20 Ways to Save Money on Your Summer Barbecue

Money Saving BBQ Ideas

How do you BBQ on a budget? If you're planning on hosting a summer BBQ and need to keep it on a budget, These 20 savvy tips will help you to save money whilst still allowing you to throw a great party for your friends and family.


Cheap BBQ Food ideas



It's BBQ season and there is no better way to enjoy those beautiful summer days, than in your own garden with friends, drinks and a delicious feast of freshly grilled barbecue foods.  So read on for our very best Budget BBQ tips!

Save Money On Your Next Barbecue

Costs can quickly add up when you're cooking for a large group, which is why it's important to save money where possible. Here are 20 sizzling tips for how to throw a budget friendly BBQ bash...


Choose Meat Wisely

Hotdogs are by far the cheapest item on the BBQ food list so make sure you stock up with plenty of them to fill people up which enables you to buy less of the more expensive items - Kids love hotdogs so let your guests fill up on the cheaper ones before you get out the more expensive meats. Chicken on the bone is much cheaper than boneless chicken breasts and is great cooked on the barbecue with a homemade rub.


cheap bbq


Make a Budget

Ask your guests to let you know if they're definitely coming and make a note of the number of people coming to the barbecue, then work out how much per head you want to spend - to avoid overspending. Once you have made your budget - stick to it!!!


Cook in Sections

You will have less food waste by cooking in sections - we used to open and cook everything we had purchased and so much ended up going in the bin, but when you cook in sections you open one packet at a time and can stop once everyone is full, then freeze any uncooked leftovers for another BBQ.  Make sure you cook the hotdogs first to fill everyone up! 


Check for Reductions

Go to the supermarket nice and early on the morning of your BBQ and head straight for the reduced counter.  You can get your hands on fresh meats that need to be eaten that day and can have a hefty saving too! You will also find salads and sides such as coleslaw and potato salads in the reduced cabinet that will need to be eaten that day - which is perfect. 


Ask for Contributions

You don't need to necessarily make it a prerequisite of entry, but you could always hint to your sister-in-law that you'd LOVE her to bring her famous pasta dish or maybe grandma's to-die-for potato salad? I know when people ask me to bring my homemade items to their houses, I am always really chuffed that they like my cooking.  


Say Yes To Offerings

I used to always say no when people would ask if they should bring anything, but I have the best garden out of my friends, so we always seem to gravitate to my house - Now when they ask me, I always politely say, yes please, that would be great! 


Don't Buy Unnecessary Utensils

It's all too tempting to go to the nearest poundshop and buy hoards of paper plates, cups, napkins, and cutlery to save on washing up, but these costs really do add up.  You can always leave it all until the morning if you don't fancy spending your entire BBQ cooking and cleaning. 


Buy Value Brands

Nobody will know you bought packs of cheap sausages and burgers if you have them out of the packs before they arrive and presented nicely on a tray.  You can also do this with sauces, sides, and desserts - It’s all about the presentation.


You might also like: How to Food Shop Cheaply & Get Away With It


Don't Buy Kids Drinks

Don't go wasting money on expensive kids drinks, such as pop and fruit shoots.  A bottle of squash can be picked up for about £1 and when made up will easily last an entire BBQ.  Just keep the jugs filled up, add a few slices of fruit and plenty of ice to make it more appealing to the eye. 


BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)

Alcohol is the single most expensive item at any house party, make sure you always advise your guests, if they wish to drink alcohol they should bring their own.  Supermarkets often do 25% off 6 bottles of wine or more throughout the summer, this is perfect to stock up your stash! 


Don't forget the Vegetables

It's not just meat that gets cooked on the barbie - Corn on the cobs is delicious grilled with butter.  Wrap up a load of potatoes in foil for a few hours and you will have mouth-watering jackets.  These types of fillers are tasty, great for the vegetarians/vegans in the group, and really cheap.


bbq corn


Cook Properly

Practice makes perfect and the best way to save money is to not burn things that will then be binned. If you’re a beginner at BBQ grilling, you can check out free how-to videos on youtube that offer step-by-step instructions on achieving BBQ grilling perfection.


Budget BBQ Recipes

Arm yourself with a plethora of budget BBQ recipes to wow your guests with.  You can find hundreds online, or even check out Pinterest which is where I always get my cheap recipe inspiration from. 


Get The Best From Your Grill

It's better to have a decent grill that won't burn your food and is easy to use. Always wash and oil your barbecue thoroughly before and after use to make sure it lasts as long as possible. The best time to buy a new BBQ is at the end of the summer season, shops like B&Q and Groupon have some massive savings towards the end of September. 


DIY Rubs & Sauces

Why spend money on items you can easily make at home? “It’s super easy and quick to make your own rubs and sauces for a barbecue, simply by raiding the herbs and spices you already have in your cupboards. 


Go Frozen

The BBQ food from the fresh section is always much more expensive than their frozen alternatives.  Things like kebabs and chicken drumsticks can be up to half the price.  Most supermarkets have a dedicated frozen BBQ food section, so always compare prices before you buy. Check out Iceland's £5 BBQ pack for an amazing deal on food.


Shop Savvy

Instead of getting all your barbecue food at the more expensive supermarkets such as Waitrose and Sainsbury's try shopping at Morrisons, Lidls, Iceland, and Aldi where you can save an absolute fortune on your groceries.  Although the likes of Tesco and Asda aren't too bad on price and there are a few bargains to be had...you often get side-tracked and add things to your trolley that you normally wouldn't need - which ends up costing more.


You might also like: 15 Easy Ways to Lower Your Food Shop Budget


Don't Waste Fuel

For any BBQ on a budget, you need to be aware of fuel costs. Don't make the mistake of piling up the charcoal when there really isn’t any need - you can always add more later on rather than pile it up at first.  With gas versions, simply turn it on only when you're ready to cook and make sure you turn it off as soon as you're finished. 


Use Coupons & Seasonal Picks

You can get Seasonal Picks for lots of online Grocery Delivery companies, usually for first-time customers but you can always try out somewhere new, specifically to get the discount.  You can find cut-out coupons in magazines, newspapers, and even online, pile them up throughout the year, and search through them before you go shopping. 


Cheap Rolls

Asda does a 24 pack of rolls for under £2.50 - these come in their own freezable bag, so when you see them on the reduced shelf, snap them up and pop them away in the freezer for your next BBQ.  You can usually get them for about £1 reduced and they freeze really well and will be just as fresh once defrosted.


Garlic Bread

I always serve garlic bread at a BBQ, it's a firm favourite among guests and is super cheap to buy as a filler. You can get value brnd garlic bread for around 30p per stick. It tastes amazing when wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill. 


Reduced Food

Get to know the times your local supermarket reduces their food to rock bottom prices. The yellow lables usually come out around the same time every evening (usually around 7pm) but do check first. Grab as much meat as you can to freeze ready for your next BBQ.


I hope you thought those tips were sizzling! - as always, if you have any other ways to save money on your yummy summer BBQs, please let us know in the comments below...

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Claire Roach Founder & CEO @ Money Saving Central

Claire Roach Money Saving Central Founder

Claire is the UK's #1 'Online Shopping Expert', she is best known for creating sale date tracking to reveal UK sale dates so her followers are first to know when the next sale is due to land for their favourite stores - making her unpopular with major UK retailers!

Featured in major news outlets and TV shows such as 'This Morning', 'The Times Money Mentor' 'Closer magazine, 'The Guardian' and many more for posts such as the viral 'Kids Eat Free' and 'Supermarket 25% off Wine Deal Dates' promotions she features. Read More