Clever Ways To Save Money When Backyard Grilling
While the grilling season is winding down for most people, an old-fashioned cookout is always welcome when the weather is nice. However, cooking outdoors can get pricey, especially if you’re preparing quality cuts of meat or cooking on expensive equipment. That being said, here are some ways to save money when backyard grilling.
Pick Your Meat Wisely
It is easy to overspend on the meat you are grilling. Most people think they need to spend a ton of money to have a tasty meal. In all reality, the marinade and seasoning are what seal the deal when you are slapping some meat on the grill.
So, instead of spending a ton of cash on different cuts of cow, look for sales. You may even get lucky and find a quality cut marked down. For instance, my wife knows when the meat department at the local grocer marks meat down because it’s use-by/freeze-by date is approaching. She will often get us a steak dinner for two under $20. Remember, even if the cut is cheap, you can always season it well.
When you are having people over it is easy to grab for the pre-cut fruits and veggies. The convenience of not having to cut up the food yourself can cost you quite a bit of money. Not to mention, you can cut the food as you need it, reducing waste.
Buying in Bulk
In some cases, buying some supplies in bulk might make sense. You must be selective about what you buy though. Focus on purchasing non-perishable items, such as ketchup and mustard, and not large quantities of meat or veggies. Canned or frozen items can also be bought in bulk to help you save money when backyard grilling.
Be Cheap Sometimes
If you are considering other cookout supplies, such as paper plates, plastic silverware and other items, be cheap. Buy super cheap paper plates, get cheap tongs and serving plates. The Dollar Store is a great place to find cheap supplies like this.
For silverware, consider having a set you use outside. You can buy a used set or loose forks, knives, and spoons at a thrift store and keep them with your grilling setup. This reduces the number of items you are throwing away and purchasing over and over again.
One of the best things about backyard grilling is spending time with family and friends. If you are holding an event with other people, ask them to bring something to contribute. You can take care of the main course on the grill and they can bring sides, desserts, etc. Oftentimes, this can make the event even more fun because everyone gets to add something to the meal. Maybe you’ll even get to try some new foods!
Keep the Season in Mind
Summertime brings the perfect weather for grilling out and it also provides some fantastic produce. Seasonal foods like squash, corn, watermelon, berries, and other fresh items are popular during that time. As the fall and winter approach, if you plan to continue grilling out, you should shift what you are cooking to adhere to the season. Different kinds of squash and corn continue to be popular through the fall. Whatever is seasonal will always be a bit cheaper.
These are just a few ways to save money when backyard grilling that my family and I utilize. Of course, there is always room to be more frugal. If you have any additional cost-cutting grilling tips, drop your ideas in the comment section below.
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Drew Blankenship is a former Porsche technician and lifelong automotive enthusiast. Recently, he began writing for several websites and is enjoying the career change. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their dog Enzo.