Hosting a backyard BBQ shouldn’t require taking out a second mortgage. Eat, drink, and be merry all while saving some money with these BBQ budget tips.
- Hot dog bar. You can feed a lot of people and not spend a fortune. Offering a hot dog bar will give a BBQ staple a facelift by getting creative with the fixings. Make some crazy condiments like siracha mayonnaise, bacon and cheez whiz, marinara sauce and mozzarella, guacamole and salsa, peanut butter and jelly… hey, why not?
- Minimal decorations. Who are you trying to impress? Little to no decorations are needed to still have a fantastic BBQ. If you feel you need something, a cheap way to add some summer vibes is a couple tiki torches! You’ll likely be able to find a four pack with a bottle of fuel at your local department/hardware store for less than $30… you might even get lucky and find them at your local “dollar store”. But really, all you need are friends, family, food, and some yard games.
- Salad bar. Guests will have all sorts of different food needs. Chop up a bunch of different vegetables and create your own salad bar. If you’re a gardener, you’ll be able to save by pulling some veggies from your own garden! Urge people to bring a dressing of their choice to create a variety of different options.
- Shopping list. Go generic for most of your food choices. Put chips and other snacks in bowls for people to serve themselves. It’s a nice presentation and more importantly, no one will know the difference.
- Food allergies. Mark the serving plates and bowls and keep them separate so that your friends with dietary needs know there is a safe place for them to eat and not have to worry about cross contamination. They will love you even more for that simple gesture, plus you won’t have as much left over food if they’re confident that they can indulge with everyone else.
- Pot luck. Offer to make the main dish as host and ask guests to bring side dishes and snack items. Even if they can only bring a bag of chips that’s still one less item you have to worry about. Sharing the cost can also make for a variety of food choices.
- Invitations. Send an email or create a Facebook event to invite friends and family. You can get a head count of people interested and start a message board for what items people can bring. HINT: DO NOT send a group text if you have a large group. No one will come to your party.
- Utensils and miscellaneous. Go to your local “dollar store” to get utensils as well as napkins, cups, tablecloth, toothpicks, kabob spears, citronella candles to keep the bugs away, bug spray, and party favors for any children or adults that need to be entertained.
- Activities. You don’t have to bust the bank to have fun activities at your BBQ. There are plenty of cheap options like Frisbee, a football, water guns, water balloons, lawn darts, badminton etc. If you need more games ask that your guests bring their favorite games for variety.
However you decide to entertain this summer, being a good host doesn’t require you to break the bank. We hope these budget-friendly tips encourage you to invite your loved ones over for some quality face-time before it starts getting cold. Now, send out that Facebook invite!
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