How To Host An Inexpensive Summer Cookout

One of my favorite things of summer is enjoying a cookout in the back yard with the ones we love.

However, if we’re constantly hosting (or even just enjoying cookouts ourselves), we’d likely blow our food budget.

So, I decided I had to come up with a few ways that we could still enjoy our summer cookouts without spending quite as much. If you’re hosting a cookout and plan to invite a few friends, you can still keep it frugal.

Just follow these tips!


Easy Tips for Hosting a Frugal Summer Cookout

Summer is the perfect time for cookouts, and we’re almost into the full swing of the season. Check out these tips to help you save money on your next grill session.

1. Choose the Right Grill

If you’d never thought about it before, your grill can actually save or cost you money when it comes to grilling.

According to a popular shopping comparison website, you may pay more initially for a gas grill; however, it will only cost you $1 for an hour of grilling whereas charcoal costs $1.70 or more per cookout.

If you grill regularly, gas is probably the better option.

2. Plan Your Menu

Obviously your menu has a significant effect on the budget.

If you want to keep it cost effective go simple with the meal plan and stick to the old favorites – hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, beans, S’mores…

There is nothing wrong with keeping the fare a little simpler to cut back on costs.

3. Ask Guests to Bring Something

If you’re hosting a cookout, especially if you do it regularly, consider making it a “potluck” of sorts by asking everyone to bring something.

As the host, you can cover meats/the main course.

Just be sure to delegate different guests to specific items, so that you don’t end up with three bowls of pasta salad and no drinks.

4. Conserve Fuel

Just like you try to conserve energy in your house, you can do it on the grill, too.

My husband is great with this. He brings the grill up to temperature, adds the items to be grilled, and keeps the lid closed.

I, on the other hand, want to constantly look at what I’m fixing, so I typically let him handle all of the grilling.

5. Buy In Bulk

It can be tempting to buy just what you’ll need for one cookout; however, you’ll end up spending a lot more in the long run if you shop that way. Instead, buy in bulk, especially for your meats and veggies.

You’ll get better quality foods and be able to freeze some for next time.

6. Make It Yourself

I understand not having time to make everything in advance, but you’ll end up with a better tasting and more cost-effective meal if you do it yourself.

Just be sure that you look for simple recipes that you can make a couple of days in advance and enlist a little help.

We love a good cookout but know that they often come with a price tag.

So, we use these tips to save money and be able to host more. Remember the next time you’re planning a summer cookout that you can make it frugal, too. Just use these simple and frugal tips and tricks to host a fun, festive, and financially savvy event.