How to host your summer BBQ without blowing the budget
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
When the sun (hopefully) starts shining, we all love a summer gathering with friends and family. But if, like us, you’ve found that being the host can often result in spending much more than you’d expect, try some of our tips for a fun but cost-conscious BBQ…
It’s not all about meat!
It’s easy to get caught up in the notion that you should be providing lots of meat options, especially as everyone has their favourites: from burgers and sausages to kebabs, chicken drumsticks and – that real budget-buster – steak! But just picking two cheaper options means not only will your food bill be cheaper but you’ll also save in other ways as less BBQ-ing will use less coals (three pounds of coals will easily cook enough meat for up to eight people). You can then put other accompaniments, such as salads and desserts, in the spotlight… your purse strings as well as any vegetarian guests will definitely thank you for it!
Buying expensive sauces – such as flavoured mayonnaise, chutneys and salad dressings – can really rack up the cost, not to mention create a multitude of plastic packaging. Why not get the kids involved in pulling together a few tasty sauces that can be made from ingredients most of us having lying around in the cupboard. Mix some dried chilli flakes into mayonnaise to give your burgers a kick, or whisk together lemon juice and olive oil along with some chopped dill, parsley or basil for a tasty salad dressing.
Creating bulk portions of cost-conscious salads can be a great way to feed a big group. Why not try giving the humble potato salad a new twist, with some chopped up bacon and red onion. Try a grown-up ribbon salad, made by running a speed peeler lengthways along courgettes and cucumbers, and the kids will love to help with arranging a fun traffic light salad (red tomatoes/peppers, orange carrots/peppers and celery/green peppers), or even smashing up meringues for a gigantic bowl of Eton Mess!
Share the load
Don’t forget – your guests will be happy to help in whatever way they can. Don’t be afraid to task them to bring the wine, a sharing dessert or additional snacks – or even just their preferred BBQ meat, especially if they’re a fussy eater!
For more inspiration …
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