Friday, June 19, 2009

Saving Money on Grilling

It's Father's Day this weekend, and many families will be cooking out. I have so many memories of my family grilling practically every night in the summer and then eating outside on the deck. Yum!

However, between food, fuel, and accessories, the cost of grilling can add up, so I thought it would be useful to share a few ideas for saving money on this delicious summer pastime!

1) Plan ahead - As always, it's easiest to save money if you think in advance. For instance, we have a charcoal grill, so when I saw half a bag of charcoal on freecycle back in the winter, I requested it. It wasn't a ton, but it was convenient for my husband to pick up on the way home form work and was at least enough for a couple of free grilled meals. If you're looking for a grill or for grill accessories, it would be worth keeping your eye out at yard sales and on Craig's List before buying them new.

2) Stock up on sales - All throughout the summer you can find good deals on food for grilling, but the best deals will probably come up around Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Use these times to stock up on meat to freeze, as well as hot dog and hamburger rolls, chips, baked beans, and condiments such as ketchup and BBQ sauce. Double and triple coupon events are also a great time to get deals; I've gotten free and almost free mustard and pickles several times.

3) Use energy efficiently - Since we have a small family, when my husband and I grill we try to grill enough for several meals, so as not to waste the charcoal. We cook a variety of different meats, and I try to use them creatively throughout the week. We've also experimented with hardwood charcoal, which is reusable until it's burned up. Another way to use the grill heat efficiently is to try to cook the whole meal on the grill and not heat up your kitchen at all.

4) Expand your recipe repertoire - Who says that you have to just grill steak and seafood? There are so many creative recipes out there, many of which use less expensive ingredients. My dad makes a great grilled pizza, which doesn't use expensive ingredients. Or why not try grilled meatloaf? Grilled potatoes? Grilled peaches? The possibilities are endless!

Check out Frugal Fridays for more frugal living tips.

Also check out Money Saving Mom for more ideas for saving money on Father's Day.
Photo credit: fotograf62


  1. We grilled out this week and made honey mustard kabobs with fresh pineapple... it was absolutely delicious!!

  2. We do the grill-once-eat-twice method of grilling too. I figure that if we're going through the trouble of heating up the grill (and having hubby cook over it!), then we may as well get several meals-worth of food from the effort. Our favorite is grilled chicken, so we eat the chicken with sides the first night and make grilled chicken salads the second night. I'm thinking of having him make three nights-worth next time and not seasoning those. Then I can make chicken cacciatore with it.

    We also LOVE grilled mushrooms on skewers. K.C. Masterpiece's Steakhouse Sauce cooked into grilled mushrooms is DIVINE. It's definitely got a restaurant-quality taste to it!

  3. I grilled last nigh. I also use your plan and cook several things at once. I start with the meat that takes the longest to cook this week that was bar-b-qued chicken, then hamburgers, then hotdogs.

  4. Have you ever tried clay pot cooking? It sounds odd, but is apparently delicious! I had never heard of it until my mother started using this technique for my other five homeschooled siblings. Apparently it is easy, economical and well they all loved it!


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