Tricks to Throwing a Budget-friendly Barbeque

by Renee' Anderson 29. June 2012

4th of July Fireworks I love entertaining at my house, but it can be expensive to feed my clan! That doesn't stop me from having a great summertime BBQ; I just find creative ways to keep the costs low.

With Independence Day just around the corner, here are some tips on throwing a backyard bash without breaking the bank:

1. If someone asks to bring something, LET THEM (sodas, side salad, dessert or their signature dish)!

2. Buy in bulk and buy at the right places. First get organized and make a list of exactly what you need (paper products, food. drinks, etc.), then plan your shopping trips accordingly. If you're unorganized, you're more likely to get frustrated and just start throwing stuff in your cart or rushing to grab things at the last minute without taking price into account. So, make a list, plan out your stops, cut coupons for each location if you can, and don't deviate from the plan unless absolutely necessary.

3. Buy small dinner plates. The bigger the plate, the more food people will take (and not necessarily eat it all)! Your guests can always go back for more if they are still hungry.

4. Plan a menu that will allow you to feed a lot of people with inexpensive foods. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hamburgers (make your own patties for cheaper AND better tasting burgers)
  • Hot dogs
  • BBQ (beef or pork from a wholesale club)
  • Cole slaw and potato salad are good, inexpensive sides if you make them youself.
  • Fruit can be expensive, so instead of making a fruit salad, just pick up one big melon to cut up.
  • Don't go crazy on desserts. A lot of people won't even eat dessert of a hot day, so a batch of brownies will do just fine. You can spice your brownies up by simply adding some cream cheese, sugar and chocolate chips.

Encourage people to bring their favorite backyard games, and make sure you get as much prep done before the party as possible so you can enjoy the party yourself!

For grilling recipes, 4th of July decorating ideas and more, view our 4th of July Pinterest board.

For a list of Maryland 4th of July events, click here.

If you are traveling for the holiday, be sure to read Traveling Tips: keep the costs low and the fun level high.

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