6 tips and recipes for a budget-friendly barbecue party

It’s possible to host a barbecue party with friends without spending an arm and a leg. Beyond the fancy ice cubes you make in advance and the Christmas lights you install to create an ambience, here are 6 tips to put into practice and some recipes to save money.

1. Dare to Choose the Potluck Option

Potluck parties are ideal for entertaining while minimizing prep in the kitchen. Get everyone involved and reduce your grocery bill. The traditional macaroni salad, chips and dips, crudités, a summery punch: as host, you’re in control of suggesting what type of dish or drink to bring so that you don’t end up with a selection of desserts and no canapés to serve with cocktails.

2. Bank on Hamburgers and Hot Dogs

No one will be surprised to find burgers and hot dogs on the menu for an evening of barbecuing. Everyone loves these classics that can be served in a multitude of different ways. You can also offer your guests homemade condiments. Get started a bit in advance and make a cucumber and pineapple relish or a strong mustard, two suggestions that are bound to keep people talking!

3. Choose Your Grilled Dishes Wisely

It’s better to forget more expensive cuts of meat when planning a budget-friendly barbecue. More affordable meats, such as pork chops or chicken drumsticks, are perfectly alright, and even more so if you buy them in value packs, which makes sense if you’re entertaining anyway! Simply choose great recipes to prepare them and your grilled dishes will have great success.

4. Think Slow Cooker and Long Cooking Time

Using the slow cooker in the middle of summer? Why not? 1) It’s a great way to delay having to change that propane tank. 2) It’s useful for cooking food without any supervision or overheating the kitchen. 3) It’s ideal for slowly cooking fibrous cuts of meat that are often more economical. Pork shoulder is a great example. With it, you can easily prepare pulled pork that’ll make luscious burgers—and feed a whole bunch of people!

5. Replace Meat with Vegetarian Options

It’s no longer a secret. Eating less meat is synonymous with savings. Of course, barbecuing is still often associated with meat, but there are now plenty of amazing tofu-based grilling dishes available as well as a variety of meatless burgers. Serving plant-based proteins with grilled vegetables is ideal to both reduce your bill and fill up your plates—and your guests’ stomachs!

6. Prioritize Fruity Desserts

Summer desserts using seasonal fruit are an excellent option to please your guests without spending too much. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries: Take advantage of the freshness of these gorgeous local fruits to make easy pies and rich puddings. Desserts to make on the grill are another excellent way of impressing your guests.

For even more budget-friendly ideas, check out our recipe category: