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Planning a Fourth of July Barbecue on a Budget

July 3, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Seattle 0 Comments

Planning a Fourth of July Barbecue on a Budget

Summer is a great time to have a barbecue. Many people plan to celebrate Independence Day outdoors enjoying fireworks and other activities unfortunately, throwing a simple barbecue can often add up quickly! However, it is possible to have a great holiday cookout on a budget. The secret to keeping costs low on the Fourth of July is planning ahead. Often it is possible to begin finding bargains for this holiday months or a year in advance. Friends and family, who plan to attend the barbecue, can also begin to hunt for bargains long before the celebration. It is possible to have guests attending the celebration choose things that they will be responsible for bringing to the barbecue. Pitch-in meals offer everyone an opportunity to celebrate together on a budget and will allow all your friends to help out, whether they have attended culinary arts school or not there is something that they can contribute! However if they have attended one of the many Seattle cooking schools, that’s a double bonus!

Part of celebrating a holiday with family and friends is having a festive table. Decorations can be bought at clearance sales and stored before the holiday celebration. After Christmas or Valentine’s Day; red plates, napkins and tablecloths often can be purchased at huge discounts. Purchase plastic utensils at sales long before the holiday. Alternatively, rather than use store-bought disposable products, ask guests to bring their own plates, glassware and utensils. This eliminates the costs of these items from a strict budget. Purchase bags of charcoal or propane fuel on sale to cook the barbecue food. Borrow grills to save money renting or buying them.

Shop for Fourth of July decorations at online stores that offer discounts. Party stores often offer bulk prices on decorations and food. Great budget celebration merchandise can be found at dollar stores too. Find red, white or blue candles to set on the table as decorations. Toss red and white striped peppermint candies on red tablecloths. Silver star confetti can also be tossed on the tables to add to the Independence Day theme. Use small inexpensive United States flags and garden flowers in patriotic colors as centerpieces. 

Of course food is an important part of the celebration. Fortunately, many fruits are in season during the summer months, which means they are less expensive. Guests attending the celebration might have home gardens and can bring fresh fruits and vegetables. Serve blueberries, strawberries, and red watermelon slices on white platters. Hot dogs and hamburgers are popular barbecue and grilling foods. Most stores have these on special at the end of June to early July. It is also possible to purchase meat ahead of time and store it in freezers until the cookout. Chicken drumsticks are often available in family packs for a low price. They are quick and easy to cook on a grill outdoors. Also purchase hamburger buns and hotdog buns on sale.

Pork chops, pork ribs and beef steaks are great at a barbecue too. Guests can also bring their own meat to cook at the barbecue. Purchase condiments on sale prior to the cookout date. Condiments include ketchup, mustard, relish and barbecue sauce. There are homemade recipes to make inexpensive barbecue sauce that can be used on chicken, pork chops or ribs. Additional menu items for a budget barbecue include potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob and other side dishes. Desserts can be homemade pies and cakes brought by guests. Have huge tubs of inexpensive ice cream and fresh strawberries for dessert. Have containers of homemade sweet tea and fresh lemonade to drink. 

If you enjoy cooking, baking or entertaining, you may find that culinary arts school is a good move for you. Seattle cooking schools are a great way to help you continue learning about the things you love.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Seattle, Washington area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Seattle for more information.

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures. Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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