Summer is here, and it’s time to break out the lawn chairs and barbecues. It’s a good time for parties with friends and family of all ages, but the costs of hosting a barbecue can sting. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re at the store shopping for supplies, but if you reign yourself in you can provide more fun for the buck. Here are some thoughts on cutting those costs while still keeping summer parties a blast.
Make it Simple
The goal of any summer party should be hanging out with the people you care about. To that end, keep your party intimate. This helps set reasonable expectations on costs, and reigns in the craziness. With a smaller party, you also have the option of serving higher quality cuts of meat without spending too much to feed the group. When in doubt, ask friends to bring along different items for dinner or snacks, and turn your party into a potluck.
Also, don’t push the culinary boundaries too far. Everyone wants to dazzle guests with elaborate dishes, but that kind of prep requires extensive time and money. Instead, keep it simple with hot dogs and ice cream. All you need is buns, dogs, condiments, white paper cups, and ice cream.
Cuts of meat can affect the price of your party significantly. Opting for stank over a flank steak means less food per purchase, so you have to think about the volume of your party and the food you hope to serve. More than a dozen people, and you’ll want to cook things that will feed the group well. You can also cut costs on things you don’t normally think about. For instance, a pack of tea lights can provide plenty of light for a backyard, and eliminate some of your power consumption during a night time gathering.
Dessert should be buffet style wherever possible if you want to save cash. Try to make a large pan cake, then couple it with ice cream on the side. You can use disposable pan liner lids to make cleanup easy after the fact too. Toppings aren’t too expensive if you get creative. Purchase some bananas, or in-season fruit. You can also use crumbled graham crackers to flavor your ice cream too.
Summer parties shouldn’t make you regret spending the money. It’s a chance to kick back with friends and enjoy the warm weather. With some small changes, you can have the party you want at a cost that is reasonable.