Last updated on June 18th, 2022 at 12:56 am
Thinking about throwing a party this summer? If you have the outdoor space, an afternoon barbeque party can be the perfect way to celebrate Indpendence Day or just enjoy the summer season with friends and family.
Your outdoor party could just turn out to be one of the highlights of the season, so put some thought into a guest list, menu, decorations, some barbeque party games to keep things lively, and your budget.
Unfortunately, hosting any party does come with a price tag. But, you can cut the cost substantially by adopting some proven and practical ideas.
Ways to Save Money on Your Afternoon Barbeque Party
1. Make a Budget and Stick to It
If you plan on throwing a party, start preparing with the knowledget that you can have fun-filled party, regardless of your budget. What makes a good party are the guests and the creativity put into the planning. It is after these two things that money comes in.
Having said that, the first step toward a frugal afternoon barbeque party is to create and stick to a spending limit. Make a list of the items you need to buy or rent for the party, along with the cost of each item. Add up the costs and compare the total with your budget.
If the total cost is more than what you have budgeted, sit back and look at the items on your list again. Some may be unnecessary, while some need to be cut back. Take practical steps to cut down the extra cost if necessary.
2. Choose Less Pricey Cuts of Meat
One very effective way to cut costs for any barbeque is to buy less pricy cuts of meats. While many hosts would love it if their invitees could enjoy filet mignons, the cost of premium cuts can drastically inflate your budget.
If you can find a good deal on a bulk purchase of premium cuts of chicken breasts and steak, then it’s fine to treat your guests. If not, you can choose bone-in chicken thighs or flank steak – these are flavorful in addition to being more affordable.
And, we can’t forget good old burgers and hot dogs–the staples of any cookout.
3. Get Creative with Grilling
Compared to the more expensive chicken breasts and steaks, you’ll get more food per pound from hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs. But, these can be a little boring. You definitely want to make your afternoon barbeque party something special, so let’s take a look at a few fun ideas.
For instance, you can get creative by dressing everyday hot dogs without spending too much money. The best part is that the your guests will love them. One inexpensive and tasty idea is a hot dog bar.
This is how it works: lay out a wide range of toppings on a table, and let your guests make their preferred gourmet dogs. Here’s a list of some great options:
- Warmed chili
- Pickle relish
- Traditional toppings – examples include spicy mustard, yellow mustard, and ketchup
- Tomatoes – chopped
- Grilled or chopped onions
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Nacho cheese
- Celery salt
- Jalapeno peppers (sliced)
- barbeque sauce
- Green onions/chives (sliced)
- Hot sauce
- Crumbled bacon
- Sliced carrots and cucumbers
- Cilantro, mint and other fresh herbs
- French fries
You can make it even more fun by printing out topping combos and pasting the print-out in a visible place, close to the table so that the guests can choose topping options that would work best for them.
You could also provide various types of buns for your guests, and use the grill to toast the buns.
4. Take Advantage of Sales to Buy Items that Won’t Expire or Go Bad
If your summer barbeque is only a few days or weeks away, this idea may be too late. But, you should keep it in mind for your next barbeque party. Take advantage of sales and hot deals to purchase and stock up party items that won’t spoil or go bad. Typical examples include wines, festive party serving dishes, items for decoration, and so on. This will definitely help you save big on a barbeque party or any party.
5. Make the Party Foods Yourself
While using catering services or buying already-made dishes offers extra convenience, it comes with a higher cost. So, it makes sense to prepare your own barbeque party side dishes, trading convenience for savings.
6. Avoid Expensive and Elaborate Appetizers
By keeping appetizers and hors d’oeuvres simple, you’ll cut costs on your afternoon barbeque party. Instead, of something “fancy,” serve inexpensive alternatives such as potato chips, cookies, popcorn, trail mix, and fresh fruit. If you want to take your appetizers a step further without overshooting your budget, go for frozen cocktail shrimp – this option is more affordable.
7. Avoid Expensive Party Decorations
Party decorations can get pricey, especially if you hire an expert for the task. Instead, do your own decorating – this can save you money. Some great ideas that will add a festive look without spending too much money include:
- Colored balloons
- Using wheelbarrows as ice coolers
- Dyed mason jars
- A centerpiece created with fresh flowers from your garden
- Multi-colored bandanas as table runners
8. Look for Free Alternatives
The cost of hosting a summer party can get even more managable by opting for free alternatives. Top on the list of ideas include the following:
- Making the party a BYOB – inform your guests in advance to bring their own drinks to the party.
- Use a previous party’s decorations
- Ask guests to bring their snacks or cold foods – in essence, consider making the party a potluck.
These practical and proven barbeque party ideas will help you save money and at the same time, fulfill your goal of having a great party! Which of these ideas will you use for your next afternoon barbeque party?
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