The price of a good summer barbeque for family and friends can grow fast. Americans spent $1.36 billion on grills and barbecues in 2019. Don’t let that $1.36 billion scare you, however, because affordable BBQ grills and cheap BBQ ideas abound.
When you do it right, you can throw a backyard gathering that’s both fun and affordable. From getting creative with your yard games to calling in a few favors, we’ve got some helpful hints for throwing an affordable backyard barbeque this summer.
We have mentioned before that DIY games and activities are a staple in any budget-friendly backyard barbecue. A few of our favorites are DIY frisbee toss and backyard bowling. But when it comes to frugal backyard fun, there are always more options to explore.
Break out the sidewalk chalk and play tic-tac-toe, take out your laundry bags for a fun DIY sack race, or blow up those inflatable tubes by the pool and use them for a game of human ring toss. And if you’re looking to add in a few more traditional options, see if a friend, neighbor, or family member has some yard games that they could bring over before the party starts.
Better yet, ask a few people to bring their favorite backyard game. The more games and activities, the better! Between the DIY options and the borrowed cornhole and ladder golf sets, your guests will never want to leave.
Buying food in bulk is one of our favorite tips for getting a discount at the grocery store. Take advantage of your (or your friend’s or neighbor’s) club card and build your menu around the items that are on sale.
Buying a bulk package of chicken or hamburger often works out to be cheaper per person, and you can simply freeze any excess. While you’re there, look for cost-effective sides to fill up the rest of the table. No one will miss the pricier steak or seafood options when there are so many other delicious options to choose from.
Visiting a club store like Costco or BJs and searching for sales aren’t the only ways to save on your grocery items this summer. If you don’t have access to a club store, you prefer to shop locally, or you’re just stopping for a few extras, there are plenty of ways to save at other grocery stores, too.
One of the best ways to save on food is to take advantage of grocery reward programs. Grocery store chains like Stop and Shop, ShopRite, and Big Y each have rewards programs designed to help save you money.
It’s free to sign up, and you get exclusive discounts and coupons on the items you need. Shoppers who aren’t keyed into these reward programs can find coupons in the store’s circular or through sites like Coupons.com, but they aren’t always as good.
Reward program members get access to additional savings. The value of the coupon or discount may be higher, or you may be eligible to stack it with the regular circular and manufacturers’ coupons for even greater savings.
Triple down on your food savings by downloading a money savings app that provides cash back at your favorite grocery stores. Ibotta and Fetch Rewards are two of the most popular. It’s free to sign up and start earning cashback on items you were planning on buying anyway.
When you’re hosting a backyard gathering on a budget, there is no shame in asking attendants to help out a bit. And borrowing isn’t limited to just games and activities. Borrowing equipment, serveware, and containers can help you save and avoid disposables or single-use items.
It can be tempting to spring for the disposables while you’re planning a party, but the price can add up quickly. And they’re not very eco-friendly, either. Call the friend or family member that hosts the most. They’ll likely have what you need on hand and be happy to contribute to your fun, festive, and affordable backyard barbeque.