You'll have to shell out money for expensive meat cuts, repeatedly visit the grocery or market for ingredients, regularly buy charcoal and so on. But the truth is, there are many ways how you can work around this. There are certain tips you can follow if you're grilling on a budget, so that you can enjoy a backyard barbecue dinner more often whether you're cooking for yourself or for a crowd!
Here are 5 effective ways how you can save money while grilling:
1. Go easy on the meat
You don't have to have steak each time you grill. But if you must, go for less expensive meat cuts such as skirt steak or flank steak. Opt for legs and thighs if you're grilling chicken - they're cheaper and more flavorful. You can also save more money on meat if you serve grilled kebabs that are vegetable-heavy. This way, you can stretch a small amount of meat on a main grilled dish.
2. Serve grilled fruits or vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables make for a refreshing alternative if you've been serving meat-heavy grilled main dishes. They're less expensive, cook quicker on the grill than meat and they add nutrition to your meals. Make a grilled vegetable salad, a veggie burger or grilled corn with herb sauce then follow it up with a nice bowl of grilled fresh fruit- whatever recipe you choose, you can't go wrong with these healthy yet delicious ingredients!
3. Add bread to your menu
Like fruits and vegetables, grilled bread is also a good option to serve when you're grilling on a budget. Bread is very filling, plus you can just spread it with a sauce of your choice, add a few pieces of meat or vegetables, throw it on the grill and you're good to go!
4. Make your own dressings and sauces
It will save you more money when you make homemade dressings, rubs, marinades or sauces for your grilled dishes compared to getting the store-bought variety, especially when you're serving a crowd. Start with ingredients that are already available in your pantry like ketchup or tomato sauce, then add a few herbs or spices of our choice.
5. Get creative
It's not very ideal to eat or serve the same dishes at a barbecue, but it could also get expensive if you try new and complicated recipes. What you can do is to stick to classic barbecue dishes like burgers and hotdogs then add your own twist - this way, you can stay within your budget and at the same time serve something "new" to your guests. For example, instead of just the classic burger, add small pieces of bacon, cheese and onions to the raw meat before it hits the grill. Or you can try to marinate your hotdogs in a tangy herb sauce instead of the usual barbecue sauce. Get creative!
With these easy-to-follow grilling on a budget tips, you won't have to worry about firing up your grill as much as you can - you can now enjoy budget-friendly yet delicious barbecue dishes everyday!