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Barbecuing does not need to be as expensive as most people think, it can actually be a really cheap way of entertaining if you pre-plan and organise ahead. Take note of our top tips to perfect a budget friendly BBQ!

Let’s start with the obvious…invest in a good quality BBQ!

Investing in the right grill can save you a lot of money in the long run. A good quality BBQ will last you for years if you look after it properly! When researching before buying a BBQ, we highly recommend you check the warranty and materials out. The longer the warranty the better basically! If anything goes wrong along the way you want to be sure you’re covered by warranty for as long as possible as this will save you having to fork out for a repair / replacement part. 

The majority of Whistler barbecues have limited lifetime warranties because they’re so confident in the build and material quality of their products– a big plus! 

Go heavy on the sides

Everyone loves a side dish. Serving a variety of these means you can get away with cooking less meat, which is the expensive bit of course! 

A potato or pasta salad for example only costs a few pounds but are an absolute favourite! We have put together some cheap yet delicious BBQ side dishes for you to try; 

  • Potato salad / potato gratin 
  • Pasta salad 
  • Bread buns for the meat (very filling!)
  • Jacket potato (paired with chilli cooked on the barbie)
  • A green salad 
  • Corn on the cob 
  • A rice or couscous salad filled with mixed beans 
  • Grilled vegetables – get creative with the veggies! 

Pick meats that go far and wide

Picking meats that serve many are a cost-effective win win. 

Mince for example goes far.  Rustling up a chilli and pairing it with a jacket potato is the perfect budget friendly, filling dish. Another being Chicken! Why not up your chicken game and attempt a Chicken Shawarma on the barbie? Here’s a recipe!


Bring your own booze! Politely asking your guests to bring their own booze keeps your budget down and allows you to concentrate on the food. It also means everyone can drink exactly what they like!


Another great way to save money when entertaining is asking your guests to bring their own meat. This takes the pressure off you to feed a large crowd, as well as then having a huge selection of different meats to choose from! Alternatively, you could set a BYOSD rule – bring your own side dish. 

Make good use of leftovers

Very rarely are their leftovers after a BBQ get together, however on the off chance there is don’t let food go to waste! There are plenty of ways you can put the food to good use that will feed you and your family for the following few days. 

A great leftover recipe favourite for us is this leftover lamb and vegetable pie baked on the barbie! Find the recipe here 

Jazz up cheaper cuts of meat

If you’re struggling to afford gourmet cuts then don’t worry, with a little creativity you can transform cheaper cuts of meat into signature favourites. Stuffing and wrapping meat with delicious items such as cheese and bacon can do wonders. Your guests would think you’ve spent a fortune! 

Creating your own marinade from simple store cupboard ingredients is up there with one of the best hacks! Sauces elevate a meal without much effort or cost. 

Serving mouth-watering toppings also completely transforms inexpensive barbecue food into forever favourites. Think grilled mushrooms, bacon, avocado, cheese, onions…the list goes on! 

So what we’re getting at iS...don’t put off hosting a BBQ because of the cost associated with it, here’s your guide to making it as budget friendly and cost effective as you need it to be. There is no excuse now!