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How to save money on your summer BBQ

Barbecues are a huge part of the fun of summer, but could they be burning a hole in your finances?


(Alamy/PA)

With summer in full swing, it’s a prime time for getting your friends and family around for a barbecue. But it can cost more than you’d like.


According to research from money.co.uk, the average cost of a BBQ shop is £28.78. This includes the bare minimum BBQ essentials, such as hotdogs, burgers and rolls. But, BBQs also often come with hidden costs.


Fuel can be costly (Alamy/PA)

“Remember to check if you have enough gas or fuel for your BBQ, as this can often be a pricey element. Prices for coal, wood and gas have soared, so be sure to research and find the most affordable option,” says Lucinda O’Brien, personal finance expert at money.co.uk. “And if this is the first BBQ of the year, chances are, it could be a little gritty,” she notes, so you’ll need to make sure you have all the cleaning supplies, too.


So, how can we cut down on the costs of the actual BBQ?


Swap to veggie


“Often, vegetarian options for a BBQ can be much cheaper than solely sticking to the likes of burgers and sausages,” says O’Brien.


“Why not opt for something like halloumi and vegetable skewers, which could cost a fraction of the price?”


Buy in bulk and freeze


“If you are planning on a few BBQs this summer, you might be better off buying in bulk and freezing. You could save money and ensure everyone has plenty to eat. Find your local wholesaler and see what they have to offer,” she says.


Yellow sticker bargains


Grab a bargain the night before (Alamy/PA)

“On the day of your BBQ, take a trip to your local supermarket in the late afternoon and grab the yellow sticker bargains. If you’re having a lunchtime BBQ, head to the shop the night before to grab them, pop them in the freezer and get them out in the morning to defrost correctly,” she suggests.


Get everyone involved


Make it a group affair.


“Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to contribute. Cut the burden of the cost by asking others to bring items, whether it be a salad or a pudding, or maybe they have a crowd-pleasing speciality dish,” O’Brien says.


Make your own sauces and sides


Try and make most things yourself (Alamy/PA)

“Ditch the jars of sauces and expensive marinades and make your own. It can be much cheaper and you may even find you have things in your cupboard already, such as oil, spices and yoghurt. Try to avoid pre-made sides too, and opt for making your own,” she says.


Only cook what’s needed


“You may be tempted to whack all the burgers on the BBQ, but this may mean you waste food. Take a tally of who wants what before you become a grill master.”

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