Easy Ways to Save on Your Summer Barbecue
It’s grilling season and you may already be busy organizing a few outdoor get-togethers or a barbecue this summer. If you’re on a tight budget right now, don’t overlook the many ways to save on food and supplies for those summer cookouts. Whether you’re hosting a neighborhood block party or just having some people over for a weekend cookout, you can fire up that grill without burning a hole in your wallet.
Here are some easy ways to save on your summer barbecue:
Shop Local and Seasonal
Make a few trips to the farmer’s market or smaller, locally owned produce stores to pick up fresh, seasonal items for your summer parties. Buying seasonal items in bulk can help you save money. Local vendors may be able to give you a great price on bulk buys of meat and seafood - especially if it’s a last minute purchase - which can help you save on the cost of entertaining that summer barbecue crew.
Make Your Own Salads
Store-bought salads from the deli are the ultimate in convenience but come at a price — anywhere from two to three dollars a pound. Plan ahead to make a large batch of macaroni salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and other popular BBQ sides and leave them to settle in the fridge for a few days for maximum flavor. Buy fresh ingredients in bulk and use as many ingredients as possible to prevent food waste.
Cut Food Costs with a Savings Plan
You can find great deals on groceries at your favorite supermarket without having to clip coupons and spend time paging through store circulars. Sign up for a grocery rewards savings plan to get coupons mailed to you and save on all types of grocery purchases. These plans are especially valuable when buying groceries for a large family or groups since you can find a variety of coupons for products and items that everyone likes.
Make It a BYOB
The cost of beverages can put a dent in your entertaining budget — especially if you plan on serving specialty drinks or set up a bar. Ask your guests to bring their favorite beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages to share so you can eliminate that cost altogether. When your guests are taking care of beverages, all you need to budget for is serving glasses, a few buckets of ice and other beverage supplies.
Shop Wholesale Clubs for Extras
Whether you need a few bags of charcoal for the grill or some extra picnic chairs, save on those extra items with a quick trip to the wholesale club. Many wholesale clubs run seasonal specials on these items through the summer so you can get even bigger discounts on bulk buys and seasonal items and supplies that are priced higher elsewhere.