The Edmond Sun

Food

May 20, 2014

Tips to make great summer barbecues on a budget

STATEPOINT — It’s time for fun outdoor afternoons spent with family and friends.

If you’re looking for frugal fun this summer, the experts at Dollar General are offering some great tips for gathering around the grill on a budget:

• Get organized: With a little preparation, you can better enjoy your evening of entertaining and avoid running around getting everything together.  A few days before your event, determine what items you already have so you don’t buy duplicates and make a task list of all that needs to be done before your party.  You may find you can accomplish some items well in advance of your barbecue. Plus, the best part of getting organized is that it doesn’t cost you anything!

• Use charcoal: Charcoal grills are less expensive, more interactive and tend to burn hotter for a nice, deep-brown sear that also gives your food a natural smoky flavor.

Use the grill to also flavor fruits and vegetables like peaches and sweet potatoes.  You can remove the pit from fresh summer peaches and grill for a tasty and healthy dessert or lay sweet potatoes directly on the coals for a great roasted vegetable side dish.

• Decorate: Use a festive and seasonal color palette to give your party an extra fun factor.  Accent your outdoor table with a colorful tablecloth, small solar-powered lights that can last throughout summer and small planters with flowers and herbs that can grow all season long.

Also, look for disposable and affordable patterned cups, plates, cutlery and napkins that coordinate with your outdoor tablescapes and make cleaning up easier.

For more outdoor entertaining and grilling tips, visit DollarGeneral.com.

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