HIGHLIGHTS: Here are a few tips to save you money when your'e throwing a barbeque this summer: Figure out how many people are really coming . . . cut down on meat costs by serving kabobs or choosing cheaper cuts . . . and use your own plates and utensils instead of buying disposable stuff.
FULL STORY: It's officially summer, so if you're planning on throwing a barbeque, here are five tips to keep the budget in check.
1. Figure out how many people are REALLY coming. You'll have fewer leftovers and less wasted food. Send the evite or whatever as early as possible, so people can plan ahead. Then send out a reminder the week before.
2. Don't just serve meat. You can grill corn on the cob, and cut up a fresh watermelon.
You can also do kebabs, which saves on cost since they're served between chunks of veggies. Or a taco station with inexpensive toppings like lettuce and tomatoes.
3. Choose a cheaper cut. They can be a hit if you tenderize them in a marinade of citrus, wine, or vinegar. Look for London broil, flatiron steaks, or chicken thighs.
4. Drop the drink costs. After meat, drinks are usually the next most expensive part of a party. So offer a selection such as water, soda, and a big vat of sangria. Or completely cheap out and make it BYOB.
5. Skip the disposables. Paper plates, plastic utensils, and Solo cups make cleaning up faster, but they cost more than washing your own dishes. So use regular plates and utensils if possible, and supplement with disposable stu