Sometimes we go out for coffee with friends, but I have a better idea... Bring the coffee shop home! One whole pot of good quality coffee brewed at home is cheaper than one small coffee at a cafe. Serve the coffee in some pretty cups if you have them, set out some cream and sugar, and you've got yourself a party. To create the ambiance of a coffee shop, create a mix of upbeat but relaxing music. My suggestions: Jack Johnson, Corrine Bailey Rae, Diana Krall, Michael Buble, etc. Stack some playing cards, scrabble and other board games on your coffee table and enjoy a night of easy entertaining.
Tip: If you don't have board games, don't fear! There are lots of games you can play with a few dice or a deck of cards. One of our favorite games to play with company is called Farkle. All you need for Farkle is the instructions (just click the link) and 6 dice! I have also found many board games for a steal at garage sales! I spent only a quarter on Pictionary and also got the group game Taboo for free!
I often think that we don't entertain in our homes enough because it is often more convenient to "meet up" for dinner somewhere. Inviting others into our homes shows the warmth and hospitality we have to offer. Not only is this a frugal evening, it is also one that allows us to share our lives with others we care about.