How to have a dirt-cheap BBQ
You don't need to spend a fortune to enjoy a barbie this summer.
A good old British BBQ is a great way to socialise with friends and family.
But the trouble is, unless you keep an eye on your budget the costs can easily spiral way out of control – especially if you have invited a small army of guests.
So, to keep your spending under control, take a look at our tops tips on how to have a frugal BBQ while the sun is still shining...
Something to cook on
Technically, you don't need a BBQ to have a BBQ party. But if you ask me, cooking everything in your kitchen is nothing short of cheating and not really a BBQ at all!
So let's say you need a BBQ. Of course, you could spend an absolute fortune buying a very fancy barbecue oven indeed, but it's by no means a necessity. If you don't already own one, it definitely won't cost you an arm and a leg if you shop smart.
For a budget option, get yourself down to B&Q where you can pick up a round charcoal barbecue for a fiver. Tesco has 4kg bags of charcoal on sale for £4.88.
If you're having a small BBQ for just you and your partner or a friend, you can pick up this disposable briquette barbecue for £1.75 from Tesco.
Food & drink
Now onto the good bit: the food and drink. You really need to avoid shelling out on expensive items for your BBQ. This is where the costs can really start to pile up. Don't forget, it's fine to ask your good friends and family to provide a little something on the day too.
I'm going to show you how to serve up a perfectly acceptable BBQ meal at a knock down price. On my typical shopping list for seven guests plus myself I have:
- 8 beef burgers
- 8 Lincolnshire sausages
- 12 white burger buns (two x six-pack)
- 12 hot dog rolls (two x six-pack)
- Cheese slices (20-pack)
- Tomato ketchup (560g)
- Salad (250g)
- Loose tomatoes (500g)
- Coleslaw (600g)
- 2 litres Coca-Cola
- 2 litres R. Whites lemonade
- 40 small bottles of lager (4 x 10-250ml bottles)
- And ask your generous guests to kindly donate desserts and extra drinks as required!
By comparing prices online at five leading supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Watirose and Ocado – using mysupermarket.com, my shopping list is cheapest at Tesco where it comes in at a grand total of £28.84 or £3.61 per person.
However, apart from the tomato ketchup and beer I've not gone for the value range for most of the products. You can make even bigger savings by doing this. Swapping my Tesco quarter pound beef burgers for ordinary beef burgers would not only save me 98p, but give me two extra burgers, as this product comes in packs of 10.
Replacing my branded soft drinks with the Tesco versions would save me a further £1. And swapping my Tesco Lincolnshire sausages for Tesco pork sausages would save me an extra 10p. This leaves me with a total bill of £26.76 or £3.35 per head.
You could also save even more money by making the burgers from scratch.
And if I had vegetarian guests coming I'd go for a six-pack of Tesco's Lincolnshire-style veggie sausages for £1.75. Although it's worth pointing out that, at the moment, you can pick up Linda McCartney's version for £1 at Sainsbury's.
Of course, you may be able to find these items even cheaper at deep-discount supermarkets such as Lidl or Aldi. If you know of any good BBQ food deals at these supermarkets, please share them with other lovemoney.com readers using the comments box below.
Don't forget that we list the latest supermarket deals and discounts every week in our Frugal Food blog.
Utensils, plates & cutlery
That's the food and drink covered. But what about cooking your food and eating it? There are one or two indispensible items you should pick up first.
All BBQ cooks should have some good value for money equipment. For example, try this oven mitt from Poundland for...you guessed it...£1. You can also pick up a spatula, fork and tongs set from Argos for just £1.99. Now there's no excuse not to get flipping those burgers! And Poundland also has summer salad bowls with servers.
If you're having a fair few guests, you may want to save some time and effort on the washing up by using disposable plates and cutlery. Tesco and Asda both have 24-packs of plastic cutlery for 45p, 100 paper napkins for 48p, and 50 paper plates for £1. Tesco also sells 25 plastic cups for 59p.
So now you should be ready for your bargain BBQ. Let's just hope the rain holds off...
This is a classic lovemoney article that has been updated