often don't have the time or inclination to make a homemade dish.
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  • vwlizardvwlizard Posts: 91Registered Users
    It's funny how people differ in hosting.

    I actually don't like it when people bring something (unless they've asked and let me know what it is they're bringing). I already have a menu planned and have thought about it long and hard. Then someone shows up with something I wasn't expecting and I feel obligated to serve it. When people come to my house, it's because I want them here, not because I want them to bring something.

    Yes, it is thoughtful, but I will usually ask if they'd like me to bring something. If they say no, I leave it at that. If it's someone I don't feel like I know well enough to call and ask (I'm an introvert as well) I'll usually bring some beer or dessert (non-homemade). If it's for a special occassion like a housewarming or something, I'll bring a small gift for the host to enjoy after the party.

    On the other hand, we have friends that are constantly inviting people over and stating, "Please bring something to share. We'll provide the chips and dip" WTF? You can't even spring for the hotdogs. I swear, they once coordinated a party at a near by park. It was BYOM (bring your own meat).
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    I've been to several cooks out and I always bring a vegetarian dish because, well, I'm a vegetarian and I want to make sure there's something there that I can eat. I've had to make several meals out of potato salad, chips, and hamburger toppings (lettuce, tomato, and no salad dressings) and it wasn't very satisfying. I'd say bring something only if you're asked.
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    I get tired of always having to provide food too. I really miss dinner parties - you know, where the host and/or hostess provided the entire dinner, and all I had to bring was moiself and a host/hostess gift.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    vwlizard wrote: »

    I actually don't like it when people bring something (unless they've asked and let me know what it is they're bringing). I already have a menu planned and have thought about it long and hard. Then someone shows up with something I wasn't expecting and I feel obligated to serve it. When people come to my house, it's because I want them here, not because I want them to bring something.

    Yes, it is thoughtful, but I will usually ask if they'd like me to bring something. If they say no, I leave it at that. If it's someone I don't feel like I know well enough to call and ask (I'm an introvert as well) I'll usually bring some beer or dessert (non-homemade). If it's for a special occasion like a housewarming or something, I'll bring a small gift for the host to enjoy after the party.

    On the other hand, we have friends that are constantly inviting people over and stating, "Please bring something to share. We'll provide the chips and dip" WTF? You can't even spring for the hotdogs. I swear, they once coordinated a party at a near by park. It was BYOM (bring your own meat).

    Yes to all of this!!
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I usually ask when invited if I should bring something. If the host says no, then I don't bring anything. If they aren't sure, I'll offer to bring a category...appetizer or dessert usually...and then (if given the OK by the host), I'll make whatever I feel like making from the category. That way I'm not pinned down to make something complicated if I don't feel like it, because I can always pick up a pre-made appetizer or dessert quickly if I have to.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    I ask if I need to bring anything. If they say nothing, I'll bring some wine or a six pack.

    People know that when I throw a party there is nothing to bring because I orchastrate (ok maybe obsess is the better word) about how the drinks complement the meal and I make allowances for dietary changes, non drinkers etc.
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    vwlizard wrote: »
    It's funny how people differ in hosting.

    I actually don't like it when people bring something (unless they've asked and let me know what it is they're bringing). I already have a menu planned and have thought about it long and hard. Then someone shows up with something I wasn't expecting and I feel obligated to serve it. When people come to my house, it's because I want them here, not because I want them to bring something.

    Yes, it is thoughtful, but I will usually ask if they'd like me to bring something. If they say no, I leave it at that. If it's someone I don't feel like I know well enough to call and ask (I'm an introvert as well) I'll usually bring some beer or dessert (non-homemade). If it's for a special occassion like a housewarming or something, I'll bring a small gift for the host to enjoy after the party.

    On the other hand, we have friends that are constantly inviting people over and stating, "Please bring something to share. We'll provide the chips and dip" WTF? You can't even spring for the hotdogs. I swear, they once coordinated a party at a near by park. It was BYOM (bring your own meat).

    i totally agree with all of this. someone invited me to a BYOM cookout and i thought that was the most idiotic thing id ever heard of.
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,754Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I try to bring something whenever I get invited over for dinner or a cookout. I buy if I don't have time to make it. Sparkling cider is one of my faves.
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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Hmmm, I hadn't thought of hosts not wanting their guests to bring anything. But in my defense, I always end up bringing some sort of beverage if I'm not asked for a specific type of thing (dessert, side, etc.). I always considered that a bottle of wine or whatever is more of a gift that they can do with what they wish, and they're not obligated to serve it with the meal.

    I've never been to a BYOM barbecue. That just sounds tacky!
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  • starinastarina Posts: 665Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    misspam wrote: »
    If you do wish to contribute a dish, who says it has to be homemade? Buy something prepared and transfer to one of your own plates or bowls - who's gonna know the difference? :compress:

    I've done that where I've bought a couple of those ring cakes and cut them up and put them on a platter or bought a pre-made veggie tray.

    When I have a party, I always specifically say to people don't bring anything so that they won't have that "should I or shouldn't I" feeling. I just feel that if I'm going to invite people for something then it's my responsibility to make sure they are fed too. The only time I had folks bring something is when I hosted my daughter's swim team pool party. It was a longstanding tradition for each parent to contribute something to help the host out. Bringing your own beer is OK to a party since it's not usually possible to know what everyone likes to drink.

    I'm going to only one of the other functions today (went to one yesterday) and I've decided that I'm not bringing anything!
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  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    I always feel obligated to bring something.
    I don't mind.
    My cuz hosts many of the fam get togethers & I really appreciate that. I think it is a lot of work, but as she has told me...if she didn't want to, she would not..but I still appreciate that she does... :dunno:
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  • M2LRM2LR Posts: 8,630Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I usually ask when invited if I should bring something. If the host says no, then I don't bring anything. If they aren't sure, I'll offer to bring a category...appetizer or dessert usually...and then (if given the OK by the host), I'll make whatever I feel like making from the category. That way I'm not pinned down to make something complicated if I don't feel like it, because I can always pick up a pre-made appetizer or dessert quickly if I have to.

    This is pretty much what we do, too.
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  • MichelleBFTMichelleBFT Posts: 4,812Registered Users
    I usually bring something store bought, usually alcohol.
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  • CheleighCheleigh Posts: 552Registered Users
    I'll usually bring "something" unless I know the folks really well (and I've spoken with them in advance and know my role at the party). But I will only bring a cooked dish when it's pre-arranged with the event organizer. I'm not making a homemade dish just on the off-chance that it might be used/wanted.

    Otherwise, I will bring a bottle of wine, beer, hard liquor/mixer, appetizer fare (like chips, dip or something), dessert tray/cake (store-bought), or flowers/plant. I've gone to a few events where the hosts want a side dish or something brought (like they supply the meat), but generally, most folks know what they're serving and are holding a party because they want their friends to sit back and relax for the evening/day.

    In fact, it used to be an informal tradition with my friends to bring a bottle of wine that you have in your wine rack, and then we see if we'll eventually get our own bottle of wine back. :laughing7:
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  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,633Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    When I am invited to a casual affair like a cookout, I always ask if I can bring anything and if they say yes, then I ask what they'd like for me to bring. Usually they'll suggest some sort of side dish or booze.

    If I am the hostess of a get together, I sometimes am glad for my friend to bring her deviled eggs because she makes great deviled eggs. She also enjoys all the attention she gets when everyone raves about them so everyone is happy.

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  • automaticflowersautomaticflowers Posts: 3,465Registered Users
    If I am the hostess of a get together, I sometimes am glad for my friend to bring her deviled eggs because she makes great deviled eggs. She also enjoys all the attention she gets when everyone raves about them so everyone is happy.

    Gah, that's me! I made deviled eggs for a couple of work and boyfriend-family functions, and now people won't quit pestering me about them anytime there's a potluck or get-together.

    That said, I don't really get a choice in what I bring since I generally get asked for deviled eggs, but I always offer to bring something.
  • Who Me?Who Me? Posts: 3,181Registered Users
    I think different kinds of parties call for different things. If I was invited to a dinner party, or a housewarming party, or a birthday party at a friend's house I would ask if I should bring anything. If they said no, I would probably bring a bottle of wine.

    A cookout is different. I would probably just bring food by default. Virtually every cookout I've ever been to has been very casual, without a seriously planned menu. Just about everyone brought something. The host provided the meat, unless someone arranged before hand to bring something, or it was a potluck type cookout where people could bring meet if they wanted to (this is VERY common in the city, were most people don't have grills...people want to eat something grilled, so someone with a grill throws a cookout and everyone brings what they want!). But generally, everyone brings a side dish, or salad, or dessert. I can't imagine showing up at a cookout without a dish of some sort. But it definitely doesn't need to be home made! Something from a bakery is great if you have the money. Otherwise, a veggie platter pre-made from the supermarket, or buy some cheese and crackers and put them on a platter yourself. Totally fine to bring!

    Also, at these cookouts pretty much everyone brings some alcohol as well. Even if it's just a six-pack of beer.

    Again, a dinner party is a totaly different story. This is for a casual cookout!
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  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    We're ones who usually just bring a 6-pack. I certainly don't feel obligated to cook for someone else's party. Honestly, I'd be a bit put off if the host asked the guests for food.
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  • g-stringrannyg-stringranny Posts: 2,701Registered Users
    I think it's rude not to ask if you should bring something.

    My daughter & her husband have a pool, so a lot of people want to hang out at their house on the weekends. They will even suggest it, but my daughter & her husband end of supplying all the food & booze.

    They have had dinner parties at their house & expect to supply everything, but their "good" friends will always ask to bring something. She usually says no, but it is very nice to have someone bring a nice bottle of wine or flowers.

    If you have 3 get togethers in 1 weekend, then I can see where it would be a strain for you, but I would still ask & would definitely bring a gift for the host & hostess. It may be 3 parties for you, but this is their 1 party.
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  • FeedYourHeadFeedYourHead Posts: 248Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    When I was newly sober (6 1/2 years ago), I would usually bring a non-alcoholic drink, or the makings for "mocktails": fruit juice, club soda, ginger ale.

    At the time, I hung with a group of people who loved their wine and cocktails, maybe a bit too much.

    I've cut down on the number of parties I go to, and have mostly non-drinking friends now, but unless I'm specifically asked to bring something else, mocktail ingredients are still my default choice.

    (I make a mean holiday punch with cranberry juice, ginger ale, and slices of lime!)
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