What's better than a summer barbecue? It's a great way to hangout with friends and family. Of course, you may be thinking you don't have the money to have a cookout. The good news is you can throw a great barbecue on the smallest budget. The following are just five great tips for throwing a summer barbecue on a budget.
1. Keep It Simple
First things first. You don't have to go overboard with decorations and useless junk. People come to a barbecue for the food and drinks. Keep it simple by doing the classics: barbecued chicken, hot dogs, and burgers. You don't have to do steaks or other expensive cuts of meat. A well made burger or juicy piece of barbecued chicken will keep everyone happy.
2. Make Drinks in Bulk
Whether it's lemonade or a fun punch, making drinks in bulk saves money. There are so many drinks you can choose from. You can also improve the flavor of the old standbys. Try adding pureed strawberries to lemonade or fresh peach juice to your sweet tea. If you want to do sodas, buy the big 2 liter bottles rather than individual cans.
3. Stock Up on BBQ Essentials
Anytime you see a great sale on condiments, paper plates, paper napkins, etc, stock up. Grocery stores often have great deals on barbecue essentials leading up to the big holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. You can also find special packages of larger products that are the same price as the smaller bottles at stores like Walmart during the summer months.
4. Do a Pot Luck
Another great tip is to do a pot luck. You can make the meat on the grill, but ask everyone to bring a side dish or dessert. This will allow you to cook out more often without feeling the pinch. Try doing a different theme each time. For example, do red, white, and blue for Independence Day.
5. Get Creative
There's so many great ways to save money when you get creative. For example, think outside the box. Instead of the regular hamburgers, do stuffed burgers. Instead of hot dogs, do sausages with peppers and onions. There are literally thousands of ways to serve burgers and hot dogs so that each cookout can be different.
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a great barbecue. Whether you make drinks in bulk or host a pot luck, you can save money. Best of all, the more money you save, the more often you'll be able to have a cookout.