how to host a barbecue without going over budget

[ 0 ] June 18, 2012 |

Nothing truly beats the summer tradition of enjoying a backyard barbecue surrounded by family and friends. Nothing except for knowing you stayed within budget, of course. Stumped? It’s easier than you think.

Instead of fanning the flames of your wallet, remember these simple tips for throwing a barbecue on a budget:

Buy Food On Sale

Or buy food in bulk. This is where a Costco membership comes in handy. If the meat of your choice isn’t on sale, purchase the bone-in cuts, they’re much less expensive. You should also consider economical meat like chicken or fish fillets.

Decide Where to Spend & Where to Save

You obviously want your guests to have a good time, so tailor your spending to your audience. Are they a family crowd? Spend less on alcohol. Regardless, it would be a good idea to devote a portion of your budget to citronella candles. Nobody wants a mosquito bite (or several).

Say No to Prepared Foods

Unless you’re super pressed for time, it’s best that you avoid those plastic tubs of prepared food. They might be convenient, but you’re spending way more money than you would if you prepared it yourself. Besides, store bought potato salad just doesn’t taste the same!


While it’s never a bad idea to chill a bottle of wine or have a jug of sangria on hand, drinks always take a big chunk of your cash. Most people will expect to bring a little something, so don’t be afraid to ask on their invitation.

Use What You Have

While paper plates and plastic cups aren’t exactly budget busters, it’s still money out of your pocket. Use your dishes instead. It’ll make the occasion feel a little more special, not to mention it’s 100% more eco-friendly.

Potluck, Potluck, Potluck

This tip is so obvious it barely needs to be said. Potlucks are more than just money savers, they’re time savers. Have your guests bring the sides, salads, desserts, kebabs or any other special treats. Sharing is caring.

What are your tips for saving money while hosting a barbecue?

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