Y’all know I love a good old fashion BBQ! A barbecue is a great way to get everyone together in the summer, but hosting your own garden party can be pretty expensive. With lots of meat, drinks and extras to buy, it’s easy to be put off by the cost. Thankfully there are things you can do to keep this down, and enjoy food and drinks with friends without it costing the bank. Here are my top tips for hosting an epic BBQ!
Go potluck style
Asking everyone to bring something along that you can throw onto the grill can really help to keep costs down, plus you get a better selection of items and it can be fun to share everything around! There’s no major cost on you as the host and you could end up with a far more interesting spread than you would have otherwise. To avoid too many repeats, you could assign burgers, sausages, chicken, beef, pork and vegetables to different guests.
Marinate your own meat
If you head into the supermarket, at this time of year there’s always a ‘barbecue’ section. A range of tasty looking marinated meats that you can throw directly onto the grill. The trouble is, these can cost up to three times more than the ingredients to make them, assembling your own can be easy and just as tasty. Purchase some marinating kits– cajun powder, barbecue seasoning, chinese seasoning etc or mix up your own. Buy your meat plain and marinate it yourself. Things like big bags of frozen chicken drumsticks are really cheap, defrost them in the fridge overnight and then add some spice rub to them. By the afternoon they’ll be ready to go and you’ll have saved a fortune on similar products. You can make your own burgers using plain ground meat- add things like grated onion, herbs and spices or a chunk of cheese to the centre so they’re ‘melt in the middle’. You can marinate plain chicken breasts and bash them flat with a rolling pin so they cook easily on the barbecue for tasty chicken fillet burgers.
Bulk it up with veggies and side dishes
The meat will always be the most expensive part of a barbecue, so bulk it out with different vegetables and side dishes. Create skewers where the meat is bulked out by chunks of peppers, mushrooms and onions. Make big batches of pasta salad, potato salad and homemade coleslaw, these cost hardly anything but fill up your guests plates.
Mix up some cocktails
In addition to the food, the drinks are important at a barbecue too. One cheap and easy option that suits most people is to mix up something like vodka cocktails. Add a bottle of vodka, some fruit juice and lemonade to a large drinks dispenser with some chopped strawberries and lemons to infuse it. Guests can then help themselves as it’s all pre- mixed. Have plenty of ice in the freezer which they can pop into their glass when they’re filling up, as drinks quickly go warm on a sunny day.