Ready to be the host with the most, but short on funds? Don’t worry, if you plan well, an amazing summer BBQ doesn’t have to break the bank.
There is no time like the present to host an awesome, crowd-pleasing, and fun barbecue. What goes better with a hot summer day than friends, family, and good food? When hosting your own cookout, the only thing you should be worried about is burning the hot dogs, not about spending money. Providing tasty food and entertainment can feel like a daunting expense, but if you play your cards right, it is easy to host an awesome summer barbecue without blowing the budget. These are some tips to get the party started off right.
Although this seems like a no-brainer, it is extremely beneficial to have a game plan. Look for coupons, and base what you’re serving on what’s on sale. Keep in mind the number of guests that will be attending to make sure you have enough, but also to ensure that you do not go overboard; leftovers are great, but not after they’ve been sitting out in the hot sun all afternoon. Keep in mind the grill itself as well. If you already have a grill, that’s perfect. If not, before breaking the bank on a brand new one, look into hosting your barbecue at a local park, as most have grills available for free public use, or see if a friend would let you borrow theirs for the day.
These small expenses can sneak up on the unsuspecting party host, so be smart when it comes to sides and desserts. Fresh vegetables are absolutely delicious on the grill, and easy on the wallet as well. Fruit can also be easily be sliced and enjoyed and is very refreshing on hot summer days. Also, rather than buying expensive pre-prepared desserts, things like Rice Krispie Treats and fruit juice popsicles are ridiculously easy to make and a treat to everyone, kids and adults alike.
You could also ask your guests to help out and have a potluck barbecue. Each guest bringing a tasty food or drink can greatly help out with the cost. This works especially well if you have a more adult crowd, as alcohol can seriously put a dent in your budget. It makes life easier and cheaper for you, and your guests will be more than happy to bring their own favorites to share (or just have for themselves).
To avoid too much of one thing, you could also start a “sign-up sheet” through social media or on a shared Google Doc to make sure everything is taken care of, or just have guests RSVP by telling you what they are bringing. Make sure to include things like chips, plates, and utensils for your guests that may not be chefs. You could even have them bring their own meat to be grilled, ensuring that they have exactly what they want and that you will be saving money.
Of course, it can’t be an awesome summer barbecue with fun activities. Guests can bring their own frisbees, footballs, baseballs, and more to play with, and lots of fun outdoor games can be found for cheap at thrift stores as well, like croquet, lawn darts or bocce ball. If you have children in attendance, bubbles and chalk can go a long way as well. Even something as simple as a few Minute to Win it games can be an absolute blast.
It’s tempting to want to provide your guests with a lavish assortment of drinks and no one wants to be considered cheap. But multiple drink options can really bite into your budget. A good compromise is to provide a couple of crowd-pleasers. Set up a big jug full of lemonade or flavoured water — sangria or spiked punch for the adults — and gently let your guests know that if they’re in the mood for something else, they’re welcome to bring their own.
Now you’re ready to throw the most amazing summer BBQ ever! For more ways to ways to save some cash, be sure to check out our blog.