Spring is gone and summer is officially here! Summer brings beach days, park trips, swimming, lazy nights roasting marshmallows. One of things I look forward to the most is having cookouts. They are just so fun and laid back. Nothing screams “summer fun” to me more than hanging with friends and family with the grill going, good conversation, and even some games. But, like most everything else, you can spend a lot of money on a backyard barbecue. That is why I have put together this list to help you host a frugal backyard barbecue. No need to spend a lot to have a great time.
BYOM: bring your own meat. We do this a lot around here. The host provides the grill and does the grilling, everyone else brings their own meat/vegetarian option for their family. Meat is often the most expensive part of a backyard barbecue so this helps cut down on the costs quite a bit. Around here the host usually provides the hamburger and hot dog rolls as well as the condiments.
Potluck Side Dishes
Another way keep expenses down is to have each family bring a side dish or dessert to share. Unless s’mores are planned for dessert then the host provides the items. Side dishes can be anything from a bag of chips to store bought potato salad to a fruit plate to homemade baked beans. If you are doing side dishes and dessert be sure to ask some people for side dishes and some for dessert or else you run the risk of having all one or the other.Check out these 5 tips for hosting a #budget friendly backyard #barbecue! Click To Tweet
Sure, there are some great backyard games out there like croquet and bocce ball but those involve buying items. Instead of buying a designated item that can be expensive to get decent quality, just plan on simple activities. A Frisbee is only 97 cents at Walmart. A kick ball is less than $10. You can also check Pinterest for fun and free backyard games.
Use Real Plates
Sure, doing dishes isn’t a ton of fun but you can cut on the cost of paper plates and plastic silverware if you use real plates and utensils. If you have a dishwasher this tip isn’t as much of a hardship. Otherwise, make life easier and put a dishpan with some soapy water where people will be. This could be the sink or on a table outside. Whichever is easier. This gets things soaking to make the work easier.
If you want to provide everything for your guests and use paper products, keep that in mind year round. This is a great time to use a stockpile. Usually starting around Memorial Day there will be good deals on ground beef, hot dogs, condiments, etc. Paper napkins and the such can be purchased any time of year when you see them on sale. I even sometimes stock up on hamburger and hot dog rolls and put them in the freezer.
This post is part of the Frugal Summer Fun series that I am doing with two other awesome bloggers. Check out these other great summer themed posts by Emily at Queen of the Household and Morgan at Morgan Manages Mommyhood.
Frugal Family Road Trips by Emily
Frugal Toddler Summer Fun by Morgan