BBQ season is here!
Don’t let your plans hurt your finances. Follow these suggestions for a successful, budget-friendly BBQ.
Pick Produce that’s In-Season
Produce is much cheaper when you buy in-season. Here are some examples of what you should get and when:
- Spring: asparagus, swiss chard, mushrooms, collard greens
- Summer: corn, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes
- Fall: kale, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, bell peppers
Click here for a full list per season.
Make Your Own Rubs and Sauces
Instead of purchasing commercial rubs or sauces, try making your own. They usually require simple ingredients and are easy to make. You can search for recipes online and look for ones that are highly reviewed.
If you make enough food for another day or two of meals, it will help cut the per-meal cost. Charcoal and propane cost money, so get the most out of it. Don’t go overboard though – throwing away food can be just as costly.
Host a Potluck
Ask guests to bring their favorite side dish or even their own meat for you to grill. This can prevent too many leftovers of one food item.
If a potluck isn’t your style, create a menu prior to your BBQ and ask people what they’ll eat.
Purchase Reusable Plates
Paper plates make cleaning up easy, but they’re certainly not cost-effective. Instead, purchase plastic plates that can be easily washed and reused.
Bring Ice Cream to the Park
If you’re hosting your BBQ in a park, you’re bound to run into an ice cream truck or stand. You know kids will want to buy some, so prepare ahead by bringing ice cream and popsicles with you.
Choose Bone-in Cuts
Boneless cuts may be convenient, but bone-in cuts are both cheaper and add more flavor to the meat.
Take Care of Your Grill
A well-maintained grill can last a long time. Make sure you thoroughly clean your grill and oil the grate before and after using it.
Have a fun and safe BBQ!