During a summer cookout, a man shows a boy how to grill hamburgers.

5 Smart Ways to Save Money on Summer Cookouts

You know what smells like summertime? BBQ! There’s nothing like firing up that old grill after a cold winter. Whether you plan to invite your neighbors over to watch the big game, or you have family in town for a fun summer evening, it’s always a good time for a sweet summer cookout.

But of course, like many other things in life, entertaining guests costs money. But what if there were ways to cut back and save money on your next summer cookout? Well, get your charcoal ready, because you’re in luck!

Here are five budget friendly tips to save money on your next summer cookout:


01. Start by Shopping Local

Shopping at your local farmers market is a great way to get locally grown produce for all of your cookout essentials! Fresh grown tomatoes and corn on the cob are just a few things you can stock up on for your next summer barbeque. You’re supporting local businesses while buying organic products. Plus, many small-time farmers offer fresh veggies at a fraction of the cost compared to chain grocery stores. What’s better than that?


02. Make it a Potluck

Who says you have to do all the cooking yourself? Consider making your next summer cookout a potluck by asking each of your friends to bring a dish to share. This helps offset some of the costs. Figure out which guests are responsible for drinks, desserts, side dishes, and all the rest. When everyone pitches in, no one has to break the bank while still hosting an awesome outing. You know what they say— teamwork makes the dream work!


03. Buy in Bulk

To help you save time and money, consider buying things like plates, napkins, utensils, and condiments in bulk from stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. This not only gives you more bang for your buck, but it will save you a trip to the store for the next cookout, since you’ll more than likely have leftover items. Also, consider buying the no-name brands of these items, as store brands are typically less expensive.


04. Create a Signature Drink

Buying individual cans or liters of soda can add up, so make a signature party drink instead! Discuss with your guests ahead of time to get thoughts about creating a party punch and focus on that as your main party beverage. Let guests know they can also bring their own drinks if they wish, which keeps you from worrying about that extra cost. Making a punch or signature drink is a great way to make a lot more for less, and it’s usually a crowd-pleaser, too! If there’s alcohol involved, always drink responsibly.


05. Shop at the Dollar Store

Don’t forget about the dollar store! It’s a great place to buy things like tablecloths or any simple decorations you might need. The dollar store is also great for any last-minute items you forgot like condiments or napkins. You can also buy cheap snacks like chips and pretzels for your guests to enjoy throughout the evening!


So, what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather by inviting your friends and family over. We hope these tips help you save money on your next summer cookout.


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