Make it a Potluck – One of the biggest costs at a barbeque is the menu. It’s tough to feed a crowd on a short budget. Rather than hunting to find sales or bargain buys, have guests try to bring their own meat to the party for a more variety-filled BBQ experience. The “bring your own meat” solution is perfect for vegetarian friends too who can bring bell peppers, tomatoes and onions to enjoy on the grill.
Less Expensive Cuts of Meat – If you choose to provide food instead of asking guests to bring their own, stick with less expensive cuts of meat. This includes ground beef, sausage, chicken legs and/or thighs, pork cutlets, etc. Chicken breasts are much pricier than breasts that still have rib meat attached, but are equally tasty on the grill. Purchase whatever is on sale for that week at your local grocer, barbeque meats are usually front and center for deals this time of year. Also when shopping for large crowds it’s always a good idea to check out a wholesale store like Costco’s or Sam’s Club. These stores sell in bulk so you’ll get more bang for your buck.
Reusable Plates, Cups & Utensils – While disposable plates, cups, napkins and flatware are undeniably convenient for barbeque cleanup, they are also an unnecessary expenditure. By using the glasses, plates and silverware you already own you can save $20 – $35 dollars worth of disposable items.If you are short on some of the basics needed to host the party (glassware, silverware, etc.), consider heading to a discount home goods store instead of buying disposable items. Four glasses can be purchased for under $10, and they will serve you for years and many barbeques to come, unlike disposable cups. Plus, using your own glasses is definitely more environmentally friendly than creating bags full of disposable Styrofoam, plastic and paper!
Skimp on the Seating – If you are planning a relatively large gathering, don’t sweat the seating. Instead of renting chairs, ask people to bring a folding lawn chair or two. They’ll be more comfortable than in those nasty wooden chairs that you normally get at a rental store, and you’ll save quite a lot of money.
Buy BBQ Equipment Off-Season – If you need to replace your barbeque or barbeque tools before grilling season hits, make sure to buy them as soon as possible. Once summer is in full swing it is tough to find the equipment you need at a bargain price. If, however, your tools are done-zo and you need a replacement take a few minutes to research. You never know if Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s or your even your local dollar store might be having a sale just in time!
Any great BBQ tips, tricks or recipes you’d like to reveal? Share them with us below!