It’s BBQ Season: Beat the budget with these 5 hacks

December 1, 2021 12:00 am

Summer is here, and with it, barbecue season! There is nothing more quintessentially Kiwi than firing up the grill and enjoying a beautiful meal with friends and whānau – outside on the deck, of course!

But, with food costs on the rise, and no reprieve in sight, we need to get savvy about how we cook and shop. Making a few changes can make a massive difference across the board!

Check out these simple ideas that will help your barbecue budget stretch that bit further.


Cut back on the meat.

It may be a strange concept for the average Kiwi, but a barbecue meal doesn’t have to be all about the meat!

Summer vegetables like eggplant, courgette, and capsicum lend themselves to the bbq menu perfectly. They are quick and easy to cook, inexpensive and add vibrancy to your meal that will impress your guests.

Toss in olive oil, chilli flakes (or your favourite seasoning), salt and pepper and cook on the hot plate or grill – divine! Or, get creative and whip up some kebabs – beef, lamb, and chicken are all great options to accompany this delicious medley of vegetables.


Explore cheaper cuts of meat.

If you can’t bear the thought of a barbecue without meat, but you still want to save some dollars, then think about trying cheaper meat cuts.

Experimenting with cheaper alternatives will help your budget stretch further while still bringing the flavour to your meal. Cuts like flank and skirt steak are both excellent options.

Flank is best cooked hot and fast and enjoyed medium-rare, while you can serve up skirt steak from medium through to well done. Skirt steak won’t win any prizes for the best-looking cut in town, and for this reason, we suggest you disguise it in wraps, tacos or burritos.


Homemade marinades and sauces.

Spice rubs and marinades are inexpensive and surprisingly easy to make and are guaranteed to transform a traditional dish into something quite exquisite. Often, you will have everything you need sitting in your pantry.

There are so many fabulous recipes online, have a hunt around and bookmark the ones that appeal to you. The next time you fire up the barbie and whip out your homemade goodness, you will have everyone drooling!


Invest in a good quality BBQ.

You don’t need to spend thousands on a flash BBQ, but we suggest you invest in a good quality one, something that won’t fizzle out prematurely. Furthermore, buy one big enough for your family’s needs only, or perhaps slightly bigger if you entertain a lot.

Once you have invested in a good barbecue, make sure you look after it properly. Cleaning and oiling the grill thoroughly before and after use will prolong its life. Taking the time to look after your barbecue will ensure that it serves you well.


Go easy on the fuel.

Most people use more fuel than they need. Don’t be tempted to use an entire 4kg bag of charcoal when 1.5kgs should cook any meal for 4-6 people. And if you’re using gas, you only need to crank up the heat at the start. After that, turn it down low and let the food cook slowly.

Now, pack up these helpful tips, head off, relax, enjoy the summer and feed your loved ones without blowing your budget.



Article courtesy of Newsletter Ready.