Frugal Summer BBQ: 7 Money Saving Tips for BBQ

A summer is not a summer without BBQs, I personally love BBQs and host several every year (well except this year). A BBQ does not have to cost you an arm and a leg, there are many ways to save on BBQs and yet make them fun and enjoyable.

1. Bring Your Own Meat
This is probably one of the best ways to have a great bbq, just ask your guests to bring the meat. This has several benefits. First of all, it saves you money. Second, you do not have to worry about who likes what. I have friends from various backgrounds some eat beef, some only chicken, others do not eat pork, etc. By asking them to bring their own meat I am sure there will be a variety of everything for everyone.

2. Stock up on Charcoal
If you are planning on hosting BBQs than stock up on charcoal when they are on sale, there really isn’t an expiration date for Charcoal so you can keep them for next year if needed. This is if you use a charcoal grill.

3. Bring Your Own Drinks

Yumm BBQ
If you provide the meat than ask your guests to bring the drinks, it’s similar to bringing their meat. Everyone may have different preferences this way you will be sure that there is something to drink for everyone.

4. Forget Paper Plates
Paper plates may seem like a good idea, and although they are easy to clean – garbage them – they are not the cheapest way to go. If you will have regular BBQs than I suggest you purchase some plastic dinnerware from a department store and keep it for years coming. This will not only save you money in the long run but will also save the environment.

5. Buy in Off Season
This can apply to many things in life; make your equipment purchases during the off season. Between November- April is a good time to purchase BBQ equipment it will save you some money.

6. Have Snacks and Ice-Cream for Kids
If you going to a park for BBQ than make sure you have some ice-cream and snacks for the kids. No matter how much you feed kids they always want ice- cream so having some with you will ensure you do not have to purchase from ice-cream trucks for triple the price.

7. Purchase Bone-In Cuts of Meat
If you’re looking for money saving ideas that let you do more with your budget, purchase bone-in cuts of meat. Bone-in meat will not only save you money but the bones help keep the meat from drying out on the grill and add additional flavor.

Tips from Twitter followers:

@debtblackhole Ask guests to bring a dish/food. It helps make the cost to each person small. Most people won’t be offended by the request!

@lecanardzero to save money you should use fattier cuts of meat slow cooked. Cheaper and will taste much better.

@FourPillars Don’t burn the burgers!

Other Resources:

Consumerism Commentary has a Podcast on Jim Wang from Grill Maestro

My Life ROI Ways to have a cheap and fun BBQ

What are your BBQ money saving tips?

7 Responses to Frugal Summer BBQ: 7 Money Saving Tips for BBQ

  1. @ Frost Relation: yea I understand what you mean, but if you gonna be hosting several of these during the summer it can get pretty expensive. I usually provide everything for the first BBQ but for the rest of the summer everyone brings their meat and/or drink and nobody minds has been working out great for the past couple of years….not all tips work for everyone

  2. If you are going to purchase meat for the BBQ Costco or we have a local chain called Cash & Carry which is essentially a restaurant supply house. It’s not useful for a small amount of people without a lot of work but for a big crowd you can save at least half on the meat alone.

  3. (to Frost’s reply) It depends on the guest, and your relationship.
    I got such an invitation, and didn’t think twice. On the way over I thought to myself, I was just spared the cost of everything else, the cooking of the sides, along with the mess, if we had invited the same friends to our house.
    I’ll take that kind of invitation any day.

  4. Although it costs more up front, my wife and I purchase a 1/2 cow earlier this year. The savings per pound of meat is phenomal, plus you get some great tasting steaks, roasts and ground beef. It was organic too, which all around just worked out better! Good tips. Nothing like a great BBQ in the summer!

  5. These are all great suggestions how to save money as that is what you need to do in this economic climate. I don’t BBQ that much, but i do see the value in using plastic plates rather than all the waste seen from paper plates and I always buy in the off-season, I get the best deals!

  6. Good post here, I LOVE barbeques and these are some good tips. However, it seems a bit hard to tell people to “BYO drinks” AND “BYO meat.” I think just “BYO meat” is enough, you don’t want your guests to think you’re stingey!

  7. I think that the “Bring your own meat” can work, depending on how you handle it. If you’re always cheap and expect people to being their food every time you host anything, then it’s nervy. Once in a while, totally fine!

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