Barbecues are fun and sociable occasions. But if you are hosting one, you can easily spend a lot of money on it.
It doesn’t have to be like this though. You can budget for a barbecue just like you can budget for anything else. Some people can be good at budgeting all the time. But when it comes to buying food for a barbecue they just go out and blow the budget big time. This is why you need a plan of action to follow before you start. Not all dishes have to be terribly expensive!
5 Fun Food Ideas For A Cheap Outdoor BBQ
Here are some good pointers for bulking out the meal.
1. Serve up a cold rice salad. Rice is filling and it works well to bulk out a salad. You can add in whatever ingredients you like -– sweet corn is a great choice and you can use it cold out of the tin as well. Just make sure you cook the rice not long before you need it, but allow enough time for it to go cold. Cook it in plenty of water too so that it soaks up whatever it needs.
2. Provide chicken wings and drumsticks. They’re cheaper than chicken breasts. You can buy a dozen wings and drumsticks at a time and they’re really cheap. They’re awesome finger foods! Cook some plain and add marinades to the others. Garlic butter, mixed herbs, barbecue sauce and plenty of other options all work well.
3. Grab a large French stick and make your own garlic bread. Making your own is much cheaper than buying it and you can add your own personal touch in the process. It usually only works out cheaper if you already have your own garlic though.
4. Buy hamburgers in bulk. You can buy them cheaper per unit this way. The same applies to sausages and any other meat items. Look out for special deals during the summer too. Some supermarkets offer two or three meat packs for a set amount of money for instance. These are usually ideal for barbecues.
5. Cook some new potatoes and add them as a side dish. If you grow your own potatoes, you can dig them up out of the garden on the day you need them. Just toss them in a little butter and add some chopped chives to the top. Alternatively you could make a home made potato salad to serve alongside the other dishes. Here are some different ways to cook potatoes.
The thing to remember is that a barbecue is not all about cooked meat. Watch out for discounted fish dishes as well –- sardines are usually cheap and ideal to cook on the bbq if they’re fresh. Or you can think about incorporating great tuna dishes to your spread as well.
If you provide enough side dishes, such as salad, rice and potatoes as described above, you’ll find that your meat will go further anyway. Throw in the usual condiments and a nice cool dessert for after your meal and you’re on your way. How about a mixed summer fruit bowl with cream, for example?
Another tip to remember when you want to serve up a smashing barbecue is to do as much as you can yourself. You will always pay more for chicken that is already marinated, but the odds are that you already have all the ingredients in your cupboard that you need to make your own marinated chicken.
The moral? Don’t spend more than you have to!
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