Summer for many of us means long weekends outside by the BBQ with family and friends. However, some may shy away from hosting BBQs not just because of the thought of all the organising involved, but also due to the associated costs. Well, I'm here to share with you a number of tips to help bring a more cost effective approach to your next get together.
Combining online shopping and coupon discounts with in-store bargains is a very effective way to bring your overall BBQ bill down while still having fun entertaining family and friends on a budget. Don’t let the daunting thought of an expensive day scare you off, because now you can save money and still go ahead as planned.
Ask Friends to Help Out
The majority of my good friends will always offer to bring something over to the party, whether it’s a dessert, wine or meats. This is one of the first steps to saving money on a BBQ, by asking friends to pitch in, especially if you plan to feed more than just your family. Before sending out invitations, you'll want to create a list of all the things you would like to serve your guests. That way when they later call to ask what they should bring, you can refer to your list (which also helps avoid the mistake of telling different people to bring the same thing). This technique reduces your costs and adds a very nominal cost to your guests who attend. Burgers, hot-dogs, crisps, burger-buns, as well as fruits in small amounts don’t cost much.
Online Deals and Bargains
Once you have friends who are willing to help you with the cost of food, it’s now time to organise your own expenses. Buckscoop can show you plenty of ways to save money through online and in-store purchases. Simply spend a few minutes perusing our deals board or vouchers pages to find promotions or discounts on items you may need for your BBQ.
The first thing to do is check online for discount codes and vouchers, because these are a great way to instantly reduce your shopping bill and can help you plan which stores are the best to buy from in order to make the biggest savings. Below is a very brief table of how often Buckscoop sees coupons and vouchers being released from the two big Australian supermarkets:
|Supermarket||Coupon / Voucher Frequency||Coupon / Voucher Percentages||Where to Find them|
|Woolworths||4 x per month||5 – 10% Off||Woolworths|
|Coles||1 x per month||5 – 10% Off||Coles|
If you find after your search that the online discounts and coupons haven’t made up your mind for you, then try using websites like Grocerycop.com.au to find the cheapest prices between the two big supermarkets. Finally, once you have decided where you are going to buy most of your products from, have a look for online deals and in-store bargains within the reduced items sections.
Choosing alcohol is the next hurdle because it wouldn’t be an Aussie BBQ without alcohol. My tip for saving money on alcohol again involves using online coupons and discount codes to help you bring that total cost down. The more popular retailers that regularly have promotions, sales and vouchers on alcoholic drinks have been included in the table below to help you quickly find bargains.
|Retailer||Coupon / Voucher Frequency||Coupon / Voucher Discounts||Where to Find them|
|FirstChoice Liquor||1-2 Every other month||10 – 35% Off||Click here|
|Dan Murphy’s||2-3 per month||5 – 15% Off / free delivery||Click here|
|VinoMofo||1-2 every other month||$25 Off / free delivery||Click here|
|Cellarmasters||1-3 every month||15 – 30% Off||Click here|
|Cracka Wines||1-4 every quarter||10 – 25% Off||Click here|
Buying expensive seasoning from supermarkets can cost anywhere from $2 per 100g all the way up to $10 per 100g. These prices certainly aren't going to help keep a lid on your BBQ budget. “If you want something done, you have to do it yourself” and that applies to saving money at your BBQ as well.
Simple seasoning which you put together yourself can cost a fraction of what you'd pay for something similar at the supermarket. Here are a few easy seasoning ideas where I've chosen to focus on three types that consist of regular herbs and spices which the average household will probably have available. This will prevent you from spending more money on buying herbs elsewhere.
Homemade Lemon and Pepper Seasoning
- Zest from 5 lemons (or ½ cup of pre-dried lemons zest)
- 6 tablespoons of ground pepper
- 5 tablespoons of rock salt / Himalayan salt
- ½ cup of chilli powder
- ¼ cup of garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons onion powder
- ¼ cup of oregano
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- ¼ cup cumin
- 1 tablespoon thyme
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- ¼ cup onion powder
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- 2 tablespoons ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cayenne powder
Invitations & Decorations
Finally we need to consider inviting people and gone are the days where we need to post an invitation to our friends or provide a formal invite of sorts. The easiest and most efficient way is to either give them a call or create a Facebook group.
If you'd like to put on a bit of a show but wish to create some decorations and pay less, Instagram can be a great avenue to finding affordable BBQ decorations to give you day a little something different on the day. Otherwise Pinterest is another excellent source of inspiration for this sort of thing. Happy BBQ'ing!