7 Tips for Hosting a Low-Budget BBQ

barbecue© Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

Nothing says summer like a good old-fashioned barbecue. But these days, hosting a memorable backyard grilling party for friends and family can get expensive quick. Here are some easy ways to put on a successful barbecue this summer without breaking the bank.

Plus: 31 Delicious Recipes for the Grill

1. Transform the basics.

If you’re serving something as traditional as burgers and hot dogs, play dress-up by laying out a spread of bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and other basic condiments. If you cook chicken, serve it with different types of marinades. The variety of selections allow your guests to create their own meal, and you won’t spend a fortune on gourmet ingredients.

2. Buy cans instead of bottles.

Instead of setting out bottles of soda at your barbecue, place cans in a cooler with ice. That way any leftovers are completely reusable, and you won’t be stuck with half-full bottles of flat soda.

3. Serve what’s in season.

Fruits, vegetables, and fish are always cheaper at the peak of the season. Look for the best discounts in your area, and be sure to check out your local farmer’s market for good deals on produce.

4. Don’t go overboard with decorations.

Decorations aren’t necessary for a fun barbecue. If you do want to spruce up the atmosphere, however, purchase decorations from the dollar store, which has ideas for almost every occasion. A bag of balloons, bright table cloths, and crêpe streamers will do the trick for any summer party.

5. Know your guests.

Don’t stress about impressing your guests with an elaborate menu. Instead of trying difficult recipes, serve simple dishes that you know they will like. Plus, if the kids at your barbecue are picky eaters, your uncomplicated menu is bound to please them.

6. Make it a potluck.

Save some money on your barbecue by asking your guests to bring an appetizer or dessert. This will give your menu some delicious surprises, and it will help you keep the cost down.

7. Use what you’ve got.

Don’t blow your budget on holiday-specific plates, bowls, or cups. Make use of the dishes in your cabinet instead. You’ll be saving money and making an eco-friendly decision.

Plus: Grilling Safety Tips

Sources: eHow.com, USA Today, Foodista

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