It started by asking our neighbors if they wanted to come over later that evening to sit on the deck, shoot the breeze, and have a refreshing beverage or two. As usually happens when my wife starts working our social event calendar, the line of questioning quickly turned into potentially getting together for dinner.

The result was nothing short of amazing.

We were planning to throw some Mahi Mahi and asparagus on grill, and had more than enough to share with our friends. They responded via text and said they already had a tri tip roast on the grill, and were making mashed red potatoes as a side. We suggested combining dinners at our house.

"Surf and Turf! 6:30ish?" was the response.

When everything was done, and we started plating up our meal, I looked down with awe at what I was about to eat. Two very good dinners separately turned into pure awesomeness combined. 

There are many forms of getting together for a meal that we commonly call potluck. 

There's the traditional potluck where everyone just brings something to share. There's a form we call gourmet club where everyone on the invite list brings a dish based on a common theme. There's even something I call a directed potluck where the host decides the menu and dictates to the guests what additional items should be brought.

But this is different; it's the coming together of two separately good meals into something great.

While we were eating, my neighbor mentioned how they had gone over on their entertainment spending during July, mainly because they had gone out to eat so much during their daughters' summer soccer season. With two family mini-vacations recently we were in the same situation. We both agreed that our families would be laying low during the month of August and that we should do this sort of thing more often.

What we had to eat that night beats almost every restaurant experience I've had. Laying low suits me just fine.

Related Links:

Socializing on a Budget

Save Money, Time, and Reduce Stress with a Directed Potluck

Save Money with an Open Grill Potluck

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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