Hosting the BBQ of the year doesn't have to mean shelling out hundreds on Pinterest-worthy projects. These tips will help you dress up basic ingredients and plan ahead to create the perfect backyard get-together without breaking the budget.
1. Serve What's in Season
Seasonal veggies are fresher, tastier, and cheaper than their out-of-season counterparts. To find the best local produce fresh from the fields, shop locally. The Uptown Westerville Farmer's Market is a great place to start. See what you can find inexpensively, then hit your cookbooks or the internet to find tasty, make-ahead or grill-friendly recipes to add to the menu.
2. Make it a Potluck
It's not tacky to ask guests to bring an appetizer or dessert, and you might be surprised how many of your friends would relish an opportunity to show off their culinary skills! If possible, ask for a general idea of what each guest plans to bring, so you don't end up with eight dessert dishes and no chips and dip.
3. Serve Hot Dogs Like a Pro
If hot dogs are part of the menu, try serving them on coffee filters instead of regular paper plates. Guests will love how flexible they are, perfect for wrapping around a loaded hot dog, and they'll catch all the drips just as well as a plate would.
4. Build Mess-Free Nachos
Kids especially love this hack! Try purchasing individual-sized bags of corn chips from your big box store, then let guests add their toppings into their own bags. You'll minimize the mess and the plate usage.
5. Add Atmosphere
Repurpose your Christmas lights by investing in a package of cheerful mini cupcake liners and poking a light bulb through the bottom of each one. Then just twine your twinkle lights around the deck, grilling area, or fence to add some sparkle to your get-together! You can also fill buckets with rocks to anchor inexpensive bamboo poles, the perfect supports for outdoor lights that you can place anywhere. It's the perfect complement to regular landscape lighting.
6. Keep the Kids Busy
Kids are easily entertained if you put a little thought into the activities the day before it happens. Water balloons, squirt guns, bubbles for the really little ones, and even just a soccer ball or volleyball set-up are all inexpensive options to keep kids occupied.
7. Prep Ice Cream Ahead
The more you can do before the party, the less you'll have to think about when your guests are over. Try scooping ice cream into individual muffin liners, topping with sprinkles, and keeping on trays in the freezer the night before the barbecue. Then on the day of you'll just have to set them outside. No more hurriedly scooping ice cream as it melts in the sun.
These are just a few of our favorite budget BBQ ideas. If you're looking for more permanent ways to update your outdoor lighting, visit us at Northern Lighting and check out our Dot Sale for up to 30% off select items!