Personal Finance

What Do Cheap People Bring To A BBQ

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 7 minute read

As summer draws to a close, it’s time to throw one more barbeque bash before the kids head back to class.

Only catch? You can’t afford to treat everyone to porterhouse steak and artisan beer. Luckily, there are a ton of ways to have a killer BBQ without breaking the bank. If you want to throw a traditional summer BBQ that won’t break the bank, then scrub the grates and grab the apron.

How to Cut Costs on Your Summer BBQ

Having a fantastic summer cookout doesn’t need a significant investment. Your only requirements are advanced planning and a substantial amount of time before your visitors arrive. If you stick to these guidelines, you may host a barbecue that your friends and family will enjoy without breaking the wallet.

  1. Determine How Much Food You Really Need

Overbuying food and beverages is a simple way to lose money while throwing a BBQ. However, you should avoid creating a situation in which not enough is available. If you want to know how much to purchase, how do you?

Adults consume an average of one pound of food during a barbeque, while children consume around half that amount. Keep in mind that this includes all forms of nutrition, not simply meat.

Your visitors will consume somewhat more food and alcohol if the celebration continues into the night. Plan on purchasing 5–6 ounces of meat per person, or 10–12 ounces if the meat will have a lot of bones like ribs.

Delish claims that the average party consumes three to four alcoholic beverages in that time frame. In addition, ice should be readily available. You should have at least 2 pounds per person on hand, and if temperatures are higher than usual, you should have even more.

  1. Select Less Expensive Meat Cuts

Many of us would want to treat our guests to a filet mignon dinner. Premium cuts of beef or poultry, however, may rapidly put a dent in your wallet.

Choose cheaper options like flank steak or bone-in chicken thighs, which are more tasty than breasts anyhow, unless you can get a fantastic price on quality cuts of steak or chicken breasts.

And if this is going to be the first of many outdoor barbecues at your property, you might want to consider investing in a drum cooker to permanently improve the quality of these inexpensive cuts. As for our favorite, it has to be the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker, a full-sized version of the original that promises (and delivers) flawlessly cooked meals every time.

  1. Get Creative With Grilling

When compared to more expensive cuts of meat like steak and chicken breast, the per-pound nutritional value of cheaper options like hot dogs, brats, and hamburgers is higher. But if you rely on these alternatives every week for quick summer dinners throughout the work week, they might start to seem a little boring.

It’s time to be resourceful if you want to grill like a pro without spending a fortune. You could also print out topping choices and post them for visitors to reference, like this one from Real Simple or this one from Food Network.

Provide visitors with a selection of hot dog buns, or roast some ordinary buns on the grill to give them a crunch.

Another fantastic way to save money is to serve hot dogs on coffee filters instead of paper plates, as suggested by Country Living. They’re cheap and convenient for holding a hot dog with one hand.

If you’re trying to save money at the barbeque this year, shish kabobs are a great choice since they allow you to serve fewer expensive cuts of meat while still providing your guests with a wide variety of tasty and nutritious veggies. Shish kabobs can be prepared with a wide variety of meats, poultry, lamb, and even tofu.

The challenge, though, is in ensuring that the meat and vegetables cook at the same rate. The first step in grilling delicious kabobs is picking the proper cut of meat and then chopping it to the right size.

As long as you don’t overcook it, sirloin or sirloin tips are the best cuts of meat to use for kabobs, according to Food & Wine.

USDA data shows that the price per pound of sirloin is often lower than that of other cuts of beef. The sirloin can serve a large group since it is sliced into little pieces and then combined with a large quantity of veggies.

Kabobs are perfect for using any part of a chicken, but chicken thighs are particularly tasty. They are cheap and may be grilled without drying out because of their high fat content.

You should dice the meat you use into 1- to 1.5-inch pieces. Since chicken thighs are notoriously difficult to cube, you’ll need to first cut them into strips before folding them in half to achieve the desired cube shape.

Skewers are another item that will be necessary. Bamboo skewers are readily available and affordable at any supermarket. To prevent them from burning on the grill, soak them for at least 30 minutes in water before grilling.

Cooking spray should be used on the skewers before the meat and vegetables are threaded on to prevent the food from sticking to the skewers while being removed.

  1. Go Potluck

We’re all busy, and no one expects the host to prepare for everyone, so potlucks are more common than ever before.

Therefore, you shouldn’t feel awful about suggesting that others bring food to share. It’s OK to bring up the idea of a potluck or supper swap at almost any social gathering these days. It will save you a lot of money and effort, plus your guests will get to show off their culinary skills by bringing something they know you’ll enjoy.

Tell your guests ahead of time that there will be a contest to determine who provides the greatest appetizer, side dish, or dessert, and the winner receives a prize, like your famous strawberry jam or gourmet spice rub.

Keep a tally of the dishes that people have committed to bringing so that you don’t wind up with a dozen sweets and one pasta salad. If you see that more individuals have volunteered to bring savory dishes than sweets, or if five people have offered to bring potato salad, write an email requesting that people modify their offerings.

It is also customary to request that visitors who plan to consume alcoholic beverages bring their own supplies. Lemonade, iced tea, soda, and water are appropriate non-alcoholic beverages for a host to provide. If you’re looking to impress your guests without breaking the bank, infusing your drinks with fruit or herbs is a great way to go.

  1. Save money on supplies and decorations.

When planning a party on a tight budget, a trip to the dollar shop might rescue the day. Packs of paper plates, garbage bags, additional trash cans, paper towels, napkins, and plastic cutlery can all be purchased here for a buck each.

You may also get inexpensive summer-themed table linens and banners here, making it a fantastic spot to shop for party decorations.

You may also be able to find deals on themed decorations for your BBQ at larger stores that are clearing out their summer stock in preparation for the coming fall season.

Make sure there are enough seats for everyone as well. If you don’t have enough chairs, you may either encourage guests to bring their own or look into borrowing some from friends and neighbors.

  1. Keep the Kids Amused on a Budget

There will probably be some kids at your BBQ, so you should make an effort to keep them entertained as well.

If you already have kids, half your job is done because they can share their toys and games. There are, however, a number of alternative kid-friendly summer activities that you may plan for the kids in attendance at your party.

At first, you may think about having kids set up a lemonade kiosk in the backyard. You may “purchase” a glass of lemonade for a quarter, and the kids will use the money to support the animal shelter or another organization of their choosing.

Dollar stores are also good places to find frisbees, water balloons, bubbles, art supplies, and sidewalk chalk. Put everything in a box or a bucket and let the youngsters go at it. Corn hole, Twister, croquet, bocce, and badminton are some further examples of lawn games that are suitable for both young children and large groups.

Ice eggs are another option; they are frozen “eggs” of ice with a toy trapped in the center and then given as a gift. Chipping away at the ice to get at the reward is a fun game that may keep kids occupied for a long time. Get some water balloons and cheap toys from the dollar shop, and decorate the eggs the night before. A Little Learning for Two has the necessary instructions for this.

Finally, instead of buying a ton of treats, have the kids prepare s’mores. For this reason, s’mores fixings like chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows are often discounted in the summer.

What, no outdoor fireplace? Not at all! Elisabeth McKnight provides directions for making adorable and inexpensive S’Mores Pots at home.

Bottom Line

Gathering with friends and family in the summer to enjoy delicious food and excellent company is a tradition that everyone looks forward to, and the keys to making the event both inexpensive and enjoyable are organization and forethought. Getting all of your non-food things at once from the dollar shop will save you a lot of money, making it one of the finest tools you can employ.

Outdoor lighting may be a great way to spend whatever spare cash you have and make your space seem more inviting and festive after dark. Create a romantic atmosphere by plugging in white twinkle lights to your backyard trees, lighting candles at each table, or placing solar lights in the ground throughout the yard.

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