Saving Money

Three Easy and Inexpensive Sides To Bring To Your Next Potluck Summer BBQ

barbecue, side dishes, cheap side dishes

Firing up the grill and spending an evening with friends on the deck is one of my favorite things about summer. We always do it potluck style as to reduce the amount of work and cost for us as hosts of the gathering. But what if you’re on the other end of the potluck, and are one of the people asked to bring the notorious dish to pass? Here are some of my favorite things to bring along to summer potluck grill outs that are as easy on the time and effort scale as they are on the bank account.

Bread and Butter

I enjoy some great bread with my meal and a loaf of Italian bread can be taken up a notch with some compound butter. Hey, I saw that, unwrinkle that face. Making compound butter is easy. Here’s two types I use:

Honey Butter:

  • Soften a stick of butter in a bowl.
  • Once softened, mix in honey with a spoon. Add honey to taste.

Garlic Butter:

  • Soften a stick of butter in a bowl.
  • Once softened, mix in garlic (powder, salt, or fresh from a garlic press) and oregano.

Franks and Beans

Buy a can (or two) of your favorite kind of baked beans. Put them in a crock pot, and add sliced up hot dogs. Turn the crock pot on 90 minutes before your gathering and you’ve got a great side dish to any summer grill out.

Fruit Kabobs

Purchase Grapes, Strawberries, Pineapple, and some bamboo skewers. Put the fruit on the skewers (I like the Strawberry, two grapes, pineapple, two grapes, pineapple sequence), and place on a serving tray. Who doesn’t like fruit?

Summer is the season of grill outs with friends and neighbors, and right around the corner is football season. Chances are you’ll be invited to a pot luck, and having a few easy and inexpensive ideas in your back pocket can help you make a great contribution to the event while not spending a lot of time or effort.


Image courtesy of amenic181 at

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Brock Kernin


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