How I Hosted an Awesome Barbecue on a Budget

From Memorial Day to Christmas Eve and the many holidays in between, America’s love for backyard cooking is well-known throughout the world. No wonder an excited Forbes contributor called us “The United States of Barbecue.”

I remember many such occasions where a BBQ party has helped me bond with friends and family over a casual evening of food and drinks. The one occasion that stands out in my memory was when I was on a shoestring budget, due to various circumstances that all came together at the most inopportune time, yet the moment was so special that I had to plan a memorable backyard party for my friends and family. It was the coming home ceremony of my brother Robert, who was returning after two years of having served the US Army in Iraq.

My Tips on Hosting a Barbecue on a Budget

From my own experience of hosting a memorable evening, here are some pointers:

  • Opt for Seasonal Produce — Do not opt for exotic varieties of fruits and vegetables in your quest to impress your guests. Go with what’s available during the season. The best place to check produce out is at the local farmer’s market, instead of going to a mall or a big-box store.
  • Cut Down on the Show — Remember you can tone down on the decorations, since this is where most people tend to take a hit when it comes to expenses. Keep it simple!
  • Announce a Potluck — Do not shy away from announcing a potluck. The fact that each of your guests will be contributing to the feast will not only cut down your costs but also add an element of surprise and variety to the menu.
  • Introduce Fun Activities — For everlasting memories, consider introducing fun and games to the party. Doing so will keep your guests entertained and help you in the effort to make it an awesome get-together. From spikeball to boochie and limbo, there is a wide array of games that you can choose from.
  • Aromatic Candles — Citronella candles are my favorite, since these not only help create an aromatic ambiance but will also help keep the bugs away.
  • Invest in Quality Chairs — The fact that this will not be your first or last BBQ get-together makes it important to invest in good quality and durable chairs. An important consideration here is buying chairs that can withstand the unpredictable and harsh weather of the outdoors. “Outdoor furniture must not only be decorative and stylish, but also withstand all weather conditions,” recommends a spokesperson at Seating Expert.

As many as 75% of US adults who were surveyed in July and August 2015 owned a grill or smoker. Around 63% or the majority liked to use their grill or smoker throughout the year. These interesting facts are a part of a Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) study, titled Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude.

If you are planning to join this ever-rising club of food lovers and gracious hosts, do follow the aforementioned tips that will help you organize a grand BBQ party even if you’re running on a tight budget.