How to host a barbecue on a budget - top money-saving tips

Cash-strapped Britons planning a barbecue are being offered advice on how to keep the cost down.

By Sue Wilkinson
Monday, 25th July 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 10:50 am
Cash-saving tips include asking guests to bring a dish with them, opening and cooking only what you need and freezing anything that isn’t used
Cash-saving tips include asking guests to bring a dish with them, opening and cooking only what you need and freezing anything that isn’t used

The frugal experts at NetVoucherCodes.co.uk have put together their tips for hosting a BBQ on a budget.

They suggest shopping around the staples like meat and bread rolls, and to plan ahead and try and bag some yellow sticker bargains.

Other advice includes asking guests to bring a dish with them, opening and cooking only what you need and freezing anything that isn’t used.

John Stirzaker from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk said: “Having a barbecue is a quintessential part of the UK summer but they’re not the cheapest events to host. Meat can be costly and it’s easy to get seduced and buy the best cuts and cook the lot.“Instead shop around and see what offers you can find. Also think about asking your guests to bring a pudding, salad or even some of the meat with them. That way it’ll cut the cost burden on you and you can do the same when you’re invited to theirs.

“Remember too that whilst the food is a big part of a BBQ, it’s about getting together with family and friends and enjoying time together.”

Here are NetVoucherCodes.co.uk’s tips for hosting a BBQ on a budget:

Snack starters

Crisps, nachos and dips are a great, cheap starter for guests. Opt for supermarket own brand and decant into bowls.

Buy yellow sticker

Be smart when it comes to shopping for food for your BBQ. Check out the yellow sticker items in the supermarket and stock up on burgers, sausages and any other meaty treats. If they’re close to their sell by date, freeze. Make sure you thoroughly defrost before barbecuing.

Bring a dish

If you’re inviting friends or family around, encourage everyone to bring a dish. Someone could provide the meat, another salad and a third could top up with desserts. That way the cost isn’t all down to one person.

Make your own marinade

Rather than shelling out on expensive marinades, try making your own. Marinades are made with a main ingredient like yoghurt, lemon juice, wine or vinegar, mixed with oil and selected spices. Why not experiment with whatever you have in the cupboard?

Shop around for your meat

Check out your local butcher as well as supermarkets for meat. At this time of year, they may have some good value BBQ offers on.

Use a pack at a time

Don’t put everything on your BBQ at once or open every packet of rolls. Stagger it and only cook and open what you need.

Add some veggies

Vegetables cook well on the BBQ too and are a lot cheaper than meat. Try corn on the cob and jacket potatoes. They’re great fillers to counter all that meat!

Cheap bread

There’s no need to shell out on cheap bread rolls for your BBQ. Check what your supermarket has on offer. It often works out cheaper to buy in bulk so whatever’s left, freeze.

Avoid paper plates

Don’t be tempted to buy throw away plates to make clearing up easier. It’s bad for the environment and your pocket. Just save the clearing up until the next morning.