While being great fun, throwing a BBQ party can turn into an expensive treat. Plying your friends with delicious grilled meats and sides and scummy drinks – especially for a largish group – really isn’t cheap. But as you can’t really go through the whole summer without a grill party, here are some great tips on saving money on a BBQ:
1. Save Money – and Time: Turn Your BBQ Party into a Potluck
One simple yet effective way to have a BBQ on a budget is to ask your guests to bring a dessert or appetizer with them. You can definitely be a gracious host and provide food for everyone, but this won't be a great idea if you're on a tight budget. Moreover, asking your guests to bring something to share will add some delicious surprises to your menu.
2. Keep an Eye out for Bargains and Sales on Coals
One of the most important things for any barbecue is charcoal, and the good thing is that they don't expire. It means that you should keep an eye on coal prices if you're going to arrange a BBQ in near future. Find a sale and stock up to save good money. Summer’s end is a great time to buy if you’ve got somewhere to store your bargain coals.
3. Keep Costs down by Avoiding Expensive Cuts of Meat
Yes, it is true that there will be no barbecue without meat. Instead of going for porterhouse or T-bone cuts, you can put your money on skirt or flank steak, and chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Opt for grill friendly seafood like mackerel, bluefish, tuna, or blue marlin. And there’s nothing wrong with hot dogs and burgers – make your own to save money. Kabobs are also great – you can bulk out the meat with much cheaper veggies.
4. Buying in-season Food is Not Only Better, It’s Cheaper
Serving what's in season is another good way to manage the food costs. You will be spending less when buying veggies, fruits, and fish at the peak of the season – you may even find some discounts at your local farmer's market. Moreover, using the in-season produce will make your food even more delicious.
5. Ask Your Guests to Bring Their Own Drinks
This is a very good way of keeping the cost down. While you can definitely buy a couple cases of beer or soda, you can ask your guests to bring their preferred drinks with them. You can also make a huge punch from a decent cheap wine, a small amount of brandy, and lots of lemonade. Make it look pretty with fruit and people will love it.
6. Design Your Own Invitations Instead of Using Store-bought
Instead of buying them, have some fun making your own. This will add a personal touch to the whole thing and make your guests appreciate the effort you're putting in to make it a successful event. You can find a lot of unused stuff at home to make the invitations – or spend some time on Pinterest to get some nice DIY ideas.
7. You Don’t Need to Spend Loads on Decorations
Decorations aren't going to play a big role in how successful your BBQ is. Consider purchasing decorations from the dollar store – a bright tablecloth, crepe streamers, and a bag of balloons won't cost you much, but will help spruce up the atmosphere.
Make tasty food, have plenty to drink, make the décor bold and bright, and have plenty of places for people to sit and your BBQ will go with a swing. And you’ll be able to enjoy yourself and be relaxed because you won’t be stressing about how much it’s costing. Are you throwing a BBQ bash this summer?