Confession time: I don’t cook. This isn’t a “oh, I’m being modest about my cooking abilities” kind of thing, it’s a “I do not know how to turn on my oven” kind of thing. In fact, I think it’s actually broken. That said, I like having people over. I finally have an apartment I really like, without any roommates around, and would like to invite people over to hang out more often. For those of you who also don’t really cook, here are some tips that have worked for me.

  • Make up for the lack of food with drinks. If you booze people up, they are more likely to forget that you can’t cook.
  • Offer to host a potluck. If your friends bring food, you can make up for it by setting a really great table. Some flowers, a candle, and cute dishes will showcase all the goodies your culinary-minded friends whipped up.
  • Some staples to keep around in case of surprise guests: a good cheese or three, crackers, and wine will go a long way. Plus, anything that keeps a long time in case is good if you don’t grocery shop regularly.
  • Do not lie about delivery and claim you made it yourself. No one cares. If they’re really your friends, they’ll be happy to spend time with you eating good food, no matter who made it.
  • Skip straight to dessert. If you eat dinner elsewhere, you can save money by having dessert at home. It’s not too hard to keep a pint of ice cream in the fridge or a box of cookies in the cabinet.
  • Become really, really good at washing dishes. Because if you offer to clean up when someone else cooks, and you don’t cook, simple math dictates that you will spend a lot of time washing dishes.
  • If a hot dude is talking to you and mentions he thinks it’s romantic when girls cook dinner for their menfolk, tell him you only eat foods that can be licked off of other people.