Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

How to Host the Ultimate Al Fresco Dinner Party

How to Host the Ultimate Al Fresco Dinner Party

The perfect dinner party is one hosted outside, under a string of fairy lights, on a warm summer evening

Make the most of the warm evenings and host an outdoor summer dinner party.

The most beautiful dinner parties are the ones hosted on those balmy summer evenings, bathed in the golden light of the setting sun, with candles flickering in the dusk, chilled glasses of wine clinking, meat sizzling away on the grill, and the table filled with colorful, fresh summer salads. While there is obviously a time and a place for paper plates, plastic cups, and ketchup-covered hot dogs, your elegant al fresco dinner party isn’t it. Take all your chairs, tableware, and fairy lights outside, cook up a feast, and serve the most relaxed, but beautiful dinner party, out in the warm summer air.

How to Host the Ultimate Al Fresco Dinner Party (Slideshow)

Once you’ve created your fairytale-inspired, al fresco dinner setting, covered with wild flowers, citronella candles, and cozy blankets, it’s time to fill that table with all the prettiest foods. Make sure the majority of the food you’re serving can be enjoyed at room temperature, so that you don’t have to spend the evening rushing back and forth between the kitchen, and try to serve everything family-style, so the meal can be laid out on the table and your guests can simply help themselves throughout the evening.

Of course, an al fresco dinner party wouldn’t be complete without turning the grill on. We recommend that you grill your menu’s centerpiece and serve it with plenty of salads and side dishes. A grilled leg of lamb or a whole grilled chicken are both flavor-packed, stunning dinner party centerpieces, which easily combine with a wide range of sides, such as a simple potato salad, and an elegant zucchini and ricotta tart. And of course you should end your dinner with a summertime sweet treat: Personally, we can’t think of anything better than a tipsy affogato and bowls filled with summer’s best, ripest berries.

Read on for our best recipes and décor tips for hosting the ultimate al fresco dinner party.


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


How to Throw the Ultimate Backyard BBQ on a Budget

Host an inexpensive evening of grilling and dining al fresco with these easy cookout recipes and party tips.

Pictured Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

We believe the best summer evenings are those spent in the great outdoors with good company and even better food. Everyone loves a classic summer barbecue-especially when it doesn&apost break the bank for the host! We all know having friends and family over for an evening of grilling and dining al fresco can get pretty expensive-quickly. Below you&aposll see how you can throw the ultimate backyard BBQ on a budget, including all the recipes you&aposll need for a delicious evening outdoors.

Divide & Conquer

There&aposs no need to try and do it all, especially when you&aposre on a budget. We promise, you can be a super-host and still delegate some items on your list. When your friends ask what they can bring, don&apost say "nothing." Most people want to contribute something, so let them! Ask them to bring their favorite side or some wine, beer or their drink of choice. Another perk of delegating some items on your list? You might try a new dish or drink you wouldn&apost have discovered on your own.

Think Outside the Bun

While hot dogs and hamburgers are classic BBQ food, they do require you to have buns and a variety of condiments. Try serving something like kebabs-they&aposre absolutely delicious on their own. Kebabs are the perfect way to showcase a few different ingredients-think lots of vegetables and an inexpensive cut of beef. You can make affordable cuts of beef taste even more tender and delicious by marinating, cutting against the grain and ensuring you&aposre cooking it to the right temperature (rather than overcooking or undercooking it).

Make Your Own Marinade

Pictured Recipe: Teriyaki Marinade

Why buy from the store what you can make at home in minutes? Bottled marinades can be expensive and, honestly, are often not that amazing. Make your own marinade that tastes way better than store-bought with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You really can&apost go wrong with classic teriyaki or our popular mojito marinade.

Keep the Sides Simple

Classics are classic for a reason! They&aposre always good! Grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, pasta salad and watermelon slices are all inexpensive and delicious choices bound to please both kids and adults. Feeling fancy? Dollop some pesto butter on your corn, or sprinkle lime zest and sea salt on your watermelon.

Go Big with Drinks

Instead of buying individual cans or bottles (which can get so expensive so quickly), make a big batch of whatever you plan on serving-think margaritas or berry sangria. Big-batch cocktails are much cheaper (and way more fun) than buying individual drinks. We love these colorful drink dispensers from Target, and they&aposre all under $15!


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