Jordan Page from FunCheapOrFree.com and BudgetBootCamp.com, here. I don’t know about you, but around here "summer" means no school, pool days, and eating with family and friends! I am an entertaining NUT. I love having people over, whether it's one couple or 40 friends, we entertain a lot. If you're not careful, feeding a crowd can be expensive so today I’m sharing my top five ways to host a summer barbecue for less!
1. Shop the sales
Want to invite all your friends over but worried about breaking your budget? One of the best things about summer entertaining is that there are usually some killer grocery deals! This time of year you can find hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, chips, fruit and more all on sale! Look over your grocery ads, center your menu around the least expensive items, and voila! You can feed a crowd while still sticking to your budget. Keep an eye on the sales year round using the Flipp app. If you see condiments go on sale, stock up. Same with chips, paper plates, napkins, drinks, and other pantry items. This also goes for anything you can freeze (cheese, tortillas, meat, etc).
2. Use what you already have
Before running to the store, open your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and pantry and use what you have! This goes for decorations, too. Trust me…you'll save A TON of money if you simply get creative with what you already have. You can put already opened chips in a bowl instead of serving them out of a bag, or put condiments in a bowl if the container is running low so you don’t have to buy new ones! Once again, using the Flipp app will save you a ton of money by helping you stock up so you already have most of your ingredients on hand.
3. Make it potluck
Inviting friends over for a barbecue doesn’t mean you have to provide everything! When you are writing out your plan, decide what you will provide and what you’ll kindly ask your guests to bring. Maybe you’ll do the main dish and ask them to bring a dessert or a side dish to share. Friends are usually more than happy to help and in this Pinterest filled world everyone has a great summer recipe to share.
4. Skip the drinks
What your guests drink at your party can have a HUGE effect on your budget! Rather than serving fancy, expensive drinks, give your water a face-lift! Using the Flipp app, find the best sales on fruit and cucumbers and then slice those up to make flavored water. Some of my favorite combinations are cucumber and mint, or lemon with strawberries. You can put your water in a cute pitcher or container. Another great idea is to make festive ice cubes using berries. There are so many easy ways to serve a nice drink that won’t break the bank.
5. Plan simple activities and entertainment
You’ve got your decorations, your food, now throw in some fun activities and you’ve got yourself a party! If you want to cool off from the summer heat bust out the slip n’ slide, sprinklers, kiddie pool, or have a good ol’ fashioned water balloon fight. Another great idea is to bring out board games and card games, make your own bean bag toss by sewing small bean bags and making holes in cardboard or wood, or doing a hula hoop competition. Of course a little music really helps add to the atmosphere as well so crank those tunes!
So there you go, my top 5 Ways to Host a Summer Barbecue for Less! I share more money saving tips and tricks over on FunCheapOrFree.com and share all my budgeting secrets on BudgetBootCamp.com so check them all out, and have some fun this summer!