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Summer BBQ On A Budget

One of the best things to do in the summertime is to have a good old-fashioned BBQ. You can get together with your friends and family and enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, and yummy food. Depending on the size of your event, the cost can add up quick, but you shouldn’t let the potential cost of a BBQ stop you from having one. Here’s some ways you can host a summer BBQ while working within a budget.

Plan Ahead

Before doing anything else, you should first develop a game plan for the BBQ. This includes deciding how many people you want to invite and how much food you’ll need to feed them. You’ll also need to consider if you’d like to have decorations or games at your BBQ, and if you already have some you can use or if you’ll need to get some. Lastly, and most importantly, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend and determine your budget. Doing this first will ensure there are no surprises, and you only spend what you know you can.

Buy in Bulk

Oftentimes, when you need a large quantity of a certain item it’s cost effect to buy it in bulk1, as certain stores charge less for an item the more of it you buy. While shopping in bulk may save you some money, you may have to shop at specific stores to get this deal. These stores are usually categorized as wholesale stores, with some popular ones being Costco or Sam’s Club. The catch is that many of these stores require a membership to shop there, but most have options available to those who don’t want to commit to a membership. Some wholesale stores will allow you to purchase a day pass for just the one shopping trip, just make sure the savings from you trip will make paying for the day pass worth it. In addition, some stores allow their members to bring a guest with them to shop, so ask your friends an family if any of them have a pass and would be willing to take you.

Coupons & Sales

As we’ve mentioned before, a great way to save money when working on a budget is to look for coupons or sales.2 Many stores publish ads that will tell you which items will be on sale that week and give you their current coupons. These are usually posted at the door to the store, but you can find them on their websites as well. Be sure to check the advertisements that come in the mail, too, as these may have additional coupons you can use. If you need to, wait to plan your menu for the BBQ until you see the sales for that week, that way you can cater your menu to your budget. Check to see if your store has a loyalty program as well. These are usually free to sign up for, and the stores often offer additional discounts to their loyalty members.


Having your BBQ potluck style is a great way to stay within budget as it splits the overall cost between everyone attending and takes some financial burden off the host. Not only will this option be easier on your wallet, it’s also a great way to bring everyone closer together by trying each other’s favorite dishes. You can apply this to things other than food and ask your guests to bring their favorite games and activities for everyone to share as well. If you need help deciding what to bring to your next potluck, Cash Central has a few recipes you can consider that will be easy on your wallet.


1Rafter W Ranch. (2022, Mar 28). Retrieved from: https://rafterwranch.net/3-advantages-of-buying-in-bulk/

2Kirkham, Elyssa. (2021, May 19). Retrieved from: https://couponfollow.com/research/coupon-data-study#section-1