Now that winter has come and gone, we’re now preparing for summer to get here, and what does that mean? Summer cookouts! There’s no better feeling than the official smell of summer: grilled food. Hosting cookouts can be a great time among friends and loved ones, but it can also be very time-consuming; And if you’re not careful, it can also get to be very expensive… But it doesn’t have to be.
Fortunately, hosting a cookout at your house doesn’t have to be mentally or financially draining. But the key to this stress-free cookout is preparation and not waiting till the last minute to do things. If you follow these time and money-saving tips, your cookout will go off without a hitch.
Time & Money-Saving Hacks to Successfully Host Your Summer Cookout
Prep Your Food the Day Before
Anything you can prep ahead of time is going to be a lifesaver for you on the day of your cookout. Things like your meats, sides, and drinks/punches can all be done the day before. Not only will this save you time, but it also just infuses the flavors of the food even more… For meats, this is what you would call marinating.
Let’s say you’re making orange marmalade bbq chicken. Well, this is luckily an easy recipe to make, but by making it in advance the day before, all those flavors will infuse in the chicken, leaving it tender and flavorful when it comes off the grill.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying generic brand products. In most cases, there is no huge difference in generic products except for the name, and that’s what consumers are paying the most for. But to be fair, there are certain things that aren’t as high quality in generic brands, but as far as your cookout goes, these products will save you a ton of money in preparing for your cookout.
- Cans of baked beans
- Plastic cups
- Paper plates
If you’re a stickler about name brands, these are products that won’t falter in quality in serving their purpose for your cookout.
Update Your Patio Furniture
As all prices change according to season, so does patio furniture, and if your furniture is old, damaged, or outdated, you’re going to want to go ahead and invest in some new patio furniture now while prices are relatively low.
The key here would be to do your research to find a reputable dealer of patio furniture that sells quality pieces at reasonable prices. Companies like Nashville Billiard is a great source for all things patio, and are always having great sales going on. So before you go and buy the first thing you see or buy something cheap and low-quality, check out Nashville Billiard first.
Get Your Yard Prepped
Whether you need to cut the lawn or sweep off your patio, you want to go ahead and do as much of this as you can the day before so that the day of your cookout, all you’ll need to do is freshen it up.
Make Teas and Punches
Sodas can get a little on the pricier side of things. To cut your beverage bill in half, consider making your own beverages like tea and punch. Sweet tea is a cookout staple, and if you mix a little bit of lemonade in with it, it will be the most refreshing drink you’ll have there. By making your own beverage, you’ll be able to quench everyone’s thirst, and once the drinks get low, you can easily go inside and make more. No-fuss. No trips to the store.
Have Your Guests Bring Sides or Desserts
Just because you’re hosting the cookout, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. By having your guests each bring a side dish, they’re cutting your cookout prep time and budget in half. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help… After all, you’re doing the majority of the work by hosting… the least your guests could do is bring the items you ask of them.
We hope these money and time-saving tips will be of great help to you when it’s your turn to host your first cookout of the summer!