How to throw a summer BBQ on a budget in 2022

Break out the sun cream — we have a heatwave on our hands! And that can mean only one thing: a BBQ party for all! While the rising cost of living is forcing us to tighten our belts, we don’t want to give up all of the fun in life. That’s why we’ve scoured the web to bring you our top tips for how to BBQ cheaply, from where to find the best BBQ sale to choosing the cheapest BBQ party food. So, you can throw an awesome summer party on a budget without going into the red.

How to do a BBQ cheaply VC Blog

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Top tips: how do you BBQ on a budget?

Is a charcoal BBQ cheaper than gas?

Who has the best prices on outdoor grills?

How do you BBQ on a budget?

  1. Forget the fancy meat.

Swerve the steak and salmon — nobody really needs high-end meat at a BBQ! Some of the most modestly-priced BBQ food in the supermarket can still make a statement without sacrificing quality.

You might be surprised to hear that supermarket own-brand BBQ food often trumps leading brands, not just in price but in value for money. For example, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Ultimate Outdoor Bred pork sausages contain 97% pork and were found to be £4.88 cheaper than Richmond Sausages which only contain 42% pork. While Tesco 1/4lb beef burgers containing 90% meat clocked in at £2.18 cheaper than Bird’s Eye burgers with just 77% beef.

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, there's also a fantastic range of vegetarian options to choose from. We highly recommend the Tesco Plant Chef range for sausages that taste like real meat and Beyond Meat for plant-based patties that could fool even the most die-hard carnivores. Need to feed someone who is both vegan and gluten-free? A box of juicy Meatless Farm Quarter Pounder Burgers will put a smile on their face.

Feeling inspired? Head over to our supermarket deals page to find the best own-brand bargains!

Cheap BBQ Food List

2. Get creative with toppings

Transform your supermarket sausages and burgers into a five-star feast with a few carefully chosen toppings. Smashed avocado, jalapeños, and gherkins add something special to BBQ fare. While own-brand sauces, decanted into small serving dishes, is one of our favourite tricks!

You can also give your BBQ party food the 'wow' factor by stuffing cheese into your sausages or adding slices to your patties a couple of minutes before serving. Gourmet, melt-in-your-mouth burgers? Yes, please!

3. Be thrifty with the fuel

If funds are low, cooking your food at the right time could make a difference to your budget. One layer of charcoal across the grill pit should provide around 1-2 hours of cooking time. So, plan to get all the food grilled before it runs out rather than repeatedly firing up the barbie.

If you’re a gas grill convert, you can still take steps to slow your fuel consumption. Just heat the grill up, decrease the fuel supply, and use the BBQ lid to keep everything hot.
Cheap BBQ Sides Recipes vouchercloud
4. Choose cheap BBQ spread ideas

Whip up a few low-cost BBQ sides for a crowd, and you could save yourself a packet. From smokey BBQ beans and a creamy coleslaw to the classic potato salad and chill-seasoned corn on the cob, homemade dishes always add style to a spread. Plus, with lashings of scrummy sides and tasty toppings to choose from, nobody will care that you're serving less expensive meat. This is budget BBQ food done right!

Of course, the cheapest BBQ food is the food others bring to the table. Put out the word for everyone to bring a dish, and you’ll save time as well as money.

5. Serve stylish yet low-cost drinks

Why not make your alcohol stretch further by mixing up a fruity sangria or punch? You can use cheaper wine and mixers without compromising on taste and leave the crowd feeling refreshed.

If you’d prefer your BBQ drinks menu to include a classic cocktail or two, choose a recipe with limited ingredients to keep your costs low. You can mix up a Cuba Libra with lime, cola and rum. And a Moscow Mule just needs ginger beer, lime and vodka to get the party started.

Check out our guide to the cheapest supermarket vodka offers or the best prosecco bargains and best supermarket wines under a tenner if only the grape will do!
How to throw a cheap summer BBQ party vouchercloud

Is a charcoal BBQ cheaper than gas?

If you’re hoping to save money, a cheap charcoal bbq might be for you. This grill is a popular option among BBQ connoisseurs due to its price point and the distinctive smokey flavour it adds to the meat.

On the other hand, if you’re wondering if it’s healthier to grill with gas or charcoal, you might want to rethink the traditional model — food cooked with gas contains fewer carcinogens. What's more, gas BBQs have a smaller carbon footprint and are generally easier to clean.Our advice? If you’re a regular BBQ-er, perhaps it’s time to invest in a decent gas grill. But if you keep the BBQ-ing to special occasions and money is tight, a good old-fashioned charcoal grill would be a good match for your money.
Is a charcoal bbq cheaper than gas?

Who has the best prices on outdoor grills?

A quality BBQ grill is an excellent investment. It’s something that will last for many years and make your summer parties memorable.

To find a low-cost BBQ, the smartest time to buy is out of season. This is when you're most likely to find a BBQ clearance sale and save yourself some cash.

Your next best bet is to search for the cheapest BBQs online at retailers like Argos, Amazon, and B&Q. These brands all have dedicated BBQ collections where you can find the right products fast.

We also highly recommend ALDI’s BBQ Garden Shop for those looking to kit out their backyard on a budget. Whether you’re looking for a portable charcoal option or a fancy gas barbecue grill, you’re bound to find a cheap BBQ for sale.

No matter what you need to get your summer party fired up, our BBQ offers could score you some excellent savings. Never plan a party without consulting vouchercloud.

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