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5 Tips for Hosting a Potluck

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A potluck can be a wonderful way to entertain your friends without spending a lot of money. After all, your guests will be bringing their own favorite dishes, and you’ll only be required to host the function and provide a few other items. How do you host a potluck, though?

What do you do with all the food coming through your door? Believe it or not, hosting a potluck can be extremely easy. You have to be prepared.

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Tips for hosting a potluck: woman holding a bowl of food for potluck.

Plan a Simple Dish to Serve

Since you will be the host, this gives you free rein to prepare something easy for the potluck. After all, you will be the one doing all the cleaning once the party is over. You might choose to prepare a simple casserole, an easy-to-prepare cake, or even mini hamburgers.

Whatever you decide to prepare, do yourself a favor and don’t overdo it. If you skip an entree or dessert, you can choose to supply the drinks or something else that doesn’t require any work.

Setup an Area to Serve the Food

A side table or buffet is great for placing potluck dishes on, but it’s not your only option. If you have a large breakfast bar, this also works perfectly. And, if you need a bit more space, an ironing board covered in a nice tablecloth does the trick.

The key is to make it possible for all the food to be in one area. That way, none of the dishes get overlooked, and it’s easy for everyone to serve themselves.

Use a Power Strip for Slow Cookers

Many people attending a potluck bring along slow cookers to keep their food warm. Using a power strip ensures you have enough space for everyone to plug in their slow cooker, and all the dishes stay nice and warm. If possible, you may want to use two power strips on two different outlets to reduce the load on the outlets.

Too many slow cookers on one outlet can damage the slow cookers or even cause a fuse to blow. If you plan on having several guests, take a head count of how many people will be bringing along slow cookers and set up your food area accordingly.

Purchase Nice Disposable Plates and Silverware

If you don’t have a dishwasher or don’t want to deal with the fuss of cleaning up after a potluck, you can always use disposable plates and silverware.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to use flimsy plates. Spend the extra money and purchase disposable plates that look more like dinnerware than paper plates. The same goes for your disposable cups and silverware.

Clean Out Your Dishwasher

If you plan on using regular dinner plates and glasses, you want to ensure your dishwasher is cleaned. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure clean-up goes quickly once the potluck is over. No one wants to end a big party and find a load of dirty dishes waiting in their dishwasher.

Take the time before the party to ensure everything is clean and clear. Then, maybe your guests will be nice enough to place their dirty plates and silverware in the dishwasher.

A potluck can be a great way to entertain. It’s an especially great option during the holiday months. A potluck is an affordable and easy option that will allow you to entertain with less stress.

Various food on a table for potluck with text "5 tips for hosting a potluck" above.