The best way to save while hosting a BBQ is to make it a potluck meal. Asking everyone to bring salads, chips and fruit will save you time and money. When I host a potluck I always provide the main coarse or meat as the host should and I also offer to provide beverages so that I know I have a good balance of adult and kid beverages for everyone to stay hydrated. To have others be responsible for making salads and cutting fruit will allow you more time to prepare the main coarse.
Prepare your food the day before
There is no worse feeling than realizing you are missing ingredients for a meal shortly before guests arrive. This typically means sending someone to the closest store for you to overpay for an item because you need it fast and the gas station is closer and carries the ingredient you need. Prices on certain foods like spices and dairy can vary within several dollars each depending on what store you head to. Having a plan and a grocery list, checking coupons and grocery specials like the Safeway, Albertsons, Vons and other Banner stores Anniversary sale will lead you to the best deals.
While shopping my local Safeway store's Anniversary sale, I was able to score chicken breast at $1.79/lb. Time to stock up! This was great because one of the easiest BBQ meals you can make ahead of time is taking the chicken breast and sprinkling a bit of seasoning salt on them and fill a gallon ziploc bag with as many chicken breasts as will fit, pour in some Italian dressing, seal the bag and put in the fridge. By the time you grab these bags of chicken out the next day, they are well marinated and ready to throw on the grill. The flavor and juices that come off these marinated chicken breasts are delicious.
My Safeway store also had Pepsi 24 packs on sale for only $5.88 each when you buy 2! That gives you 4 dozen cans of Poop which is plenty for a crowd for under $12. If you want variety, you can also score deals like Gatorade for $3.99 and 8 pack when you buy 5. That's 40 bottles for under $20.
Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale and stock up on your favorite brands 7/29-8/11. What will you stock up on?