Thrifty Valentine's Day Ideas: Ingredients-Only Potluck

by Catherine Sweeney, Creative Circle
February 5, 2015

An ingredients-only potluck is as entertaining as an episode of “Chopped,” minus the stress and picky judges. It’s a perfect way to enjoy Valentine’s Day with friends, as a group date, or as a couple.

Bring, improvise, enjoy!
Each guest brings a few ingredients to cook with, along with the necessary utensils and cookware. Once everyone has arrived, choose what you’re making and start cooking together. If you like a little structure, you can assign general groups beforehand (like protein or vegetables) or it can all be a complete surprise.

To improvise a great meal on the fly, check out Seattle-based recipes site Allrecipes, where it’s easy to search by ingredient.

Need some extra kitchen gear? Your local Goodwill has plenty, from serving spoons and skillets to casseroles and cake pans—you can even find additional flatware, glasses, and silverware.

If you have a larger group attending, consider cooking in teams, with prizes for the best entrée, appetizer and dessert. A few extra crockpots and hotplates can help you expand the range of your kitchen and also keep dishes warm. Kitchen gadgets or funny accessories—like commemorative salt shakers—make great prizes.

Keep the fun mismatch going. Set your table with a wide array of colorful plates, candlesticks and glassware, mixing up traditional china patterns with brightly-colored pottery from around the globe.

Get ready for a colorful and creative Valentine’s Day!  All that mismatching may even lead to a few true matches among your guests.

This is part of a series on Thrifty Valentine's Day Date Ideas. For more ideas, click here: Valentine's Day


Catherine Sweeney, APR is a professional writer and communicator affiliated with Creative Circle. She dedicates her Goodwill blog-writing in memory of her mom, an avid thrift-shopper and advocate for social change. 

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