With spring on the way and the promise of warmer weather, many of us will be thinking of dusting off the barbecue and inviting the neighbours round. If you’re looking to make your shopping budget go further this spring and summer, then read on for some inexpensive ideas that will help your barbecue budget to go that bit further.
- Cut back on the meat!
It may be a strange concept for the average Aussie but a BBQ doesn’t have to only be about meat! There are some great reasonably priced seafood choices out there including trevally and monk fish. Try a delicious garlic and chilli marinade, or wrap some filets in bacon before grilling on the BBQ for a real treat.
You could also be really adventurous and try some vegetarian options: how about a spicy bean burger or vegetable and halloumi kebabs? These make a delicious, healthy and cheaper alternative to the standard sausages and burgers.
- Try cheaper cuts of meat
If you just can’t bear the thought of a barbecue without meat, but you still want to save some dollars then think about trying some cheaper cuts of meat. Forgo a filet steak for an inexpensive blade steak, or why not try some flavoursome chicken thighs instead of the more expensive breast meat? Experimenting with some cheaper alternatives will help your budget to go that bit further.
- Make your own marinades and sauces
It’s surprisingly easy and much cheaper to make your own spice rubs, sauces and marinades. A really yummy marinade or spice rub can transform a dish and often they can be made from ingredients that are readily available in the pantry. Have a hunt through your recipes so that next time you fire up the barbie you can try making your own sauce or spice rub.
- Invest in a good quality BBQ
You don’t need to spend thousands on a flash BBQ, but it is worthwhile investing in a good quality one that won’t fizzle out prematurely. Furthermore, buy one that is big enough for your family’s needs only, or perhaps slightly bigger if you entertain a lot. It’s also important that you can multi-task – the ability to cook meat on one side and say, corn on the cob, on the other is very handy.
Once you’ve made the investment in a good barbecue, make sure that you look after it properly. Cleaning and oiling the grill thoroughly before and after use will prolong its life. In addition, get rid of ashes as soon as they’ve cooled. Taking the time to look after your investment will ensure that it serves you well.
- Go easy on the fuel
Most people use more fuel than they actually need. Don’t be tempted to use an entire 4kg bag of charcoal when 1.5kgs should cook any meal for 4-6 people. And if you’re using gas, you only need to crank up the heat at the start, thereafter turn it down low and let the food cook slowly.
Every good Aussie loves a barbecue and with these helpful tips you can relax and enjoy the summer season without worrying about your spending.