by Stacey Carroll, Contributing Writer
Cookouts are awesome. I loved grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, potato chips, dip, and everything else that goes along with a cookout. However, cookouts can become an expensive endeavor if you’re not careful. Here’s how I make sure to stay within budget and have my grilled hotdogs.
Have the guests pitch in
Having the guests pitch in doesn’t mean having them spend money. The last cookout I attended, I brought things I already had; including ketchup, an onion, a tomato, and a roll of paper towels. It didn’t cost me a thing, and it saved the hosts about $5.00.
With the advent of facebook and other social media, it’s even easier to announce the event and post the things needed to your potential guests. For the next cookout, we plan to invite all our family and have them each bring a dish. In addition to the social media invitation, we could include a list of things for them to bring such as foil, paper towels, plates, napkins, and plasticware. The guests that have those things on hand would be welcome to bring them, and able to update their offerings via a comment.
Only buy what you need
The biggest issue I see at cookouts involves bringing and having too much food. That’s wasted money and wasted food. If you’re inviting 20 guests, 40 hotdogs, 20 hamburgers, and two packs of bratwursts should do it for the meat. Add two bags of chips, some baked beans, and potato salad and your set. Anything else can be brought by the guests. I know I always bring my own drinks and a dessert. No one in my family drinks Diet Coke, and I’m a real grump if there’s no cake.
Shop the grocery store ads the week prior
Grocery stores generally have meat, coke, on sale during any given week. The trick is to shop all the ads for all the local grocery stores and figure out where you can get hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad, Coke, and ice for the least amount of money. Doing this can save $10 to $20 dollars on cookout essentials.
In short, a tiny bit of preplanning for every cookout could save you a tremendous amount of cash. It’s fun to get together and eat grilled hotdogs and socialize with the family. But, if you’re like me, you don’t want to break the bank doing it.
Stacey Carroll is the author of the thriller series - Avia. She also authors the paranormal erotica series - The Blooddoll Factory. Stacey grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. she went to college at Indiana State University (ISU) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in aerospace in the professional pilot program. She has flown Cessna 152s, Cessna 172s, the Pipe Seneca and the King Air. She also graduated with a minor in computer science that specialized in web design.
She has always been interested in reading and writing, and the first book she was ever read was the Grimms Brother's Fairy tales. From the ages of 6 to 11, she read the Nancy Drew series. By the age of 11, she had graduated to Stephen King novels. A few of her favorites include Carrie, Tommyknockers, The Dark Tower Series up to book 3 (That's where it stopped in the late 80s/ early 90s), Pet Semetary, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand, It, Cujo, Christine, The Eyes of the Dragon and Thinner (Richard Bachman). In her teen years, she moved on to Anne Rice and got through about four of those books before they degraded. If you've ever read Anne Rice, you know book 5 isn't readable. Stacey has read a couple Harry Potter books as she was introduced to them in the early 2000s, and she's never read or watched anything Twilight or 50 Shades. Sorry. I'm a vampire purist, and nothing needs to be said about the latter. You already know.
She is currently an author and freelance writer. She received an honorable mention in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in 2008 for a short story entitled The Field. In 2014, she was published in 13 Stories by Us by MacKenzie Publishing.
Other books by Stacey
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