What To Bring When You’re Told Not To Bring A Thing

And no I'm not talking about Favourites...

We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a family or friends function at their house and of course, you politely ask “what can I bring?”, to which the reply is more often than not, “not a thing”.

But we all know we have to bring something…but what? I mean, “Favourites” are a great choice don’t get me wrong, but that doesn’t exactly show you put in any effort or thought…it shows you remembered a catchy ad and copied it.

What you also have to take into consideration is the occasion/event that you’re attending, which exactly what we’ve done for you. So no matter where you’re going, you can rock up well prepared with a little something that screams MAJOR effort!

What to bring to a…


So you’ve been invited to a good ol’ BBQ. An event centred around food, beverages and lots of laughs. They’ll already have the meat, bread rolls, condiments, and booze. So what’s something different you can add? Why not bring a cheese platter with some Jatz, Water Crackers and a little fruit? Barbeques are always such a heavy feed of meat and carbs, so something light and maybe a bit unexpected would work a treat! Plus it provides another option to your typical Doritos and Smith’s Crinkle Cut chips that will no doubt be placed in numerous locations around the house.

Birthday Party

Besides a present (duh)…birthday parties are a tricky one. They’ll already have the decorations set up, the cake of course and most likely finger food and nibblies. So what can you add that they may not have? Birthday parties are an event that has the word “sweets” written all over it. So why not add to that! You could bring an assortment of macaroons or even a variety of mini individual desserts. Not only will all the guests love them, but I think the host will appreciate the effort and thought as well. Plus the more sweets the better I say!


Lunches are of course an event that will no doubt have lots of food. Probably a good selection of meat, carbs, and nibblies, much like a birthday party except a little more structured. You could opt to bring a yummy Greek salad which would always be welcomed, but if you’re hesitant about bringing more food to a food event, then what about a fruit punch? Lunch is a refreshing meal usually with cold meats, salads, maybe seafood, so a fruit punch would go great. Homemade is definitely best (don’t be lazy)…and why not be an extra gem and take some plastic cups and the ladle. This idea is both thoughtful and tasty!


The host of a dinner party will no doubt have all the food planned out from the entrées right through to the desserts. So if they’ve told you not to bring anything, don’t bring food. So what should you take? Well, usually dinners include a wine or five and conversations usually go from PG to R real quick. So why not take a fun adult game like ‘Cards Against Humanity’! Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Baby Shower

Whilst a baby shower is a celebration for a baby before they enter the world, it’s also a celebration for the mother or mum-to-be. She will have, of course, planned out everything for her special day as she will want her guests to have as much of a good time as she, and not worry about a thing! But what can you bring to add to the day? Well, of course buy a gift for the baby, but perhaps a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the mother/mum-to-be, is a sweet idea that not many people will think of. This shows you’re not only celebrating her baby but HER as well! Plus florals seem to be the general theme at baby showers anyway so they will go perfectly as her centrepiece.

Movie/Girls Night

A movie/girls night calls for a major trip down the lollie aisle. I’m talking chocolate, lollies, chips, biscuits, bring the lot! “Won’t everyone be bringing the same?”, you may ask. Well, the answer is yes…yes they will. And that’s the whole damn point. Let’s be honest, would it really be a movie/girls night if you didn’t eat shit until you felt absolutely sick in your stomach? The answer is no. So go on, get shopping in aisle six! My suggestions include a family size Cadbury Milk block of chocolate, Starbursts, Tim Tams, doughnuts, Burger Rings, Doritos, and Maltesers.

p.s you could also bring a selection of movies if you’re going old school DVD player, but chances are you’ll be watching one on Netflix, so maybe just research and prepare a list of good ones to watch.


So you’ve been welcomed to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in someone’s life…their new home. This requires bringing gifts such as placemats, vases, candles, cutlery, you know…all that homey stuff. So why not make your gift practical too? You could buy a new dip and chip bowl but instead of just giving them the bowl, put a home-made guacamole in the centre with chips around it. This way it serves as food for the party and a present! Not only will they appreciate the extra food, but that bowl with have memories associated with it as the bowl used at the housewarming that was gifted by YOU!


Words by Jacqui Feros 

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