Whether you are throwing a Fourth of July bash at your house or you are attending a cookout at someone else’s, food is an important (in my mind, the most important) part of the day. There’s nothing like getting together with family and friends, soaking up the sun, and enjoying a nice big plate of grilled food with all the fixings. Here are a few budget friendly dishes that will help you save money this Independence Day and are sure to be the favorite at any party.
Homemade Guacamole w/Pita Chips
One of the cheapest and easiest dips you can make, not to mention it’s fresh and healthy.
- 2 avocados
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tomato
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
- Ground cayenne pepper (Optional)
- Bag of pita chips (Stacy’s are my favorite)
In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, salt, and pepper (to taste). Mix in chopped onion, diced tomatoes, and minced garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor. Serve with pita chips for dipping.
Look for deals on fruit or check out your local farmers’ market for the best deal.
- 4-5 pieces of fruit of your choice (apples, pears, pineapples, peaches, banana) or
- 1 large pineapple
- 4 cups water
- 4 tsp. lemon juice
- Melted butter
- Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Cut each piece of fruit into quarters (remove any pits and seeds). Soak the fruit in 4 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of lemon juice for 20-30 minutes. Lightly brush each piece of fruit with melted butter. Place the pieces of fruit on the grill and cook until subtle grill marks have formed. Serve the grilled fruit on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
By cutting up vegetables and meat, you can make more with less to feed a crowd. If you’re having a lot of people, try and buy the meat in bulk.
- Steak, chicken, or pork shoulder
- Whatever vegetables are on sale/cheap (Yellow, red, or green peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms…)
Cut meat into cubes. Cut vegetables into chunks. Slide meat and vegetables on skewers. Grill until cooked through. Serve as is. If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before grilling. Or you could use metal ones.
This is my favorite thing to make in the summer. It is quick and inexpensive. The crust is soft and chewy on the inside and crisp and crackly on the outside. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The recipe below is for the simplest form of this pizza, but feel free to get creative with any spices and toppings you may have laying around.
- Pre made pizza dough (usually this is near the deli in my supermarket)
- Mozzarella cheese
- Jar of pizza sauce
- ½ cup olive Oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
Finely chop the garlic and combine it with the olive oil. Stretch the pizza dough out as evenly as possible and brush one side with the olive oil/garlic mixture. Place the pizza, oil side down, on a hot grill and close the cover and let cook for 60-90 seconds. Using tongs, flip the pizza over and spread the sauce and cheese on top. Close the grill for 90 seconds or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove the pizza from the grill and cool slightly before serving.
Are you hosting a cookout this year? Do you have any inexpensive cookout recipes?