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Hosting the perfect Fourth of July Barbecue

Summertime barbecues can be great fun to host, especially since you can keep the guests out of the house except for bathroom visits and any kitchen prep work. And let's face it, it is far easier (usually!) to get your backyard looking great than it is to make sure your entire house is spotless.

First, think about what you will serve. Hot dogs and hamburgers are the standard fare, but you could always do a "bring your own meat" barbeque where people bring their own. While the latter is the most economical way to do it, it can be a pain when people bring those 2" thick steaks and monopolize the one barbecue for 45 minutes while doing it... people won't always be considerate! But you can be inexpensive hamburger patties, and hot dogs are always on sale in the summertime, so you can easily do that part yourself. You can also watch for great deals on ground beef, and make hamburger patties for your guests as well, which is always sure to be a hit.

What about drinks? The cost of drinks can add up quickly. If it isn't in your budget, simply do a "bring your own bottle" barbeque, which is pretty standard at summertime barbeques anyway. You can always make a large punch bowl for guests who forget to bring drinks or who run out. Or maybe have a few bottles of inexpensive wine to offer up an after dinner toast.

Hosts usually supply snacks, but with a summer barbeque it can be as simple as a variety of chips and dips, possibly with some cut up veggies tossed into the mix. It doesn't have to be fancy (unless you want it to be!) and if you buy too much, chips will save for a few months until the next barbecue!

Always be considerate of neighbors. You should stop playing loud music by about 9pm, although leaving on low level music is usually fine unless your neighbors are very close by to you.

What should you do if you run out of food? If it is nearing the end of the party, don't worry about it. This can also be a cue for your guests to start thinking about leaving, which can be great if you are worried about how to hint to guests that it is time to jet! But it doesn't hurt to have a backup plan... can someone quickly run out to the nearest corner store and pick up some more hotdogs and buns? Or a few more bags of BBQ Doritos? Or even see what is in your own cupboard or freezer. You will be amazed how you can improvise in a pinch.

Summertime barbeques are so much fun, and following these tips, you will be able to host the perfect barbeque for your guests.

 



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