Rising living costs are affecting various aspects of our daily lives, including summer barbecues. According to calculations by Canada Life, the cost of food and drink for a typical UK summer barbecue could be around £10 more than last year. Using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Canada Life estimates that the cost of a typical barbecue is now around £90, compared to around £80 last summer. Of course, the actual cost will vary depending on the specific items purchased and the number of people being catered to. The basket of barbecue goods used for these calculations included beef burgers, pork sausages, baking potatoes, chicken, meat-free sausages, veggie burgers, bread rolls, mayonnaise, cheese, salad ingredients, crisps, fizzy drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
If you want to enjoy summer barbecues without breaking the bank, Canada Life offers some tips. First, if you plan on hosting multiple barbecues throughout the summer, don’t throw out the charcoal after one use. Safely extinguish the fire and keep the remaining charcoal for future use. Simply top it up with new charcoal as needed. Additionally, you can use price comparison apps like Trolley to compare prices of items on your shopping list. Once you’ve identified the best deals, consider placing your order through a cashback site to save even more money.
Another cost-saving option is to explore apps that offer discounted or free food in your local area. For example, the Too Good to Go app allows users to find bags of food being sold cheaply at grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes, which would otherwise go to waste. Similarly, the Olio app helps prevent surplus food from being wasted by allowing users to post pictures of giveaways, including food and other items.
Take advantage of “yellow sticker” food items in supermarkets, which have been marked down in price. Look for discounted cuts of meat or fish and check if they can be frozen. If so, freeze them on the same day and defrost them according to the instructions ahead of your barbecue. Additionally, instead of buying side dishes, get creative with ingredients you already have. Transform leftover ingredients into homemade pasta salad or roast tomatoes as a side dish while cooking something else.
To further save costs, consider asking party guests to contribute a few sides to share expenses. If your main priority is hosting a summer gathering rather than specifically having a barbecue, you can bypass the barbecue altogether and prepare food in your air fryer or slow cooker. This way, you won’t be dependent on the weather.
By implementing these cost-saving measures, you can enjoy summer barbecues without breaking your budget.