Week 25 - June 27
The Fourth of July holiday is coming and vacation time has already arrived. We know the cost of a barbecue for the holidays is up 20.9% over last year, to $71.93 up from $59 in 2021. It may be time to rethink just what we will serve this year.
Is anyone still buying preformed hamburgers? I hope not. Purchase ground beef and ground chicken to stretch the meat. Ground chicken can be as much as half the price. If you are concerned this may leave your hamburgers a little dry add your favorite barbecue sauce or even some catsup to the meat when you form the patties. Ask friends is any of them have tomatoes they would love to share. Grill onions ahead of time for a more gourmet burger, onions are cheap. Skip the cheese or ask someone to bring it.
If you normally make homemade ice cream substitute half and half for heavy cream and save almost half the cost. To save even more use whole milk and make a fruit variety such as peach or strawberry to add thickness and still have great ice cream.
If you are serving hot dogs shop carefully. These should be on sale this week so check the ads. Compare the cost per ounce, as a larger package will often be less expensive. If you don’t need 16 or 24 just take out what you will use that day and freeze the rest. If you love the all-beef no nitrate variety purchase those for the adults and the less expensive hot dogs for the kids. Kids often leave some of theirs uneaten anyway.
Chips. Do you really need four kinds? Do you really need chips? Purchase the store brand and limit to one variety. Again, these should be on sale this week.
Salads, make your own. Better yet assign potato salad to one guest and pasta to another. Do not purchase the store salads.
S’mores. These are such a barbecue favorite. Purchase the least expensive graham crackers. Once they are filled with marshmallows and chocolate you will never notice a difference from the expensive variety. Chocolate bars have become so expensive so make your own favorite chocolate frosting and use that instead. Create a S’mores bar and post creative ideas.
#1 Offer your favorite caramel sauce, add coconut for a girl scout Samoa imitation.
#2 Peanut butter and even add banana.
#3 Peanut butter cups. Chop into fourth for easy eating and melting.
#4 Chocolate chips get the mini variety, cheaper than candy bars.
#5 Strawberries or peaches sliced.
#6 Ice cream. If you are buying and not making ice cream soften the ice cream the day before, spread on cookie sheet and freeze. When it’s time to make S’mores place cookie sheet on a second sheet filled with ice and cut squares of ice cream as needed once marshmallows are roasted to perfection.
Soda. Two-liter bottles are often cheaper per ounce than cans, watch the cost per ounce. If purchasing liters also purchase small cups and be sure to have a bucket of ice with the drinks. Ice takes up room and thus less soda is consumed. Remember powdered lemonade and Kool Aid are much cheaper and water with lemon or strawberry slices is almost free!
A few small changes can save a lot of money and right now we all need to save wherever we can.