Author Topic: Charging family members for a home cooked meal  (Read 9776 times)

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auntmeegs

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2013, 03:50:12 PM »
I don't see it as charging so much as everyone chipping in.  If one family always does the hosting, for whatever reason (they have the most space, they enjoy cooking the most, whatever), it doens't really seem right or fair that they should also pay for the whole party every time. 

hannahmollysmom

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2013, 02:11:01 AM »
I would never charge. But, if I am available, everyone just assumes I'm cooking and that's that.

To be honest, at my job I have to work every other holiday, and it alternates year to year. This year I had Thanksgiving off, but volunteered to work. Reason being, I couldn't afford to feed everyone. I am divorced, live on my own, haven't had a raise in 4 years, yet my insurance has gone up, and deductibles for prescriptions have gone up, not to mention the cost of food. Plus, in my state, car registrations/inspections are in your birthday month, which is next month, plus Christmas.

My family all has other places to go, but prefer here, which makes me feel good, I just can't do it this year.

I guess the one thing that bothers me about guests, is they do not realize how much money and time go into preparing a big dinner, unless they have done it themselves. I know so many that have never hosted and don't understand. I also am not sympathetic to the ones of "oh, what shall we do?" My response is, make your own dinner!

Sorry, don't mean to sound so bitter, but it seems like some many depend on others for their holiday dinner.

CakeEater

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2013, 06:03:59 AM »
I would never charge. But, if I am available, everyone just assumes I'm cooking and that's that.

To be honest, at my job I have to work every other holiday, and it alternates year to year. This year I had Thanksgiving off, but volunteered to work. Reason being, I couldn't afford to feed everyone. I am divorced, live on my own, haven't had a raise in 4 years, yet my insurance has gone up, and deductibles for prescriptions have gone up, not to mention the cost of food. Plus, in my state, car registrations/inspections are in your birthday month, which is next month, plus Christmas.

My family all has other places to go, but prefer here, which makes me feel good, I just can't do it this year.

I guess the one thing that bothers me about guests, is they do not realize how much money and time go into preparing a big dinner, unless they have done it themselves. I know so many that have never hosted and don't understand. I also am not sympathetic to the ones of "oh, what shall we do?" My response is, make your own dinner!

Sorry, don't mean to sound so bitter, but it seems like some many depend on others for their holiday dinner.

I think this is the exact situation where this kind of thing would work. If everyone would chip in some money, you could enjoy your family and your holiday, and so could they.

Mikayla

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2013, 12:20:46 PM »
I'm on Team Backstory.  Previous PP's have given some great examples of situations where this wouldn't be an awful compromise.

I do think $30 seems high, though.  If I found myself in this position, I'd want help with the costs, not necessarily full funding.  If I couldn't manage that, then I'd probably decline doing it.  I'd still want to feel I was the main provider.


Redneck Gravy

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2013, 02:00:08 PM »
Our family has grown smaller since the first years that I hosted my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. but I remember thinking at one point that this meal was costing me around $300 which seemed ridiculous.

But...if you are a "new" cook and have to invest in various spices used for cooking your traditional TG meal; you are going to be spending a lot more that say a seasoned veteran cook.  After the first year I learned when turkeys would be on sale, to buy my side item ingredients in the off season and what spices I "really" needed to pull this event off.       

If you furnish a large turkey and a ham, dressing, two salads, several sides, a couple of appetizers, some non alcoholic beverages (sodas, tea, bottled water), a couple of pies and a decent bottle of wine or two - it can be very expensive.

Wine is not required and two pies are sufficient, then when someone asks what can they bring - have them bring a salad/appetizer/side item and it's manageable financially again.

But charging for a meal in my home - NOT happening.

cwm

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2013, 03:15:20 PM »
Chipping in is accepted by etiquette - demanding that people chip in is not.

I think this is a great way to express it, and it goes along with what I am picturing as an evolving process.  Not a situation where someone who is hosting just unilaterally decides one day that he/she will start charging everyone.  Rather, a gradual move from contributing actual food to contributing the $$ that would pay for that food.  It wouldn't work in every group or family.  But it's not inherently rude if the group involved are all in agreement that it's the sensible thing for them to do.

I love the first quote. I need to get it tattooed somewhere so I can point it out to various people. Like the girl who wrote literally a list of liquor bottles or a suggested amount of money to bring to her party to cover food and drinks. This isn't family, it's a friends gathering that she invited us all to and then basically said "It's booooring if you all bring your own drinks, we have a bar! Let us make you drinks! Oh, but we're running low on liquor. Here's our shopping list, or you can donate $XX to us for the night. And food is expensive, but whenever we do potluck we get all the same things. So don't bring food, but bring $XX so we can buy food or order pizza."

I work the day of the party. It starts before 6:00. I was planning on stopping by a store for actual food to bring anyway, and possibly bringing along one of my bottles of wine. Now that I know that they're only looking for cash and liquor, I'll show up later (after I've already had dinner) and bring my own drinks and be boring, if I decide to still go. I hate being seen as a traveling wallet.

Emmy

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2013, 06:31:24 PM »
I don't see it as charging so much as everyone chipping in.  If one family always does the hosting, for whatever reason (they have the most space, they enjoy cooking the most, whatever), it doens't really seem right or fair that they should also pay for the whole party every time.

I agree with this.  Personally, I wouldn't like charging money, but would rather split the work and expense (have everybody bring a dish) or have family members take turns hosting.  It is a lot of work and expense to host a holiday meal and it is unfair for one family with the best location, most space, ect. and always has to shell out the cost and work in hosting.  If other family members, can't/won't take a turn to host, or can't/won't bring a dish, it is only fair they help contribute in some way.  I think it is a little tacky to invite people and charge a cover without first trying other suggestions.  I do think a hosting family should present the problem to other family members and see if everybody agrees to a charge or wants another solution.


secretrebel

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #52 on: December 15, 2013, 06:50:38 AM »
When we were poor college students the group with the largest house would host a Christmas dinner, the people with cars would do the shopping and everyone would pay a share of the costs (adjusted for teetotallers and vegetarians).

It was the only way we could have afford to do it.

I have no problem doing the same thing in a family so long as everyone knows what the deal is up front.

blarg314

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2013, 07:49:53 PM »
When we were poor college students the group with the largest house would host a Christmas dinner, the people with cars would do the shopping and everyone would pay a share of the costs (adjusted for teetotallers and vegetarians).

It was the only way we could have afford to do it.

I have no problem doing the same thing in a family so long as everyone knows what the deal is up front.

That's what we did for Thanksgiving. I usually did the hosting and cooking (I shared a decent sized apartment with an amenable roommate, and liked to cook). The cost wasn't much per person, but it was enough over 15 people to be too expensive for any one person to host, and about half the people in the group couldn't cook past the most minimal stuff.

This year, I'm inviting the Christmas orphans (I live in a non-Christian country) but I can now afford to host it all myself, and if people ask if they can bring something, I'll request beverages.

cocacola35

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2013, 11:00:26 AM »
I would never think of charging anyone money for the food and drink I provide in my home.  I was always taught that it was very ungracious and if you can't afford to provide a meal at your house, then don't have people over.  However for large family dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don't think it is ungracious of the host to ask family members to provide a side dish or dessert to help with costs.  In my family, this is actually part of the tradition and it makes everyone feel good to be contributing to the meal.  The host is providing their home for the family to be together (often they aren't used to hosting that many people) and it is a bit harder to trim the guest list in those situations to be more cost effective.



 
 

 

gellchom

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2014, 11:37:22 PM »
I'm firmly in the "this is okay if this is how it has evolved in the family" camp.

Also, in my mind it's really not about "charging family members for a home cooked meal"; it's about a family sharing the cost of a holiday dinner.  Particularly in a situation where only one person has a big enough house to host everyone, so the dinners always take place there, it doesn't seem fair for that person to have to shoulder the entire cost.

And while it is possible to spread that cost over a group by having the meal be potluck style, with everyone contributing a dish, it's not always practical.  When counter, fridge, stove top and oven space are all at a premium, the hosts can juggle pot sizes and serving bowls as required; that is not so easy to do when the person bringing the potatoes shows up with a giant roaster that won't fit anywhere.  Even if it's emptied into smaller dishes, the empty pan still has to go somewhere.


This, especially the bolded. 

The labels we put on things sure puts them in different lights, doesn't it?  I mean, I would never "charge" my guests for anything.  I hate cash bars at hosted events, even a tip jar.  But that doesn't sound to me like what's going on here.

This kind of string reminds me of a Miss Manners Q&A from her Guide to the Turn-of-the-Millenium
http://books.google.com/books?id=Ju1XvqoMookC&pg=PA219&lpg=PA219&dq=%22function+in+my+honor%22+%22miss+manners%22&source=bl&ots=5HDhAHC-xU&sig=az355VpZgXJ4vKq1ieZ4BgLcsr4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=FCPOUq2JDKbi2wWIloDIDg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22function%20in%20my%20honor%22%20%22miss%20manners%22&f=false
The "gentle reader" asked, "How does one deal with a mother-in-law who commands her dinner guests to perform as servants after the meal ... I have never attended a function, particularly not one given in my honor, where the guests' assistance was commanded."  And so on.  But smart Miss Manners saw right through the writer's righteous indignation to what had really happened: a family dinner at which the mom cooked and the children and their spouses cleaned up -- as they always did.  I have thought of this letter many times when reading or hearing stories of people's supposedly shocking behavior.

In this case, I suspect that this is a family that has, for one of the very sensible reasons hypothesized by mlogica, MommyPenguin, and others, or for some other reason, decided that this way of sharing the costs and burden suits them.  Maybe others don't want to do it that way and don't think it's a good idea.  But calling it "charging for a home-cooked meal" feels to me like trying to stir up trouble.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2014, 10:44:17 AM »
I was teasing my sister at Christmas about paying me for a home cooked meal. I host 90% of our family holidays. We decided as a family to do the "Big All Day Feast" which includes a bushel of unshucked oysters for grilling, a gallon of shucked oysters for frying, prime rib, and assorted sides. So not a cheap meal to feed 20 people. While family members brought some sides and desserts, DH and I bought and prepared most of the remainder. One of my sisters left a check written to me with my DD for a sizeable amount because she said she just didn't feel right having us pay for the entire meal that we all as a family had requested.

I called my sister and thanked her but told her I'd be going to EHell if I cashed the check. She joked back that I'd be going to family-hell if I didn't. And If I didn't, she'd just send the check to my DD because she knew a college student would turn down free money.  ;D

Raintree

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2014, 03:02:49 PM »
In our family we all pitch in for the dinner. It's too expensive for one person/family unit to shoulder, but we do want to all get together. And the person hosting has to do a lot of work, too.

But this is only for immediate family; I don't think any of us would dream of asking a non-family member to come over and pay.

shhh its me

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2014, 01:17:08 PM »
In our family we all pitch in for the dinner. It's too expensive for one person/family unit to shoulder, but we do want to all get together. And the person hosting has to do a lot of work, too.

But this is only for immediate family; I don't think any of us would dream of asking a non-family member to come over and pay.

Well I do think "hey , do you want to go half's on a pizza" is ok in some circumstances or "hey we could hire a sushi chef if we all pitched in. is that something you'd like to do?"  I think there is room in etiquette for providing the venue and coordinating.  The concerns are 2 fold "how much control do the coordinators really give up." and "oh we were just hanging out and all chipped in for delivery.  So even though we watched the walking dead at Susie's for 13 weeks.  She wasn't really hosting so we don't have to reciprocate."

Emmy

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Re: Charging family members for a home cooked meal
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2014, 04:13:34 PM »
Family holiday dinners are different than dinner parties.  If somebody decides to throw a party, they should expect to fund that party.  At family holiday dinners, often the host is the same and is usually the one the convenient location or most space.  They may agree to have it at their house because it is beneficial to the family, but that is different than deciding to throw a party.  If one person always does the hosting for family holidays because it works best for everybody, it is only fair that other family members should contribute something (either work or money) to help pull these get togethers off.  If a host runs across this problem, they should explain the problem to other family members and work out a solution together instead of just announcing that Thanksgiving dinner will be $x.