How to Make Great Barbecue and Save Money

If you're looking for ways to cut costs on meals, you might consider an outdoor barbecue.

Yes, that's right. You can barbecue AND save money at the same time. So don't heat up the kitchen, heat up the grill! From choosing the right meat to marinating it to perfection, there are ways you can cut costs and enjoy the beauty of barbecue.

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1. Buy meat on sale.

Flickr/Anthony Albright
Flickr/Anthony Albright

Meat regularly goes on sale at most grocery stores. Keep your eye out for great bargains. When meat gets close to its expiration date, you can pick it up cheap and immediately cook it or toss it in the freezer. One of the biggest mistakes is to impulse-buy that huge package of ribs. Some meat is also seasonal. Lamb and goat are found around holidays.

2. Dress up meat you have in the freezer.

Pinterest/Anjali Chadayammuri

Stuffed burgers can be a nice change-up if you're looking to spice up the old. If you have ground beef, but aren't looking for a Plain Jane burger, try adding blue cheese, bacon or peppers.

3. Make Extra.


Most meats make great next-day meals. Turn second-day brisket into chopped-beef sandwiches or sloppy joes. Freeze meal-sized portions of brisket in freezer bags and pull one out when you need a quick meal.

4. DIY Rubs and Sauce

Pinterest/Dustin Baxter

Barbecue sauce and rubs can get costly. If you're looking to cut cost, not flavor, try experimenting with your own! Did you know you can freeze homemade sauce? Freeze it in small containers or in a large one and scoop out just what you need. Check out this recipe.

5. Use only the charcoal you need.

Flickr/Tyrone Warner
Flickr/Tyrone Warner

Charcoal, gas and wood can be a huge expense when you're looking to save money. By using a smaller portion of charcoal, you can achieve the same results with half the money. Don't throw in the entire 10-pound bag. Most of the time, 3 to 5 pounds will get the job done.

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6. The grill


Yes, you guessed it. Buying the correct grill is one of the biggest factors for a successful barbecue. Do your research and buy something that'll last. Then, after each use, be sure to clean the grill. Clean out the ashes and stow the appliance. Weathered grills don't make for the best tools.

7. Cook to the correct temperature.

Three More Big Bites

You've bought meat on sale, marinated it in your own sauces and rubs and have the perfect grill, now what? Cook your meat to perfection. An inexpensive meat thermometer won't break the budget and is sure to keep you from overcooking the perfect cut of meat.

Keep an eye on your fire. Flames can start up quickly when grease drips down. Be sure you don't leave your food alone for too long, or you may end up with a burnt meal.

All in all, keep your eyes on the deals and the fire to save the biggest bucks.

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How to Make Great Barbecue and Save Money