Outdoor entertaining - how to host a barbie on a budget
We all love a get-together and with the warmer weather and longer evenings approaching, now's the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor entertaining and a barbie where you can relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. But when there's a BBQ, it means a lot of food tends to be involved, which can get quite expensive!
One of the best ways to save on entertaing costs is the Aussie standby "bring a plate" so if you’re looking to enjoy the weather and socialise outside, here are 5 easy ways to host a barbie on a budget!
- Don’t pay for (or make) all of the food yourself. Whether you’re sending out more formal invitations to your get together, or you’re just calling people up and inviting them over, tell them that it would be appreciated if they could make a dish for everyone to enjoy. People love to show off their cooking and baking skills, so not only will this help you save on food costs, but it also gives your guests an opportunity to share recipes or taste the food of others. For a BBQ, most of the time the host provides the main meal such as the meat, and the guests are happy to contribute by bringing a salad or a dessert.
- While meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal and hey, it would be nice to serve everyone up a nice piece of fillet or porterhouse steak, you’ll need a pretty big budget for this. Some cheaper alternatives are sausages (gourmet or plain), fish, kebabs, burgers, or marinated chicken wings.
- If you do decide to pay for the entire gathering yourself, another way to save on food is to buy in bulk and make meals that are on the cheaper side. For example, instead of having a "true" barbie, you could prepare a pasta dish, or if you have to have a meat dish, buy large quantities when it’s on sale. This takes some planning and preparation, but being prepared will help you save.
- While food is the main expense of any barbie, you may also want to decorate or use disposable plates and cutlery, which can add to your expenses (but save on the cleaning up). Before you go out and buy new supplies, this is another area where you could ask your guests to pitch in. However, before you do this, why not visit the discount stores to see what's on sale, or check around your house to see if you have leftover decorations or paper plates from your last get together.
- Last of all the drinks - the best way to save on drinks is to ask your guests to BYO (it's just good manners to bring your own choice of drink anyway). And as the host, its always a good idea to provide a few non-alcoholic drinks as well. Make sure you include plenty of chilled water (still or sparkling) and a great alternative to alcohol and soft drinks is a simple fruit punch.
Having a get together with a barbie is always a fun time. It gives you a chance to socialise and relax while enjoying good food and good company - and by using the above tips, you don’t have to spend a fortune!
If you're looking to upgrade to the latest super-duper BBQ model this year, but you need a little financial help with the purchase, why not check out our flexible mini-loans. It's super easy to apply, and once a loan is approved, we can usually get the funds into your bank account within 24 hours - so you'll be ready to cook up a feast by the weekend!