Sis and I have dinner at my parents' house every week and my mom cooks a large meal, that can cost $30 - 50 to prepare. Do we give her money? No. We bring what we jokingly call "offerings to the goddess", which is usually macadamia nuts or wine; things she loves but feels guilty spending on herself. She would never take money from us, but she will snatch a stack of lotto tickets from our hands without blinking. I think just making their life easier, and spoiling them a bit will be better for your parents and your relationship with them, than making them feel like they have a tenant.
I love this concept -- "offerings to the goddess" -- very creative and captures the sentiment perfectly
Your advice, LMoot, is well said. Unfortunately, this is a really old thread that was just recently bumped by a first-time poster who is likely to become a spammer.