Summer is here, and that means barbecue season is in full swing! If you’ve been invited to a backyard BBQ, you may be wondering what you can bring without breaking the bank. Have no fear – being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to show up empty-handed.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Cheap people often bring inexpensive sides like potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, or a veggie tray to a BBQ. They may also bring cheaper meats to grill like hot dogs and hamburgers, or drinks like soda and juice.

Bring an Inexpensive Side Dish

When attending a BBQ, it’s always polite to bring a dish to share with others. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of delicious and inexpensive side dishes you can bring to the party. Not only will these dishes be a hit among the guests, but they won’t break the bank either.

Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic BBQ side dish that is both delicious and affordable. Made with boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, and various seasonings, it’s a dish that everyone loves. Plus, it’s easy to make in large batches, making it perfect for a crowd.

You can add some extra flair to your potato salad by incorporating ingredients like bacon, pickles, or fresh herbs.

Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is another inexpensive side dish that is always a crowd-pleaser. Made with cooked pasta, vegetables, and a flavorful dressing, it’s a refreshing option for warm summer days. You can customize your pasta salad with ingredients like cherry tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, or grilled veggies.

Not only is it a great way to use up leftover pasta, but it’s also easy on the wallet.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are a staple at BBQs and are incredibly cheap to make. With just a few ingredients like canned beans, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce, you can create a delicious and hearty side dish. Baked beans are not only affordable, but they also provide a good source of protein and fiber.

You can even experiment with different variations by adding bacon, onions, or even pineapple for a unique twist.


Coleslaw is a refreshing and crunchy side dish that complements any BBQ meal. Made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing, it’s a simple yet delicious addition to the table. You can make coleslaw on a budget by using store-bought dressing or making your own with ingredients like mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.

It’s a versatile dish that can be served alongside burgers, hot dogs, or pulled pork sandwiches.

Veggie Tray

For those looking for a healthy and affordable option, a veggie tray is a great choice. Simply chop up a variety of fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, and arrange them on a platter. You can also include a dip like ranch or hummus for added flavor.

Not only is a veggie tray budget-friendly, but it’s also a great option for guests with dietary restrictions or preferences.

Remember, when bringing an inexpensive side dish to a BBQ, it’s not about the cost but the thought and effort put into it. Whether it’s a classic potato salad or a refreshing veggie tray, these dishes will be a hit at any BBQ gathering.

Bring Hot Dogs and Hamburgers

When it comes to BBQs, hot dogs and hamburgers are staples that cheap people often bring. These classic dishes are not only affordable, but also loved by many. They are easy to prepare and can be grilled to perfection, making them a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.

Hot dogs are classic BBQ food

Hot dogs have been a go-to BBQ food for decades. They are convenient, delicious, and loved by people of all ages. Whether you prefer them plain or loaded with toppings, they are always a hit. And let’s not forget the satisfying snap of biting into a well-cooked hot dog.

It’s a simple pleasure that never fails to bring a smile to your face.

According to a survey conducted by The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans consume an average of 20 billion hot dogs each year. That’s a staggering number that highlights just how popular hot dogs are.

So, if you’re looking to bring something that everyone will enjoy, hot dogs are a great choice.

Hamburgers are always a hit

Another classic BBQ food, hamburgers are a crowd favorite. They are versatile, allowing you to customize them to your liking. Whether you prefer a classic cheeseburger or want to experiment with different toppings, hamburgers provide endless possibilities.

Plus, they are filling and satisfying, making them a go-to option for those who want a hearty meal at a BBQ.

According to a study conducted by Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., hamburgers are the most consumed beef item in the United States. In fact, Americans consume an average of 50 billion burgers each year. That’s a staggering number, highlighting just how beloved hamburgers are.

Can add your own twist with toppings

One of the great things about hot dogs and hamburgers is that you can personalize them with a variety of toppings. From traditional options like ketchup, mustard, and pickles to more adventurous choices like jalapeƱos, avocado, or even pineapple, the possibilities are endless.

This allows cheap people to get creative and add their own twist to these classic dishes without breaking the bank.

So, next time you’re invited to a BBQ and you’re on a budget, don’t worry. Just grab a pack of hot dogs and hamburgers, and you’ll be sure to please both your wallet and your fellow BBQ-goers. After all, good food and good company are what make BBQs so enjoyable, regardless of how much you spend.

Bring Sodas, Juices or Water

When it comes to contributing drinks to a BBQ, cheap people can still make a valuable contribution. They can bring sodas, juices, or water to ensure that everyone stays refreshed and hydrated throughout the event.

Sodas like Coke and Sprite

One popular option for cheap people to bring to a BBQ is sodas like Coke and Sprite. These carbonated beverages are loved by many and can be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike. They add a fizzy and refreshing element to the party, making them a great choice for those on a budget.

Juices like lemonade or fruit punch

Another option for cheap people to bring is juices like lemonade or fruit punch. These fruity and flavorful drinks are perfect for a summer BBQ. They can be made at home using affordable ingredients such as lemons or frozen fruit, making them a cost-effective choice for those looking to contribute to the festivities.

Cases of bottled water

For those who prefer a healthier and more budget-friendly option, bringing cases of bottled water is a great choice. Water is essential for staying hydrated, especially during outdoor gatherings. By providing a supply of bottled water, cheap people can ensure that everyone has access to a refreshing and thirst-quenching drink throughout the BBQ.

According to a study conducted by Healthy Hydration, it is recommended that individuals drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, and even more during hot weather or physical activity. By offering a variety of drink options, including water, sodas, and juices, cheap people can contribute to the overall enjoyment and well-being of everyone at the BBQ.

Bring Plasticware, Plates and Napkins

Forks, knives, spoons

Cheap people are often resourceful and practical when it comes to hosting or attending a barbecue. They understand the importance of being prepared and bringing their own plasticware. By bringing forks, knives, and spoons, they ensure that everyone has the necessary utensils to enjoy their meal.

This not only saves the host from having to provide extra utensils but also prevents the hassle of guests having to eat with their hands or search for utensils during the event.

Paper plates and napkins

In addition to plasticware, cheap people also bring paper plates and napkins to a barbecue. These disposable items are not only convenient but also help cut down on clean-up time and costs. By providing their own plates and napkins, cheap people ensure that the host doesn’t have to worry about washing a pile of dishes after the barbecue.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Helps cut down on clean-up time and costs

Bringing plasticware, plates, and napkins may seem like a small contribution, but it can make a big difference in terms of clean-up time and costs. Instead of spending hours washing and drying dishes, the host can simply dispose of the plasticware and paper plates.

This not only saves time but also reduces the amount of water and detergent used, which is good for the environment. Plus, it helps the host save money on dishwashing supplies. So, cheap people who bring these items are not only being practical but also considerate of the host’s time and resources.

Offer to Help with Prep and Clean Up

Offer to help prep food

When it comes to a BBQ, preparation is key. Cheap people can bring great value to the event by offering to help with food preparation. Whether it’s marinating the meat, chopping vegetables, or assembling appetizers, lending a helping hand can save both time and money.

By taking on some of the prep work, cheap people can contribute to a successful BBQ without breaking the bank.

Offer to help clean up afterward

After the BBQ is over, the last thing anyone wants to do is clean up. However, cheap people can be a saving grace by offering to help with the post-BBQ clean-up. From clearing the table to washing dishes, cheap people can lighten the load for the hosts and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Plus, by pitching in, they are not only saving money but also fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility.

Take out trash and do dishes

When it comes to the end of a BBQ, there’s usually a lot of trash to be taken out and dishes to be washed. Cheap people can step up and offer to handle these tasks, making them an essential part of the BBQ crew.

By taking care of these less glamorous tasks, cheap people can contribute to the overall success of the event and show their appreciation to the hosts. It may not be the most glamorous job, but it’s necessary, and cheap people can be the heroes who get it done.


Even if you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, you can still contribute something useful at a summer BBQ. An inexpensive side, drinks, condiments or help with prep and clean-up will all be appreciated. The main thing is to enjoy spending time with friends and not stress about what you bring.

With these cheap and easy ideas, you’ll have the perfect BBQ contribution without breaking the bank.

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