Memorial Day is a day we celebrate and remember our deceased relatives and soldiers. For many people, it is also a time to welcome summer with a three day weekend of summer activities. In fact, many people pull out and fire up the grill and have a cookout. Cookouts do not have to be expensive or hard work. Just make sure to plan ahead to make this a day of fun and relaxation. Take advantage of this holiday by looking for specials in the grocery store, there are usually lots of deals. Here are a few simple items you can make to save money and still have a yummy cookout and also a relaxing weekend.
Hot Dogs/Hamburgers and Buns
I like to stock up on hot dogs during this time because I can usually find hot dogs on sale for $0.5o a pack. I also like to get ground beef and make my own hamburger patties. This is so much cheaper than buying the frozen patties and I think they taste better too because I can add what I want to season up my burgers. Another way to save money on hot dogs and hamburgers is to make your own buns. You will want to do this a couple days ahead because they do take a little work. This will also give you more time to enjoy your family on the actual cookout day. Here are the recipes I like to use.
I like to make potato salad with my cookouts. I really do not have a recipe. I just throw a bunch of stuff together. I boil the potatoes which I cut into smaller pieces before boiling, and then I add salad dressing, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and some small boiled egg pieces. I usually have everything on hand in my kitchen to make this salad too.
Baked Beans are an easy addition to a holiday meal. You can just take them out of the can and put them in a casserole dish and heat them, if that’s all you want to do. I like to add a bit more to my baked beans, so I usually make it the night before and put it in my refrigerator and then heat it up the next day. I brown a pound of ground beef and then add that to the beans in a casserole dish and then add mustard and brown sugar. I just add enough mustard and brown sugar to get it to taste like I want, so add a small amount at first and then add more to taste to your desire. The next day I cook them at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Canned baked beans are also a summer item I find easily on sale during this time of year.
I like to add a vegetable of some sort to my cookout dinner. Corn on the Cob is so easy to cook right on the grill. You can cook the corn in the husk and I think they come out so much better when cooked that way. Here’s a recipe that I use when grilling corn on the cob.
I have several money saving dessert ideas. My favorite idea is to buy a Watermelon. I seem to see these go down in price this time of year. They cut up easily so they do not require a lot of extra work. Another item I find on sale in the summer is strawberries. I like to buy a one step angel food cake mix, bake it and then top with strawberries and non dairy whipped topping. I cut up my strawberries and add sugar or Splenda to them and then use them on top the cake. My final idea for dessert is banana pudding. It is so easy to put together and people seem to really love it in the summer. Here is a recipe for banana pudding that I like to make.
I love having a cookout because we always have leftovers that I can use for a lunch or sometimes even a dinner. This also saves me more money and time after the cookout. So, plan for leftovers.
Another great way to save money is ask the people coming to the cookout to bring something for the meal. This will save you money and give you a good variety of yummy food and make less work for you. Make sure you plan by asking people what they plan to bring so you do not end up with all the same foods.