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How to Save On Your Summer BBQ

Warm sun, the smell of fresh-cut grass, long days on the lake, and evening cookouts: all come together to form the fabric of summer. And those summer barbecues make memories that get you through the cold of winter. So when it’s your turn to host, it’s easy to want to go all out. But costs can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are lots of easy ways to save on your summer barbecues. Here are a few ways to cut costs without sacrificing fun and style. 

Friends gathered around a grill outdoors in the summertime

DIY Decorations 

Depending on how invested you are in the event, decorating could be an important part of the day. By opting for DIY decor, you can save money on store-bought supplies. Maybe that means sliding some paper towels into napkin rings, spray paint stenciling a red, white and blue banner, or even just grabbing some flowers from the garden for a tabletop arrangement.


RMCU_save-summer-bbq-blog2Shop grocery store deals 

It can be a fun challenge to plan your menu around maximum savings. When you head to the grocery store, have your coupons, or your coupon app, ready to go. Scope out the sale items at the back of the store, and see if you can get as much as possible at a discount. When summer grilling season comes around, it isn’t uncommon to have items like corn on the cob and watermelon on promotion. See what deals you can score, and save a little in the process.


Thrift your outdoor furniture

It can be tempting to go all-out when it comes to outfitting your outdoor spaces. But you can find great deals on lawn furniture by heading to the thrift store, Facebook Marketplace, or shopping holiday sales. You may be surprised what you can find secondhand, giving a new life to stylish and functional pieces.


Avoid overbuying

While it’s true you don’t want to fall short on portions, you can also be strategic about how you shop. Get a good head count before you buy, and keep in mind that the average adult will eat about a pound of food, while the average kid will probably have around a half pound. The more options you offer, the fewer servings of each dish you’ll need. Fill in with tasty sides like fruit, potato and pasta dishes, and you don’t have to worry about coming up short on the mains. 



Go potluck style

You don’t have to do all the buying yourself in order to have a great time. Consider going potluck style, and have everyone bring a side dish. You can grill up the meat, but share the overall cost of the meal. This gives your guests the chance to showcase their favorite family dishes, and you can share recipe inspiration for summer dinners to come.


Consider BYOB

If adult beverages play a part in your summer festivities, the costs can add up quick. Even if you’re not having a potluck, you can always provide the water and iced tea, and have guests bring their own if they want something harder. Or you could set up one friend to be the bartender, supplying a signature drink for the cookout. If you get together regularly, that role can rotate among the group so everyone takes a turn. But regardless of what you’re drinking, the most important part is to raise a glass to toast to the summer.


For more savings tips, check out the rest of the RMCU blog. Your financial future is waiting.

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