Summer is just about here! That means beach days, barbecues, and warm summer nights. What better way to kick off the season than with a good old-fashioned backyard BBQ. But these types of get-togethers can become expensive, quickly. There are a lot of things that you’ll need in order to throw a great barbecue, but that doesn’t mean you have to go broke. Keep reading for some great tips to throw a sweet cook-out without going over budget.
Instead of mailing out invitations for your BBQ, use an evite website to send a cute invite to your friends and family. You could even create a social media event and invite all your buds that way. Using one of these invitation systems can also be helpful with planning food, as you can get an idea of who would like to bring a dish. Make it creative and eye-catching. Keep your guest list small if you want to stick to your budget and always plan for a few extra people just in case.
Use your social media or evite page to determine the number of guests. Then get to determining how much you need to spend. It is a good idea to assume that you’ll need at least one of each main meat item for each guest. This will give you a loose idea of what you’ll be spending on each item or group of items. Don’t forget to include paper goods, decorations, drinks, and any grill supplies you may need. If you find a great deal on some of your items, you can spend that extra money on more decor or food!
5. Don’t Splurge on Booze
You’ll want to provide at least some alcoholic beverages, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend a ton of money. Check out recipe websites for a great cost-effective specialty cocktail that you can make in bulk. Boozy lemonades or party punch are great options for a BBQ. For beer drinkers, look for sales on cases of light beer and stock up. You can always let your guests know what will be provided and give them the option of bringing something they would prefer.
4. Keep Decor Simple
There are times when you’re going to want to go all out on the decorations, but this is not necessary for a simple backyard barbecue. Check out your local party store or dollar store and you’re bound to score some great stuff! It’s all about the presentation. If you have a nice table with great food, no one is going to notice that your table cloth is from the clearance section. Use an inexpensive citronella candle for ambiance and to keep the bugs at bay. You could even pick up some cheap beach balls for some fun decor that doubles as entertainment for the kids!
3. Make It a Potluck
An easy way to save some dough on your BBQ is to ask guests to pitch in. Throw out a few side dishes that you would like to have and see who is willing to bring them. You could even have a sides “cook off” and see who can come up with the best dish. You could have everyone vote at the end of the night and reward the winner with an inexpensive bottle of wine. Another cost saving tip is to take it easy on the appetizers. Everyone loves chips and dips and they’re always on sale!
2. Don’t Use Expensive Meats
You don’t have to go all out and buy the most expensive cuts of beef. Everyone is probably going to be pretty happy with good old burgers and hot dogs. By using a great burger rub or dressing up your dogs, your guests will be impressed with these simple food items. Check out what’s on sale that week at your local grocery stores and you can probably score some great deals on things like sausages or brats to add to the mix. You could always get lucky and some great meats might be on sale, but you’ll only know if you’re planning ahead!
1. Shop in Bulk
Check out your local Costco, Sam’s Club, or Smart and Final when buying for your party. They’re bound to have some great deals on many of the items that you’ll need. If you buy meat in bulk, you can freeze the excess for your next BBQ! Same goes for paper goods. You’ll be prepared for a summer of fun with friends and save some cash in the mean time.
Summer barbecues are a fun tradition for many families and the most important thing is to have fun. These tips will help you to plan ahead and throw a great event without the guilt or regret of over-spending. So gather up your nearest and dearest and throw some meat on the grill, because it is almost summer and time to celebrate.