Saving Money

I Saved My Neighbor Over $400 On A Graduation Party

graduation party, graduation, graduate


I was sitting outside on my back patio tending to my smoker, when my neighbor walked across my lawn and struck up a conversation. I was smoking pork shoulder for pulled pork, and he commented on the appetizing smells coming from my backyard.  He mentioned that he was investigating how much pulled pork would cost from various caterers around town as they had a daughter graduating from high school in a few weeks, and they wanted to serve that at her graduation party.

“It’s going to run you about $13 a pound, but I could make it for about $5,” I said.

By the look on his face, and his eye movements, I could tell he was doing some calculations in his head.

“Can I hire you?” he asked.

Last weekend I smoked 94 pounds (uncooked weight) of pork shoulder for the graduation party. On Sunday, I delivered to his house 52 pounds of cooked pork along with a gallon of homemade lemon brown sugar BBQ sauce that compliments the pork beautifully.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • 94 pounds of pork shoulder at $1.99 a pound at Costco totaled about $188.
  • The rest of the supplies I needed to smoke the pork, and make the BBQ cost me $87.
  • Total cost for 52 pounds of pulled pork and BBQ sauce: $275, or $5.10 a pound.
  • The same amount of pork from a caterer would have cost him $676

I saved my neighbor $401 by making the pulled pork for him.

He feels like he needs to get me something for my trouble. Knowing that resistance is futile, and it would likely make him feel better for seeing me spending my entire weekend tending my smoker (I didn’t mind, really), I suggested he could pick me up a three pack of baby back ribs found at Costco.

A great rib dinner seemed like an appropriate reward.

I was happy to do it because I just enjoy firing up my smoker and practicing making great BBQ. Plus, helping someone save a boatload of cash just makes me feel good.


Image courtesy of David Castillo at 

Have you ever used your skills to help someone you know save some money? How much did it save them?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • Mmmm, pulled pork sounds amazing right now!

    I have helped friends save money in the past by suggesting things like using a credit union instead of a bank and how to make the most of credit card rewards points. I’m not sure how much its saved various people, but it is so fun for me to talk about personal finance stuff that I’m always happy to share!

  • That’s so awesome of you! I *hate* getting catering quotes because they are always so expensive. I completely understand why, time is money after all, but it’s hard money to part with. I have a plan up my sleeve for a Christmas party I organize to be self-catered this year. Here’s hoping that my plans aren’t idiotic and that I get enough volunteers to pull it off.

  • @Michelle – it was a great party, and the pork was very well received. It was fun to sit at the party and hear people talk about how good the pork was. 🙂

  • @Anne – I never thought of it from the perspective that I saved him the time of having to shop around to find the best deal. That’s always a pain! Thanks for your comment!

Leave a Comment