Barbecues are a classic all-American get together festivity. Celebrate summertime, good food and good friends by having a backyard barbecue this summer. Even if this is the first barbecue you have hosted, you don’t need to worry that buying a lot of supplies will wipe out your family’s budget for the month (even if there are a lot of people coming).
With our money saving bbq tips you can host a fun backyard bbq on the cheap, and your guests will have a great time regardless of how little you spend!
The most expensive item you have to buy for a barbecue is some type of bbq grill. If you don’t have a bbq pit in your backyard, you will need to purchase a grill. The good news is that you will only have to make this purchase once! This can range from less expensive tabletop units (cheap) to a small charcoal grill (medium) to a full scale propane tank grill (spendy), the choice is yours. Regardless of what you choose, it is a great investment that you will use repeatedly and get your money’s worth.
How to Save Money on Your BBQ
Charcoal: If you use a charcoal grill or fire pit, look for charcoal sales in stores. Stock up on cheap charcoal when offered at a low price and store them until you need them. Check circulars and online coupons for specials at grocery stores and even hardware stores.
Food: When purchasing food, buy large quantities of less expensive items such as hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken pieces. Buy cheap meats in bulk at wholesale stores or watch for local sales at local supermarkets. If you want to offer more expensive items such as steak or pinwheels, purchase less of them so they can be served as an accompaniment to the other items.
Since you are providing the meat, it is perfectly acceptable to ask each of your guests to bring additional side items such as salads, breads and buns, chips, watermelon, condiments, deserts, ice cream and beverages. They will be more than happy to bring a dish, just make sure you keep a log of who is bringing what to avoid ending up with duplicate items.
Supplies and Decorations: Avoid the temptation to purchase festive barbeque themed napkins and paper plates (these will just end up costing extra and will be in the trash can 30 minutes after the food is served).
You can save money by using your regular household kitchen dishes instead of buying disposables. If you do not have enough for the amount of people expected to attend, purchase some standard, inexpensive white paper plates and a cheap roll of paper towels. A bbq is a laid back, casual gathering and nobody is expecting anything fancy.
Use regular silverware if you have enough on hand. If not, ask friends or neighbors to borrow some of theirs for the day.
If you must have some kind of decoration, consider buying inexpensive vinyl tablecloths at a superstore such as Walmart or Target. You’ll be able to find tablecloths that are both fit for outdoor use and very cheap, usually in colorful patterns. Use the tablecloths only on the food tables and you’ll provide a lot of color while eliminating the need for more decoration.
Seating: If you do not have enough seating, ask your guests to bring their own folding chairs. Most people have at least one set of outdoor camping chairs that they keep in their garage or car. People would probably rather sit in their own comfortable chairs rather than on a stacking chair or picnic bench anyway. If you have a friend who will not be able to attend the barbeque, one option is to borrow their camping chairs in advance so they can be set up before guests arrive.
Have fun when planning your party, just remember to follow our money-saving barbecue tips to keep it cheap and simple. Let us know in the comments – what are your great tips for having a great bbq on the cheap?
Check out Frugal Friday for more cheap summer tips.