Ways to save on your summer barbecue

Ol’ Queen Vicky is having a birthday and that means one thing for Canadians – party time! Monday is Victoria Day which makes this weekend the unofficial beginning of summer. The roads will be packed as us Canucks exit our igloos, say goodbye to the sled-dogs, tear off our flannel, and invite our friends to the lake, the cottage or just to the backyard.

So, with 20 people RSVP’d to your party, you may be worried about how much this party is going to cost. Well, don’t worry, because Consolidated Credit is going to show you how to Ways to save on your summer barbecue.

· Meat me in aisle three – Buying steaks for a large group is like sticking a stake in the heart of your bank account. Grilling up chicken is going to be much easier on your savings. And, if you really want to save some money, buy hotdogs. A pack of hotdogs is the cheapest option for a barbeque and, even if they don’t admit it, everybody loves hotdogs! Just think of it this way – steaks for 20 people could cost more than $200; chicken breasts will set you back closer to $80, and hotdogs for 20 people shouldn’t be any more $30! It’s the perfect example of how to shop smart and save.

· Test your potluck – Why should you have to cover all the costs of the party? When you send out the invitations, inform your friends it’s a potluck party. Assign certain types of dishes to different people to avoid ending up with three macaroni salads and no dessert. Not only are you going to have an easier time keeping your budget in check, you’re going to end up with a wide array of delicious food.

· Congratulations! It’s a BYOB! – Those four little letters are the saviors of a lot a parties on a budget. Providing drinks for a group of 20 thirsty northerners could cost you anywhere from $100-$300 depending on the drinks you buy. Do you know how much it will cost you to have a BYOB party? Ha! That’s a trick question because you may actually make money when you return the empties! You aren’t going to get any more frugal than that!

· I’m leftover the moon! – Wasting food is wasting money. Too many people wait until the next morning to clean up the mess from a late-night barbeque party – invariably finding a pack of uncooked wieners underneath the picnic table, or a bowl of perfectly good salad knocked over on the back deck. Before things get too crazy, wrap up any unused or uneaten food and put it away in your fridge. You’ll be happy you did because the next day you will have no interest in getting off the sofa and cooking.

So, I think you are well on your way to having a fun and frugal Victoria Day BBQ. Staying out of debt has a lot to do with everyday money management. And actually, a frugal party will follow the example of Queen Victoria herself. According to New York Times report from 1884, there were no snacks at her palaces. You either ate at the meal times, or you didn’t eat at all! God save the frugal Queen!

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