Throw A Great Last Minute Memorial Day BBQ On A Budget

May 24, 2013  |  
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Woo hoo! We made it to a much-needed long weekend away from the office. If you have marked this holiday on your calendar, honey enjoy it! Now the question becomes just what you plan to do with your little bit of freedom?

If you are like most people, you are probably considering a Memorial Day get-together. While this is something you can definitely plan last minute, it’s very wise to consider some kind of budget so you don’t go overboard. Here are some last minute tips to hosting a Memorial Day celebration while saving some cash.

Stay within your means

If your finances are limited, hosting your own gathering may not be in the cards for you this year. Determine what your budget is and make the decision to commit. Remember, a Memorial Day barbecue is not a mandatory action you have to take.

Limit your guest list

One very easy way to save some money is by reducing the number of people you invite. You can do this by spreading the word to a few people over the phone or a quick message. Be sure to stress it’s an intimate event and strongly encourage RSVPs.

Tip: If you don’t want others to find out about your shindig, keep it hush. This means limiting your status updates on Facebook unless you don’t mind a potential crasher or two to stop by (it happens).

Stick to the basics

If people are coming to a barbecue, what do you think they will expect to eat? That’s right — barbecue! When it comes to a Memorial Day party, it’s best to keep it simple. After all, this is not a Fourth of July party where you need fancy red, white and blue dishes or anything crazy. Stock up on hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and additional items you will need for your side items. Steaks, while amazing, are definitely more expensive than your average meat. Double check sales flyers to see if you can get a good deal. If not, pass.

Tip: You may want to inquire if anyone planning to attend is a vegetarian. It’s always great to have a meatless and healthy side option or two.


Partner up with a friend (or two) to host a joint Memorial Day party. Not only will you save money by sharing expenses, but will also get the help you need to prep for the party. Just make sure they are reliable. Co-hosting a Memorial Day barbecue is a great way to spend time with your friends and meet new ones.

Encourage a pot luck

If each guest brings a side dish or drink, you will have just about all you need for a Memorial Day party.You can sample other’s cooking and cut down on both your grocery list and dish duty. Potlucks are also a great way to keep conversations going as you have an opportunity to exchange recipes, or inquire about any made dish. This is a wonderful option for those who want to enjoy a Memorial Day party with a community feel.

Let sale items determine menu

If you are on the budget, you may need to skim on any specialty dishes you had in mind. After all, Memorial Day barbecues are pretty much known for grilled meats and side dishes. Should you want to provide a bit more variety, check out your supermarket’s sales flyer for ingredients on sale. From there, you can piece together any missing dishes you may need without breaking the bank.

Limit decorations

Why spend unnecessary money on decoratives you will only use for a few hours? Memorial Day is more about the food than the decor. Remember that when you feel tempted to splurge at a party store or dollar store. it can add up. Please save that for a special occasion. Instead, have your party focus on the food. If you truly want to add a little pizzazz, encourage your guests to wear a certain color or pattern. That way, you get your pop of hue without having to spend money on it.

Start the party later

“Oh, I’m so full I can’t eat anything else.”

Music to our ears.

Honestly speaking, not everyone knows how to pace themselves in the food department on Memorial Day. Even with multiple barbecues on the calendar, you can bet a guest or two will enjoy themselves at the first stop, becoming full as the day progresses. Consider starting your party in the early-to-mid evening. You will be able to shorten the duration of your gathering as guests will need to prep for the following work day, but can also provide a limited amount of food as the day winds down.

Save your leftovers

Save a portion of your food for future leftovers you can repurpose or enjoy. This is not to say you shouldn’t provide a little to-go plate for any guest who asks – just make sure you are not giving everything away. Some leftovers can be frozen for future use or limit trips to the store for any meals you may need.

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