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How to throw an affordable Backyard BBQ

With summer comes warm weather and outdoor gatherings.  You don’t have to break the bank in order to throw a great backyard BBQ and we are going to show you a few ways that you can host a backyard BBQ that your friends will talk about all year!

The guest list.

Plan ahead, plan early and decide who you want to invite and how many people you expect to come.  With your guest list worked out, it’s time to figure out how many paper plates, plastic cups and plasticware you are going to need.  You can get these items at your local Dollar Store to save a ton of money… avoid buying this stuff at the grocery store as you are surely to pay much more for virtually the same things… and after all, it is just going to be thrown away.  The earlier you can start planning the better chance you have of finding sales!

If you host backyard BBQs often, consider buying plastic plates and cups that are not disposable… this will save you money in the long run.  Likely if you have more than a couple parties, the non-disposable plastic plates and cups will pay for themselves in no time.

Don’t forget about the kids.

If you are having a family oriented BBQ be sure you have activities to keep the kids busy.  Set out baskets of Frisbees, Wiffle balls and bats, a croquet set, badminton rackets or if you have the space, a volley ball net or horseshoes can be loads of fun!

Pot luck is okay!

There is nothing wrong with having a potluck style BBQ. Have everyone bring a dish that they like, it can be a side item, drinks, and dessert or hamburger / hotdog buns. I know that personally, I like to bring a dish to a BBQ… that way I’m assured that there will be something that I will definitely like.  Don’t feel embarrassed to ask your quests to bring something, you are hosting the party and no one will mind bringing a little something… even if it’s just a bag of chips.  Having a pot luck BBQ will definitely relieve some of the stress associated with planning the event and make your BBQ budget go further.

The little touches.

Tina Rupp

Country Living had a great idea for keeping table clothes on the tables should the wind pick up… Anchor Tablecloths with Pails of Posies.

“Skip store-bought weights and make your own by filling tiny buckets with wildflowers and a half inch of water. Just suspend the bouquets from your tablecloth using a clip and fishing line or skinny ribbon. Tie and knot one end around the handle of the bucket and the other around the clip.”

The drinks.

Sheknows.com has great advice on going cheap on the drinks… “There’s no need to bust out the expensive liquors or specialty beers. A few cases of light beer and one signature cocktail like spiked lemonade will do just fine. For a super easy, yet delicious drink, mix one can of frozen, condensed lemonade, add vodka and two cans of beer. If there is going to be a large number of guests, consider a keg rather than cases of beer. Another option is a BYOB party. People usually don’t mind bringing their own drinks as it ensures they get exactly what they want. Also, don’t forget plenty of water and soda — it’s important to stay hydrated.”

You can do more than burgers or hot dogs.

You don’t have to break the bank in order to have steak, chicken or fish on the grill.  Realsimple.com points out that Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible and How to Grill, suggests skipping the porterhouse in favor of a great, inexpensive skirt or flank steak, forgoing boneless chicken breasts for cheaper, flavorful legs and thighs, and tossing back the priciest catch of the day in order to net yourself darker, grill-friendly seafood like mackerel or blue fish.

Have Fun!

The most important thing to keep in mind when hosting a backyard BBQ is to have fun!  Don’t get so consumed with all of the details that you forget why you are have the backyard bash to begin with… to enjoy the company of friends and family, and celebrate life!


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