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When summer starts, and we can enjoy long, sunny days, it can be nice to invite your friends and family round for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by love and laughter with an ice cold drink in one hand and a burger (veggie or meat) in the other.
The problem is, the costs of a BBQ can really add up, not including the original purchase of your home grill. When you take into account the cost of charcoal, the food, perhaps some beers or cider, and any extras you might include, a BBQ isn’t always a cheap option. But cooking at home doesn’t need to break the bank – here’s how you can have a cracking summer BBQ on a budget:
You don’t have to go all out and buy the most expensive cuts of meat for a budget BBQ. The sheer fact that it’s being grilled will enhance the flavour in any meat. Shop around for the best discounts and you can save on your final bill.
The main thing to consider is which types of meat taste good, even with a cheaper cut. If you want to cook some steak on your barbecue, for instance, it doesn’t matter at all if you choose to use the cheaper cuts of meat. With chicken, legs and thighs are actually cheaper and tastier than the breast, as you are cooking on the bone.
For any BBQ on a budget, you’ll need to factor in the cost of fuel. One of the easy mistakes to make when cooking on a BBQ is to pile up the charcoal when there really isn’t any need. Three pounds, or just over one kilogram, of charcoal is more than enough to cook for around six people.
For a gas BBQ, you may not be aware that you only need to cook on the highest level for the first five minutes of the food cooking. After that, you can cook your meats on the lower setting, which means less fuel, and has the added bonus of boosting the flavour!
Whether you’re looking to make BBQ style chicken, or marinated steak, it’s sensible to utilise your kitchen. Marinating these types of meat at home can reduce the cost significantly. Buying meat that already has a marinade or added extra will usually be more expensive than just buying the meat plain, regardless of where you do your shopping.
Making all of your rubs and marinades in advance, rather than on the day, can be a good idea too. That way, you’re leaving your meats to soak everything up, so that they’ll be succulent when cooked on the grill the day of the BBQ. With rubs too, you can make these a few days prior and coat your meats just before placing them on the grill.
It’s easy to spruce up a sausage or burger with some simple, and cheap toppings. Add some grilled mushrooms and onions to any bap or bun, and you’re sure to delight your guests. Or why not try adding cheese? None of these toppings have to be expensive, and chances are you’ll already have some in your kitchen.
Another way to boost your BBQ flavours is to make homemade burgers. This opens up a whole world of possibilities! Perhaps you could stuff the meat with blue cheese or bacon, leaving an oozing-melty-meaty dream of a burger! Or maybe you could create veggie burgers – bean burgers are always a hit, and can be a healthier, and cheaper option.
Plan carefully for your summer BBQ extravaganza, and don’t let your guests go hungry! The best way to do this is to try to cook enough so that there will be leftovers. In terms of cooking on a budget this is brilliant, as it ensures that you are being fuel-efficient for your meals over the coming days. Your cooked meats will stay good for a day or two and are easy to reheat – just sprinkle with water, wrap in foil and cook in the oven for a few minutes.
Here at My Financial Broker, we know all about budgeting, including how to throw a good summer BBQ cheaply! So if you’re looking to really enjoy the good weather, and not worry about the cost of entertaining, rest assured that you don’t have to splash out for a successful summer budget BBQ!