The Art of Being Thrifty at a BBQ: Cheap Eats That Impress

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The Art of Being Thrifty at a BBQ: Cheap Eats That Impress

In today’s economy, it’s essential to find ways to save money without sacrificing quality. One area where you can easily cut costs without compromising taste is by being thrifty at a BBQ. Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or attending a potluck, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that will still impress your guests. In this article, we’ll explore some cheap eats that are sure to delight without breaking the bank.

Budget-Friendly Meal Ideas

1. Grilled Chicken Skewers

One of the most affordable and versatile BBQ options is grilled chicken skewers. You can marinate the chicken in a simple mixture of olive oil, garlic, and herbs, then thread them onto skewers for easy grilling. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.

2. Homemade Veggie Burgers

For a vegetarian option that won’t break the bank, try making homemade veggie burgers. You can use a base of black beans, lentils, or chickpeas, and add your favorite seasonings and spices for a flavorful twist. Top with your favorite condiments and serve on a toasted bun for a hearty and delicious meal.

3. Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic BBQ side dish that’s both affordable and crowd-pleasing. You can make a large batch using inexpensive ingredients like potatoes, mayonnaise, and seasonings. Add in some diced celery, onions, and pickles for extra flavor and crunch. This dish is sure to be a hit at any BBQ gathering.

4. Corn on the Cob

Another inexpensive option for a BBQ side dish is corn on the cob. You can grill or boil the corn, then slather it with butter and sprinkle on your favorite seasonings. Corn on the cob is a simple and delicious addition to any BBQ menu that won’t break the bank.

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Thrifty BBQ Tips

1. Shop for Sales

When planning your BBQ menu, be sure to keep an eye out for sales and discounts on meat, produce, and other ingredients. By shopping smart and taking advantage of deals, you can save money without compromising the quality of your meal.

2. Buy in Bulk

Another way to save money on BBQ essentials is to buy in bulk. Purchasing items like burgers, hot dogs, buns, and condiments in larger quantities can help you save money in the long run. Plus, you can always freeze any leftovers for future BBQs.

3. DIY Drinks

Instead of spending money on expensive pre-made drinks, consider making your own DIY beverages for your BBQ. You can whip up batches of lemonade, iced tea, or fruit punch using affordable ingredients like lemons, tea bags, and fresh fruit. Not only will this save you money, but it will also impress your guests with your homemade creations.

4. Potluck Style

If you’re hosting a BBQ with a group of friends or family members, consider making it a potluck style event. Ask each guest to bring a dish to share, which will not only help you save money but also provide a variety of tasty options for everyone to enjoy.


Q: How can I save money on BBQ essentials?

A: You can save money on BBQ essentials by shopping for sales, buying in bulk, making your own drinks, and hosting a potluck style event.

Q: What are some budget-friendly meal ideas for a BBQ?

A: Some budget-friendly meal ideas for a BBQ include grilled chicken skewers, homemade veggie burgers, potato salad, and corn on the cob.

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Q: How can I impress my guests with affordable BBQ eats?

A: You can impress your guests with affordable BBQ eats by focusing on simple, flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare and enjoy.

Q: What are some tips for being thrifty at a BBQ?

A: Some tips for being thrifty at a BBQ include shopping smart, buying in bulk, making DIY drinks, and hosting a potluck style event.

Q: Is it possible to save money on BBQ without sacrificing taste?

A: Yes, it is possible to save money on BBQ without sacrificing taste by focusing on budget-friendly options and using affordable ingredients.


Hosting a thrifty BBQ doesn’t have to be a challenge. By focusing on budget-friendly meal ideas, shopping smart, and utilizing cost-saving tips, you can impress your guests without breaking the bank. With a little creativity and planning, you can enjoy delicious eats that won’t drain your wallet. So next time you’re planning a BBQ, remember these tips and enjoy a tasty and affordable meal with your friends and family.