With Spring and Summer around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming barbecue season. It is easy to go overboard when throwing a barbecue because, who doesn’t want to impress their friends with high quality meats, toppings and sides? However, it is possible to throw a great bbq on a budget for those who cannot afford to splurge. Bbq’s are meant to be a good time between friends sharing a meal, it does not need to be a fancy affair for them to be impressed. Here are a few tips for planning a budget-friendly bbq.
Transforming the basics is an easy way to give your guests a great experience. Hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken are the traditional bbq foods. It is easy to transform these with ingredients to wow your guests. Adding a sauce to the burgers or a marinade to the chicken can make a boring dish into something that will be talked about.
Also, setting out burger toppings in a display can give your guests a greater experience. Lay out cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles, etc. on the table in a nice display. Most of these ingredients are not terribly expensive.
When buying bbq ingredients buying in bulk is also never a bad idea. The basics of a bbq (burgers, hot dogs and buns) are all cheaper to buy in bulk from stores like Sam’s Club or Costco. You can buy 30-40 burgers and buns for around $30, and the same amount of hot dogs and buns for even less. When buying ingredients, also know what your guests like. If you know ahead of time what to buy, you do not need to buy extra food as options for them. Another tip dealing with ingredients is to serve what is in season. Produce and fish are more expensive when they are not in season, so do a little research before going to the store to see what is in season at the time.
Making your bbq potluck is another cost effective way to have a great time at your bbq. You not only save money, but you get to enjoy the bbq more without having to do all of the cooking. You also get to taste the creations of your guests, which could be exciting!
The best way to save on drinks at your bbq is to make the bbq BYOB. People usually do not mind bringing their own alcoholic beverages. If you do not want to ask your guests to do so, cheap beer is always an option. Even at a BYOB bbq, you can provide non-alcoholic beverages for a low price.
When buying non-alcoholic beverages, such as soda, try to buy cans instead of bottles. Doing so cuts waste. 2-Liter bottles often go un-finished and then you are stuck with flat soda. If you buy cans, if they are not drank, you can keep them.
Don’t go overboard on the decor. A little sprucing up is a good idea, but there is no need to go out and buy expensive decorations at a party store. If you do want to buy decorations, the dollar store often has balloons, streamers and many other cheaper decor options.
There is no need to buy paper plates or plastic cups and utensils if you are hosting a smaller bbq. You are inviting your guests over to your home, why not use the plates, cups and utensils that you already have in the cabinets?
Another shopping tip is to stock up on charcoal in the summer. Usually this is when it is at it’s cheapest. If it is stored in a cool, dry place charcoal can last a while.
Planning a bbq does not have to be stressful for you or your wallet. With the tips above, you can plan something tasteful yet budget friendly.
Zane Schwarzlose is an SEO at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin web design firm. Zane thinks that BBQs are an awesome idea for a company party.