Skip to Content

5 Easy Ideas for Hosting a Backyard BBQ Party on a Budget

Are you planning a cookout or summer gathering? Check out these 5 easy ideas for hosting a backyard BBQ party on a budget.

Can you believe it’s already the end of July?

Geez, this summer is just flying by, isn’t it?

I’m not ready for it to be over yet.

So to celebrate this summer season, we decided to throw a dinner party on my back deck.

Do you love to entertain?


Oh…good us too!

Since you love to entertain like Anne & I, you’ll love our monthly virtual supper club posts.

Every month we get together with our friends Stacy, Rachel, Jen, and Michele and share our tablescapes and recipes on our blogs.

It’s so fun to see what everyone in our group comes up with each month.

There’s so much talent and creativity with this bunch of bloggers.

And to add even more inspiration, we now have a guest host join us each month too!

We’re thrilled to welcome Kim from Shiplap and Shells this month.

Kim lives in a beautiful cozy beach cottage in the PNW.

She’s an avid gardener…you have to check out her gorgeous gardens and greenhouse.

This month our virtual supper club is featuring backyard BBQ tablescape ideas and a menu of delicious recipes to serve!

Get the links to all our previous tablescapes for even more inspiration at the end of this post.

If you’re joining us from Jen at Midwest Life and Style or if you’re new to our blog…

Hey There Friend!

Simply2Moms standing next table outside holding wine glasses

Welcome to Simply2Moms!

We’re AnnMarie (wearing a blue dress) and Anne (wearing a floral top and white jeans) the two moms behind this blog.

We work together to share simple and budget-friendly ideas for decoratingrecipesDIY projects, and tips for life with older teens (and beyond!).

You can read more about us and our families here.

And we would love to learn more about you! Be sure to say “hi” in the comments below and tell me where you’re visiting from.

But that’s enough about us…let’s talk more about this month’s theme… and AnnMarie’s backyard BBQ tablescape!

Posts on Simply2Moms may contain affiliate links which means we may earn a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

What is a Backyard Barbecue?

blogger standing next to table on outside deck holding wine glass

Depending on where you live you may call your outdoor gathering something different than I do or your neighbor does.

But just in case you were wondering here’s the official definition…

Barbacue: to roast or broil (food, such as meat) on a rack or revolving spit over or before a source of heat (such as hot coals or a gas flame).


Whether you call it a BBQ, barbeque, barbecue, cookout, grill, picnic, or party…it’s just plain fun to get together with family and friends to enjoy a meal outside.

So grab a few friends, pour a drink, light up the grill, and let’s get this party started!

How to Host a Super Fun BBQ on a Budget

pulled back photo of outdoor dining table set in yellow and blue for BBQ party

Hosting a party at home doesn’t need to be expensive, especially a casual picnic on your deck.

Some delicious food, a pretty atmosphere, and great company are all you need to have a successful backyard barbecue.

As the host, you should buy the meat to grill for the party, but then you can ask your guests to bring a side dish to share.

Then you’ve got yourself a backyard potluck BBQ!

This will help keep the food expenses down when throwing a gathering.

If you’re a member of a wholesale club such as Costco or Sam’s you can shop there for meat to grill as they tend to have much better prices than a grocery store or butcher for your party.

Then if your guests help with providing side dishes you can fill in with anything else you may need to complete the meal.

What Do I Need to Style a Simple Summer Tablescape

supplies to set a table for BBQ

Creating a pretty and festive atmosphere for your dinner guests is almost as important as the food being served.

By shopping your home and using things you may already have you can style a beautiful outdoor table for your summer party.

First, you’ll want to pick a theme or a color scheme to decorate for your cookout.

This helps you narrow down what to pull out when setting your table.

I picked blue & yellow for my party.

Do you want to know why I chose this color scheme to keep my get-together budget-friendly?

Keep reading!

5 Easy & Affordable Ideas to Create a Pretty Summer Tablescape

1. Use Everyday Dishes, Silverware, and Glasses

place setting for backyard summer BBQ

Having simple white dinnerware allows me to use it in so many different tablescape designs.

If you don’t have a set of white dishes, I’d recommend getting one when you can find a great deal.

They’re perfect for any season, holiday, or get-together.

When I set the table I also pulled out my everyday flatware and a set of pretty hobnail glasses I have hanging on a drying rack in my kitchen.

For a backyard barbeque you want to keep the place settings casual so using your everyday dishes, silverware, and glasses is the way to go.

But if you’re having a larger group you may want to consider using paper plates and plasticware for easy clean-up.

2. Fruit Adds a Pop of Color

cut backyard hydrangea in mason jars with lemon slices

Adding fruit to your tablescape can give a more colorful interesting twist to your centerpiece.

I added slices of lemons in 32 oz. mason jars before filling them with water and then flowers.

The yellow lemons are so fresh and summery which is perfect for an outdoor cookout.

A few whole lemons in the wood dough bowl add even more color to the middle of the table.

You can even use faux lemons if you don’t want to get real ones…and then they can be used over and over again.

3. Fresh Cut Flowers from your Backyard

wood dough bowl filled with blue hydrangea flowers in dough bowl as centerpiece

Cutting flowers from your yard saves money and allows you to create a beautiful centerpiece for your table.

I cut several stems from my hydrangea shrubs to style the table.

The blue flowers with the yellow lemons create a gorgeous color combination and became the theme for my BBQ party.

Since the hydrangea blooms were free and lemons are an affordable fruit option it was the best way to style a vibrant centerpiece on a tight budget.

4. Mason Jars for Vases & Candle Holders

votive glass candles in mason jars as part of tablescape

Mason jars are an affordable decorating & storage staple in my house.

I use them for everything from kitchen and bathroom storage to simple vases.

Larger 32-ounce mason jars are an inexpensive and casual alternative to a more expensive vase.

And smaller pint mason jars are great to hold votive candles to give them more visual weight on a tablescape.

5. Shop for Sale and Clearance Items

bottled lemonade with paper straw at place setting for outdoor party

Sometimes you may need to fill in with a few purchased items to complete a tablescape design.

But you don’t have to spend a fortune!

Check out the sales area or clearance sections in your favorite stores.

I found these bottles of lemonade that matched my blue and yellow table perfectly on sale at World Market.

And what’s better to drink at a backyard BBQ than lemonade?

overhead view of place setting with yellow napkin on plates

I also found these fun bright yellow napkins on clearance.

Don’t you just love the fringe?

So for just a few dollars, I was able to add more color to the table and tie the place settings in with the yellow lemons in the centerpiece.

Anne’s easy DIY hemp napkin rings give them a little weight so they won’t blow away. You won’t believe what she used under the jute!

I used my favorite blue and white striped napkins between the dinner and salad plates for even more interest in each place setting.

Plus it all goes with my blue & yellow summer-themed table!

Thanks for stopping by the blog, I hope you got some helpful ideas to throw a party before the end of summer without breaking the bank.

If you’ve missed any of our previous virtual supper club ideas just click here.

Script text reading: "shop this post"

Click on any image to shop items from this post

collage of product images to style an outdoor dinner party

More Backyard BBQ Tablescape Ideas from Our Friends

Next up on the tour is our friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells.

Be sure to click each of the blog names below the photos to get even more inspiration for your Backyard BBQ table.

If you’re a blogger and you’d like to join our virtual dinner club for a month leave us a comment below or contact us here.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

Don’t miss any of our tips, tricks, or stories! We’d love for you to follow us on social media! You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

signature and photo

Pin it to Remember it: