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Thursday Thrifty Throwdown: Fun on A Budget Challenge #1

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All of this talk of summer eating inspiring you to make some fun? Well, welcome to the Fun on a Budget Challenge #1! Yup, for the next few weeks, every Thursday, we will have hints on how to have a good time while on a budget or how to get some extra cash to go forth and make some fun.

First up: the BBQ party. Perhaps you do an annual Fourth of July soiree or host all of the dads for a Father's Day Backyard BBQ. Awesome fun, but anytime you host a party, the costs add up, especially if you are grilling meat, steaks or anything really for a lot of people.

Here are some fabulous tips on keeping costs down while boosting the fun.

DIY Decorations - Enlist your kids to help with this one. Have them gather things from the garden to make centerpieces. Even a cool rock pile that the boys arrange is a cute idea. Better yet, have them paint rocks in with the colors of the theme (red, white and blue for Independence Day). Have them make paper fans or other origami ornaments for the buffet table.

BYOB or BYOD or BYOA - You are providing the main food and fun, no one will mind pitching in a little. Sure, have a few sodas and lemonade on hand, but ask your guests to bring their own beer or wine or a pitcher of sweet tea. Same goes door desserts or appetizers. Have folks to bring their favorite cookie or a bag of chips and some dip.

Keep it Simple - Don't be a restaurant with a gazillion options. Have two choices - burgers or chicken or hot dogs and chicken...limit it and you can then buy the ingredients in bulk. Make it interesting by providing different toppings or types of mustard or hot sauce. Same goes for drinks if you are providing them. Stick to beer and wine only or make a large batch of sangria.

Share your best BBQ planning tip!


by on Jun. 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I agree with the other ladies who said ask others to bring a dish!

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

One of my big tips is to make sure you have some smaller coolers full of ice. Have one for condiments, a larger one of the potato, pasta, etc salads to set them down into the ice (with out covering them with the ice)

by Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 2:53 PM

me and a few friends have started doing monthly bbq's we all pitch in for food costs.

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM

We've never hosted a bbq but if we are invited somewhere I always bring a dish.

by Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:57 PM

We try to do a lot of smaller bbq's throughout the summer instead of just one big one.  We invite a few friends to each one.  This saves on it being one huge cost and splits up the cost some.  It also makes it so we can really talk to and enjoy all the guests instead of having so many we really don't get to talk much to anybody. 

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Quoting ReesesPieces:

My sister's family has BYOM (Bring your own meat) parties. Her hubby grills everyone's meat of choice and they provide the sides. It helps keep us finicky healthy people happy. :)

I like this idea!

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Umn...I don't have any!  Well, other than allow my husband to grill things because I tend to burn them, lol.

by Bronze Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Having a couple of coolers with ice in them and the beverages chilling.  Another one I do is to have an ice chest and 2 liter bottles of soda and let people get ice and pour their soda.

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

My friend has a pool, so all cookouts are at her house. Sometimes they furnish the meat, and we bring everything else, or sometimes we bring our own choice of meat and she does sides.

by Malena on Jun. 8, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Two words "Pot Luck"  that is the secret to every party we ever had growing up andas an adult.

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