After what looked like an eternal winter, warmer days are lastly here with us. It is time to put the grill in its place and plan for that perfect outdoor party. This is going to be a lot of fun; however, if you fail to plan in advance it can be expensive. That is why we are here, to give you some tips on how to do it on the cheap!
If you plan ahead, you are more likely to find the items you will need in bulk or on sale. It is always good when you snag deal in advance, you can always buy beef at a good price and freeze it or drink wine to your hearts content through out the winter, just make sure you save the bottles for future DIY decorations.
When it comes to the actual BBQ day, you can skimp on the burgers and throw extra hot dogs and bratwursts in the mix. Going healthy is another option, grill chicken and veggies as an alternative, it can go a long way to saving a dollar. The AFBF survey has found out that the price of chicken breast is has gone down by 7 percent going into this summer season.
A cookout should not just be concentrated on what’s on the grill. If you are hosting your friends and family, here are seven things you need to consider for a safe, fun and budget friendly barbecue party.
Beer and alcohol is hardly ever overlooked at a cookout. The likelihood of running out of it and food is always a cause of concern to nearly all hosts. Consequently, there is habitually an excess of both.
Hosting a BYOB barbecue is a simple way to cut down your costs and still ensure that your guests are entertained. Most guests prefer bringing their own drinks, since their beer and other drinks preferences are often diverse.
Make sure that you have a place to keep drinks cool outside, the last thing you want is people running in and out of your house all day. There are many cost effective ways you can do this, if you have an old wheelbarrow or wagon fill it up with ice for a rustic and stylish cooler.
2. Ice Cream
Give your visitors something sweet and cold to look forward to after spending the afternoon in the sun. When serving the burgers, you can tell guest to leave space for dessert. This will keep your visitors from eating an excessive amount of grilled meats.
Ice cream is a very cheap and will be easy to serve up at your barbecue. If extra utensils and clean up are not an issue, purchasing a tub of ice cream is your best option when on a budget. Or else, single serve ice cream such as king cones, popsicles, and cookie sandwiches are simpler to pass around.
Good Humor, Breyers, Magnum, Klondike, and Popsicle have introduced new and fascinating flavors for this summertime. If you have children at your barbecue they will enjoy the flavors and packaging of Popsicle’s Disney Frozen inspired treats, which retail at a low price of $3.99 for a sixteen or eighteen count box. Head into your local Target store or check them out online to pick up this deal and more.
3. Citronella Candles
While there are many people who are impassive to mosquito bites, several are not so lucky. To ensure that all of your visitors are comfortable as the sun goes down, set out some homemade citronella candles or buy a few from the store. Either way they look fantastic and are a source of extra light, while at the same time keeping the bugs away. I believe they call this killing two birds with one stone!
Having these candles around also implies that nobody needs to be covered in bug spray, which everyone will be grateful for. You can find galvanized bucket candles that last for 30 hrs at Walmart for $4.86 each. Look in their Patio and Garden section online for this fantastic deal.
When the sun goes down, your yard can become hazardous and you the last thing you want is one of your guest eating dirt. While they are at your BBQ to eat, dirt probably wouldn’t be their first choice. The citronella candles will give off some light, but it won’t be enough. Having multiple lighting options keeps things safe and visually interesting.
We suggest picking some paper lanterns or twinkling string lights, they are relatively inexpensive at places like Target, Walmart, and Ikea. Look for spring sales in stores and online. Ikea has their 12 pack of Solvinden lights on for $4.99 right now and are a favorite of ours for backyard lighting. Check out the decorative lighting selection on their website today.
Other options are possible too, you don’t have to blow all your cash on store bought lights. Just buy a few strands and then use old wine bottles with candles in them to light up your tables.
5. Portable Speakers
There has never been a good party without music. Therefore, toss on some music as you put on your barbecue show. Make it interactive and fun by allowing your visitors to choose individual songs played or have them suggest a favorite playlist. It could even be great to have a “name that tune” contest as one of your barbecue’s highlights.
Most portable speakers are small and loud, so don't worry about them failing to entertain your guests. And since they are small, you will find out that they are cheaper to buy and maintain than the conventional speakers which require amplifiers cables and a lot power. With these speakers, you can have your music at the click of a button. There will be no excuses, you and your guest will have no choice but to dance the night and their food comma away.
Modern portable speakers like the Beats Pill can be connected via Bluetooth, which allows them to be operated from afar and effectively. Amazon is usually your best bet for a vast selection of electronics at a great price.
6. Lawn Games
Games like corn hole, croquet and bocce can be enjoyed by almost all age levels and can be as casual or competitive as you would like it to be. These games can be great for socializing; therefore, guests won't feel the need to focus too much on what's cooking or burning in some cases.
These games can be very entertaining and won’t cost you a dime. All you want is for your guests to be happy and entertained. However, lawn games are usually a forgotten addition to a cookout. It is not until the guests arrive and begin to settle in that the absence of these lawn games becomes evident, so make sure it's at the top of your BBQ party to do list.
If you don’t own any lawn games, suggest to your guests to bring their own favorites, which increases the options available without necessarily hurting your already wounded wallet.
Having enough places for people to sit down and eat is always a worry, buying new outdoor furniture can be extremely expensive. There are other ways to solve this problem, bring what you can from your indoor furniture selection to the outdoors, it costs nothing and eclectic is a great look for a BBQ. If that’s still not enough grab a large blanket and pillows, lay it out on the ground to make a picnic style seating area. This adds a fun element to the party and will encourage guest to mingle.
If bringing your nice stuff from indoors doesn’t appeal to you. Another option would be buying some used chairs and sprucing them up. Garage sales are huge in the spring and an excellent source for cheap chairs. Once you have enough chairs, hit up your local hardware or for some weather resistant spray paint. We suggest painting the chairs in vibrant colors for a fun festive look.
BONUS FOOD TIP : Don't Blow You Budget On Meat
You do not have to break the bank to roast chicken, steak, or fish on the grill in style. Steven Raichlen, the author of the famous How to Grill and The Barbecue Bible suggests that you avoid the porterhouse in favor of a grand, inexpensive flank or skirt steak. Forgoing the boneless chicken breasts for the inexpensive, tasty thighs and legs, and throwing back the most expensive catch of the day in order to net yourself the darker, grill friendly seafood’s like blue fish and mackerel.
Omaha Steaks is an excellent place to find deals on meat, they currently have some great package deals for spring grilling. Find out about this and other excellent deals on their website.
For more ideas on how to throw a party on a budget, check out our Pinterest page. We have found 40 more ideas to that will hopefully inspire you to throw the best outdoor party this season.