Why stay indoors, slaving away over a hot stove when you can enjoy the summer sun and cook your family a healthy meal, all at the same time? Summer BBQs are a staple of the season and it's a great opportunity to invite your friends, family, and neighbors over for a get-together. If you want to satisfy everyone's hunger and throw a fun summer BBQ without breaking the bank, follow these tips.

Skip the Fancy Cuts

When you're grilling for a crowd, certain cuts of meat can become very expensive very quickly. Rather than opting for ribeye steaks or organic chicken breast, choose more affordable cuts like chicken thighs or even whole chicken leg quarters. When it comes to grilling, it's all about the flavor anyway, so it doesn't matter if you choose a more affordable cut of meat!

Plan Ahead and Shop Smart

Before you hit the grocery store, you should have some idea how many people you'll be feeding and how much they're going to eat. The last thing you want is to have plates and plates full of cooked food that no one is going to eat. It doesn't hurt to buy a little extra but keep it in the fridge until you know whether you actually need it or not. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on weekly sale flyers to see what's on sale that week - take advantage of these sales to save money when buying in bulk for a large backyard BBQ party.

Beef Up on Sides

Sure, you want to have plenty of grilled meat to go around but you can save money by preparing extras of inexpensive side dishes to make sure people get enough to eat. Summer is the perfect time to find fresh produce at your local farmers market to make tasty salads or you can simply toss the veggies with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar then throw them on the grill as well! Plus, you can never go wrong with a big bowl of steamed quinoa or some steamed rice flavored with fresh herbs.

Make Your Own Flavoring

You may not realize it, but you probably already have the ingredients to make some tasty sauces or dry rubs right in your own pantry. A bottle of fancy barbecue sauce could cost you $5 or more, and if you're cooking for a crowd, you're going to need a lot of it. Before you buy, check your pantry to see what ingredients you have on hand then do a little research to see what you can make from them. Not only will it save you money, but it may help you to use up some of those odds and ends that have been sitting in the fridge for a while.

Ask for Help

If you're really concerned about having enough food for everyone without spending a small fortune, why not turn your backyard BBQ into a potluck? At the very least, ask your guests to bring a side dish or a dessert so you can focus on the main course. Plus, you'll have a greater variety of foods if you ask everyone to bring something.

Frugal Village