Cheap Thrills - Parties and volunteering
Is it true that the best things in life are free? Or at least less than full price?
TulsaPeople searched for the best deals in town for all of your lifestyle needs, with exclusive finds and unique experiences. From home party ideas, to places to go, to bargain shopping, try our suggestions to find your own cheap thrills.
Whether it’s with books, board games, food, movies or wine, enjoy free conversation and laughter all evening at a home party.
Book and Magazine Exchange Share your love for Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” or your favorite article in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair. Invite friends to bring their favorites, discuss why you chose the book or magazine to bring and exchange with one another.
Pot Luck Dinner Whip up your favorite dish and host a pot luck dinner. For a twist on the classic dinner party, follow a themed idea by asking guests to bring a Mexican dish, French cuisine, Belgian dessert or American comfort food.
Come-As-You-Are Party Call your friends at any time of day or night and invite them over for a come-as-you-are party. It can be a spontaneous right now event, or later in the week. The catch is that they must wear what they have on when you call. Expect early morning invitees to arrive in pajamas, afternoon invitees in suits or weekend invitees to arrive in athletic wear. Party foods can reflect times of day. Create prizes for the best “costume.”
Wine Tasting Party Ask each guest to bring a bottle of wine for tasting. Choose a theme – reds, whites, or an array of dinner party wines from apertifs to desserts. Hosts may assign types, varieties, country of origin or price range. Ask guests to find out a bit about the wine and winery, or variety for the “education” portion. (Check TulsaPeople’s wine column for ideas.) Be sure to provide food, or ask guests to also bring a favorite cheese or hors d’oeuvres and crackers.
Other options: Beer tasting or soda pop sampling featuring offbeat brands or flavors.
Game Night No matter your age, board games remain fun and entertaining. Bring out your favorite childhood game, whether it’s Candy Land, Life, Clue, Twister or Chutes and Ladders. Invite friends and family to bring their favorites, too. Keep chocolate chip cookies baking in the kitchen and award the winners of each game a fresh batch since games and cookies appeal to all ages.
Other options: Checkers, Monopoly or card game tournaments. Or ask the group expert to give free lessons on poker or bridge.
Movie Night Choose a movie genre, director, actor or era and have guests bring a movie that complements the theme. Anything from Hitchcock to humor, De Niro to DiCaprio. Watch movies all night, and dine on cheap eats takeout (see “Cheap Eats,” p. 42). Or provide popcorn and movie-style candy for munching. Troll the Internet for fun facts about featured stars, directors and studios. Create a short multiple-choice game for intermission time. Award the winners their own “Oscar.”
Trash-to-Treasure Party Tired of those pillows, that kitchen gizmo, dip and chip set, DIY tool or golf club? Gather once-wanted household items and trade with friends at a recycling party. Make it eco-friendly by using old newspaper or grocery sacks to wrap items or make hats or placemats. Play CDS brought for bartering. Serve organic food and drink.
Old-fashioned Patio Party When the weather warms, you’ll be pulling out the grill. You might even eat outdoors. But add badminton or croquet and you have a real ‘50s-style party. Go Hawaiian with attire, cheap paper flowers and leis. Include food from the era — clam or onion dips; dessert made with Coca Cola, Pepsi or Dr Pepper; Rice Krispies squares; and a gelatin salad.
Perhaps the best way to spend your free time is by helping others in need. Become part of the thousands of Tulsans who donate their time to worthy causes and make our city a better place. All you need to spend is your time.
Habitat for Humanity
Instead of spending money fixing up your home, spend your time building a new home for a family in need. From landscaping to framing to painting, there is a job for everyone. Volunteer by signing up online at Habitat’s Web site. 6235 E. 13th St., 592-4224, www.habitat-tulsa.org
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Kids as young as 8 years old can accompany an adult and help sort and repackage donated food and other grocery items. Volunteers can also assist in the culinary center preparing gift baskets and ingredients, or help fill Food 4 Kids backpacks, which ensure school-age kids don’t go hungry during weekends.
1304 N. Kenosha Ave. Contact Kate Pelizzoni, director of Volunteer Services, 585-2800, ext. 112, or visit www.cfbeo.org.
For other ideas or options for volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Central of Greater Tulsa, 447-1888 or www.volunteercentraloftulsa.org, or the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 280-8656 or www.rsvptulsa.org.