How to Barbeque on a Budget
A summer barbeque doesn’t have to be extravagant. Here’s the lowdown for organising a budget-friendly BBQ that all your friends and family can enjoy without breaking the bank.
Make meat a treat
The single most expensive outlay is normally on meat. But you don’t need to spend loads to treat your guests to delicious grilled meat and fish. Choose economical cuts of meat like flank steak. Instead of chicken breast, look for cheaper legs and thighs which anyway have more flavour. Mackerel is a great value fish which barbeques beautifully. It’s worth making friends with your local butcher or meat / fish counter at the supermarket as they can give you great advice about which cuts of meat to buy.
Don’t overdo it
It’s easy to overdo it on the shopping when you’re hosting a barbeque. Inevitably you end up with leftover food which may go to waste. Work out carefully in advance how much food you’ll need. Buy extra bulk food like bread which can pad out plates if unexpected guests arrive. And don’t throw away leftovers, instead make them the basis of the next family meal.
Ask your guests to bring something to contribute to the party, whether it’s something to put on the BBQ, like a packet of sausages, or a side dish or dessert. Everyone likes to help out and it leaves you free to concentrate on the main event, the barbeque itself.
Buying marinades, rubs and sacues can add up but it’s very easy to make your own and that will keep costs down. A barbeque rub is basically a mixture of different spices that you rub onto meat and leave to marinade overnight. Make your own for very little money but plenty of credibility with your guests.
Save on fuel
Most of us use far more charcoal then is needed on the barbeque. A thin layer carefully looked after will do the trick and save those extra sacks of fuel.
Built to last
It’s definitely a false economy to buy the first cheap barbeque you see. You don’t need it to be very fancy, but do buy one that suits your needs and the size of your family. It also needs to be well made so it won’t break after a few uses. Once you get it home, look after it well. Don’t leave the grill to be cleaned until the next time you plan to do some outdoor cooking. Clean it thoroughly immediately after use, and then oil the metal. Treated well, a decent barbeque will last for a long time.