This post is the first in a monthly series brought to you by Meijer to share with you the savings you can experience in their store and online. Like all posts on Basilmomma.com all opinions are my own and the thoughts therein were created solely by me to educate and hopefully inspire!
10 Tips For the Perfect BBQ on a Budget
Whether you are cooking for a crowd or just you and your family, there are ways to BBQ on a budget so you can have plenty left over for summer fun! For the next 12 months I am partnering with Meijer to share ways to save money on the food and home items you love. Since summer just started and we are all venturing outdoors for a little more fun in the sun I thought 10 Tips For the Perfect BBQ on a Budget were exactly what we needed!
1. Don’t Waste Money on Expensive Meat
Look for larger cuts of meat that are a little outside of the norm to bring big favor appeal with a smaller price tag. Flank or Flat Iron are 2 cuts you can count on to slice well and grill up nicely. Opt for more flavorful pieces of chicken like thighs, legs and bone-in split breasts. Keep an eye out for a local catch of the day or a grill friendly fish that won’t break the bank like halibut, branzino or even rainbow trout.
Use mPerks to save using personal rewards
2. Add Flavor to Basic Ground Meat
Take advantage of ground chicken, turkey or beef on sale. By adding seasonings, crumbled cheese, diced cooked bacon, or even diced roasted veggies to the meat you not only make it go further, but you add flavor to what can sometimes be considered a ‘boring’ meat.
3. Don’t Cook for an Army
Chances are you are cooking for 3-5 people and your portion sizes and pieces of meat/fish needs to reflect that. Cook as much as you normally do on any given night. Having said that, I always throw on an extra chicken breast or pork chop if I have it for a lunch later in the week, to chop up for a salad, etc. Make a point to NOT go overboard.
4. Make your Own Sauces and Rubs
It may seem counterproductive to talk about 10 Tips For the Perfect BBQ on a Budget and then tell you to make your own sauces and spice rubs. It may sound like I am telling you to buy MORE. Not true. Many sauces and spice blends keep for a long time when properly stored and the flavor is more to your liking with less salt, sugar or heat. I like this simple Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce because it has such a deep flavor without being too sweet. Plus, it makes an awesome base to a BBQ pizza!
5. Don’t Use More Fuel Than You Need To
Have a charcoal grill? Learn how to build the perfect fire and keep it with tips from Alton Brown, Dr BBQ and Grillin’ Fools. Are you cooking with gas? Invest in a low cost meter for your propane tank to see when you are empty (don’t be like me and run out mid way through cooking something) and by all means turn off the propane as soon as you are done cooking!
Use the coupons you clip, the weekly ad or mPerks to save in store!
6. Take Advantage of Sales on Larger Cuts of Meat
When you see that pork roast is on sale, go ahead and grab one. Your meat department can cut it into any amount of slices you would like, package them individually and save you the time and hassle of doing it yourself. All while spending much less money than individual pork loin chops. The same goes for ground beef. Buy it in bulk and package it to use in the proportions you need. Steer clear of pre-pattied burgers. You are paying 15-20% more just to skip that step.
7. If You are New to Grilling Do Your Homework
This may be new to you or maybe it has been a while. It helps to learn a few techniques and tips from those that know the grill well. Not to mention food safety. This isn’t a good place to guess and check. Here are a few tips on how to prevent food borne illness when cooking outdoors. Keep your grill clean by giving the grates a good scrub before you start to cook and immediately after. Oil the grates with a paper towel dipped in oil and held with tongs to aid in the application. This is safer than spraying oil over a hot fire. Also, keep sanitizing wipes to clean your hands while cooking to prevent the spread of bacteria. That can be as simple as a container of Wet-Naps nearby. Best of all- I used an MPerk for these AND a manufacturers coupon. I got all of this for $1.75.
8. Reduce and Reuse
Don’t bust your budget with disposable, themed paper goods and decor. Instead opt for a lightweight, washable plate, silverware and cup selection. Have a table to cover? Use an old sheet that needs a new purpose in life. I know we all have a nice, white sheet that has no home. Plus- it is washable. Want to stick with disposables? Then become adept at using mPerks and watching the ads.
When you combine an mperk reward, with a sale price AND a coupon? The savings really ads up!
9. Set up a Sauce and Toppings Bar
Grill one meat and set up a variety of cheeses, veggies, spices, sauces or other toppings and let your guests customize their burger. You will need fewer ingredients and you can use the leftovers the next day in other recipes like salads, omelettes or sandwiches. This is a great idea or corn on the cob too. Take that basic cooked cob and serve it with a few enhanced butters that are smoky, herby or cheesy.
10. Dress up a Simple Classic
Yes, I mean baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cucumber salad, veggies and dip, cole slaw and potato salad. These classics we have grown up with are easy to make our own with spices, an addition of a sauce here and there and some fresh herbs. Make the base recipe your own, don’t overthink it and stick to what your guests like. My favorite potato salad is pretty basic, but with the addition of chopped dill pickles, it has a zing that gets compliments. My base recipe for cole slaw gets it’s zip from a dollop of grainy deli-mustard.
Between the every day low prices at Meijer and the chance to save even more with rewards, coupons and mPerks- you can pull of the PERFECT BBQ on a budget easily!
There are so many other tips that I have like buy drinks that come individually as to not waste money on cups or 2-liters that can go flat and to waste, stick with basic all season decor that you can reuse- but I had to stop at 10. I think we all have great tips we can share and if you share your BEST tip for the perfect BBQ on a budget below in the comments YOU will be entered to win this grill tool set By Weber from Meijer! You may enter as many times as you would like between NOW- June 23 at 9 pm est. ONE winner will be drawn at that time and notified via email. No purchase required, winner has 24 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. Winner must live in the contiguous United States to win.
By the way~ I want to share a few of the deals I used in the creation of this post and ALL were MPerks. I admit I am not good at clipping coupons and then using them. I know, I know- I need a coupon organizer. But with the mPerk app I can enjoy the savings and not have to remember coupons. Check it out HERE. Don’t have a smart phone- no worries! You can use MPerks on a computer then enter your phone number and pin you choose in the keypad of each register!
$1 off specialty meat
$1.50 off 2 Ziplock containers
.25 off Pepperidge Farms buns
.50 off Kikkoman bastes and glazes
.25 off Hellmans Mayonnaise
Just to name a few!
A few more places to find/follow Meijer: