I love food cooked on a grill, slowly simmering over an open fire. The primal need to see meat cooked over an open flame nearly has me undone - at least for the first few weeks of grilling season, then I am happy as a clam with my grilled fare, until towards the end of October, when, inevitably - the season draws to a close. But, no more talk of that here - let's explore some great ways to BBQ on a budget.

1. Since meat is typically the largest expense in any grocery budget, let's take a look at some thing that might still be hanging around in the freezer.
Solution = use older cuts of meat (even roasts work great for this - just slice to no more than 1 1/2" thickness), marinate 12-24 for tender cuts of meat (more expensive), 24-48 hours for tougher cuts of meat. To give some added flavor - dust with dry spices before grilling - that will help crisp the outside, while searing all those lovely flavors and juices inside. No time to marinate, use some smoked sausage or brats! Another cheap fix? Chicken drumsticks dusted with onion salt, garlic powder, and a pinch of cumin - tossed onto a grill. The best part? Butera typically has drumsticks for under $.69 lb.! I love cheap eats...

2. As the grilled items tend to steal the show, play them up with fun salads. Add some nuts, a sprinkle/crumble of cheese (even parmesan works great), top with some black olives - voila! A classy, flavor-packed punch to balance the smoky meats. Check with your local farmstand/farmers market for deals - or watch the ads, find an inexpensive salad mix, and keep some pantry basics on hand like sundried tomatoes, canned sliced olives, croutons, dried fruits, or even canned fruits.

3. Bread. Whether it's buns, a crusty loaf of French bread, or a some simple dinner rolls, or even tortillas, adding bread gives the meal an instant, casual feel. Many times, bread becomes the utensil, giving you easier cleanup. Also, more eco-friendly than using plastic silverware. So, if you live near a bakery outlet - go on over, and see how much you can save! I pay about $.59 for buns, less than $1 for bread.

4. Dessert - no true meal is complete without it. As strawberries are in season - what's better than a smoothie, layer cake, or even fruit salad to play up the abundant flavors!

5. A quick drink - one that makes adults smile and kids can have, too! Here it is, a fruity twist on a rootbeer float. If you're looking for something with more punch, check out the variation!
Labels: , | edit post
4 Responses
  1. Amanda Says:

    Hooray for grilling season! Getting bakery items at an outlet is a terrific idea. I love a good hamburger bun.

  2. Me, too! I can't wait til the move is done, the grill is set up, and I can have a BBQ! Naturally, you're invited.

  3. Precious Says:

    I am so glad your grilling season is here. We grill out all year here. Love your spice and rub ideas!

  4. Give tofu a shot. You need to marinate it and cut it thin but it really works out well.

Post a Comment

Swidget 1.0 2