Barbecuing On a Budget

Have a Feast Without Breaking the Bank!

people eating barbecue food

4th of July is coming up, which means parades, fireworks and barbecues! If you’re planning on having a backyard celebration, it can be overwhelming thinking about all the work and time that goes into feeding a crowd, not to mention the strain it may put on your wallet. Here are five tips to help you have a fantastic barbecue without breaking the bank:

  1. Don’t go all out on expensive meat. Meat is often times the most expensive item on your grocery list, and if you try to impress your guests with fancy steaks and wild caught salmon, you’ll almost certainly be looking at a hefty bill. Your guests will be just as happy with hamburgers and hot dogs, and so will your wallet. According to these stats from the United States Department of Agriculture, the average price per pound of ground beef in May 2017 was $3.56 compared to $8.08 for sirloin steak – almost double the price!

  2. Make it potluck style. If you’re worried about time and money, try turning your barbecue into a potluck. Provide the main dish, but ask your guests to bring their favorite side dish, drink or dessert. This will ease the burden on you and give your guests the chance to get more involved, a win-win for everybody!

  3. Make your own sides. It can be so tempting to go out and buy premade potato salad, coleslaw and chip dips, but buying these dishes pre-made is often more expensive than taking the extra time to make them yourself. Here are a few easy, inexpensive side dishes for you to make at your next barbecue:
    Easy Potato Salad
    Easy Sour Cream Chip Dip
    Homemade Cole Slaw
    15 Super Fast, Cheap, and Easy Dip Recipes for Your Next Party

  4. Check to see what you have in your pantry. Before you plan your menu and make up your grocery list, take a look in your pantry to see what you have on hand. You may have all the ingredients you need to make a fantastic dip, dessert or side dish, which means you’ll be spending less on your trip to the grocery!

  5. Plan your menu around what’s on sale. Instead of making your menu and then heading to the grocery, try to do it the other way around. Go to the grocery first and take a look at the items that are on sale, then plan your menu around that. You’ll be saving money, and it’ll be a fun challenge to see what you can come up with.

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a fabulous backyard bash. Having good food is great, but in the end what’s most important is spending quality time with family and friends.

From all of us at BMI FCU, have a fabulous 4th of July!