How to Save Money When Barbecuing
It's almost summer! Time to get your friends and family together, break out the barbecue and enjoy the sunshine! Hosting summer parties in your backyard can be one of the best parts about summer but you'll quickly find that barbecuing can be expensive. Between the meats, salads, condiments, drinks and cutlery, you can be left with a hefty grocery bill. But don't despair! Here are some tips and tricks on ways to save money so you can host a fantastic barbecue without worry!
Stick With the Cheap Meats. Specific types of meat like steak and beef can be shockingly expensive. Luckily there are alternatives. When it comes to chicken, skip the breast and look towards bone-in meats like drumsticks and thighs. Not only are they cheaper but meats with the bone-in tend to stay more moist when barbecuing. When purchasing steaks, look past the New York strip and pick up Sirloin which is around $3/lb cheaper. You can also try out ground turkey instead of ground beef. It's usually a couple dollars cheaper plus it's a healthy alternative to dark meats.
Make it a Potluck. Don't be afraid to ask your guest to help pitch in! Ask everyone to bring an item for the barbecue. Someone can bring the buns, while someone else can bring a salad or dessert.
Think Ahead, Don't Buy too Much and Buy on Sale. Prepare a list of food and items you need and stick to it! The more disorganized we are, the more likely we are to be impulsive shoppers so have a checklist on you! It will keep you on track and in the budget. Don't forget to check store flyers and shop at stores based on coupons you find as well!
Buy in Bulk. Head to Costco or other bulk-item stores to stock up on barbecue essentials when hosting a large group! Costco always has a ton of sales and coupons for in-store and online items so check them out before you make a trip.
Make your Own Rubs, Spices, and Sauces. Nothing completes a steak or burger like a delicious rub but they can definitely be expensive! Instead of buying a small jar for $7+, go to a bulk store and grab small quantities of each spice to make your own special recipe or better yet, make use of what you already have in your cupboards!
Add Your Sides to the Grill. No need to boil your potatoes on your stove or bake your veggies in your oven. Save your gas and money by adding all of your food to your grill at once when barbecuing.
Invest in a Good Grill. There's nothing worse than a barbecue that has the potential to cook up a great meal but fails. When purchasing a new barbecue it's important to take the time to do some research and figure out exactly what it is you are looking for. Keep the size in mind. How many people are you going to be cooking for? You don't want to buy a cheaper, smaller grill to find out that you're hosting a large group of people. Invest in a barbecue that suits your needs. In terms of price, search for sales then read reviews and articles to find out if its worth the money. You can usually find barbecues on sale during off season. So try looking in September or October. The material is also important to note. Stainless-steel and cast-aluminum barbecues are a bit more pricey but worth the money since they are least prone to rust.
Take Care of Your Grill. One of the first things we do once the snow melts away is open up our barbecues. However, upon opening, you may discover that the long, cold winter has taken a toll on your beloved equipment. To ensure this doesn't happen, take care of your grill! Invest in a heavy duty cover for the winter months. You can usually find these on sale at the end of summer so if you can, wait until then to buy one! Ensure you have a good grill pad beneath your grill to help prevent a mess from oils and ash. And mostly, scrub your grill after every use and once a month give it a good deep clean.
Know Your Grill. Get familiar with your barbecue. Test our your burners to begin. Without any food on the grill, turn on your burns and start at the lowest variable and see how hot it gets. Increase the temperature one variable at a time to get a gauge of how quickly it heats up. See if you can adjust each burner differently so your meats and veggies can be on different heats for perfect grilling!
Make Enough for Leftovers. If you're turning on the grill, you may as well make the most of it and double what you're making! This way you'll have leftovers for a couple of days. And remember, if you don't cook all of the meat you bought, freeze it and save it for a later date!
Have any more money saving ideas when it comes to barbecues? Let us know and we'll add it to our list! Happy grillin'!