I know lots of people who choose to eat in rather than out. My husband and I almost always make this choice. We have found that it is frequently even cheaper to feed a bunch of our friends than go out the two of us. This is probably something we all know, but we choose to ignore it because it takes more time and work.
This weekend we had a few people over and I served burgers, bratwurst, fruit salad, potato salad, and crackers with dip. I am proud of my hard work, so I’ll chronicle it below!
- 2 pounds of burger thawed
- A few drops of Worcestershire sauce for each burger
- Montreal steak seasoning
Divide the burger into the number of patties you need, and season with worcestershire and montreal. Put on as much as you like. I always do five drops of sauce and two shakes of seasoning. I like to prepare my burgers thirty minutes before grilling, so the spices really soak in.
My husband and I buy half of a cow every other year. It is a large investment at first, but ultimately we save a lot of money on our beef. The meet comes to $3.50 a pound and that is for burgers, roasts, stew meat, and even the New York strip steaks! We save a ton, and we get great cuts that I normally wouldn’t even buy.
- 6 Bratwurst uncooked
- 1 can cheap beer (I used Coors Light this time.)
Put the Bratwurst in a pot that fits them tightly. Pour the beer over the brats. Add water to cover the brats all the way. The tight pot is important because you want less water than beer. Boil this for 15 minutes, and then move it to the grill until it is cooked all of the way through. Yummy!
- 2 peaches $1.50
- 1 lb strawberries $2.50
- 2 bananas $0.20 (ish)
- 2 clementines $1 (ish)
- 2 Tbsp Agave syrup
I chopped up all of the fruit, and poured syrup on top. Yep! It was that simple!
This may seem like a silly thing to write a recipe for, but I have noticed that so many people buy a fruit tray pre-made for parties. While this is easy, it costs a lot more than cutting the fruit yourself. Frequently those trays have melons and grapes in them. These fruits are very cheap as they usually are 1-2$ per pound! In the fruit tray you probably have 3 pounds of fruit total and you paid a minimum of 10$ for it. I like to cut the fruit myself and save the money!
Potato Salad –
This one I didn’t make because I found it on Manager’s special at my grocery store! This is something that I do a lot. The tags are yellow and easy to spot. Having a manager’s special tag means that the food is nearing its expiration. If you are serving the food that day, or even in the next couple, it is usually perfectly fine! This made the potato salad half of its normal price! I put it in a bowl to make it look homemade.
Crackers and Dip –
I always buy my crackers at Costco because they are way cheaper. I always have crackers in the pantry and for this I just pulled out a tube. The dip was another Manager’s special score. At half price, the parmesan, pepper dip was amazing!
Keep in mind that I had some things in the pantry because I purchased them in bulk. I will estimate their cost, but I will probably be a bit off with them. I also didn’t factor sauce and spice prices as I used very little.
- Burgers – $7
- Burger toppings
- Cheese – $1
- Tomato $1
- Onion $0.50
- Lettuce $0.50
- Bratwurst – $3
- Can of Beer – $1
- Fruit Salad- $5.20
- Potato Salad – $3
- Crackers – $1 (ish. They were bought in bulk).
- Parmesan Pepper Dip – $2
TOTAL – $25.20
For this total we fed six adults dinner! My husband and I would spend about that same amount eating out at a fancy fast food restaurant.
TIME – 1 hour to prep it all!
If you can multi-task, you can easily finish this all in one hour. I started by prepping the burgers, so they marinated for 30 minutes. I then put the bratwurst on the stove in the beer. While they were cooking, I cut up the fruit salad and put it in a bowl. By the time I finished the fruit salad it was about time to put the burgers on the grill. I cut up the burger toppings while burgers grilled, and after about 10 minutes of the burgers grilling I added the bratwurst. (The bratwurst take less time on the grill since they were already boiled.) While the meat was finishing, I put the potato salad in a bowl, and got the crackers and dip set out. As soon as the meat was done, I set in on the buffet and we were ready to go. Since guests are generally fashionably late I timed things so that the meat would be ready 15 minutes after our start time.
All of this cost $25.20, and took one hour to accomplish! We did serve beer as well, but I don’t have to tell you that it is cheaper bought by the case then bought in a restaurant. DIY BBQ SUCCESS!