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Divas on a Dime: Top tips for a great Labor Day BBQ bash

Can you believe it’s Labor Day weekend already? Summer is winding down but there’s still time for one last summer soiree. Let’s have the best BBQ party ever! Here are some tips to save some cash and labor on Labor Day.

Make your own signature hamburger sauce. Every BBQ master needs their own special sauce. You can adjust this recipe to make it your own, or just take ownership of this one with my blessings!

Ridiculously Delicious Hamburger Sauce – In a small bowl whisk together; ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish, ½ to 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar, 1 teaspoon finely grated onion, 1/8 teaspoon salt, dash each of freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. Serves four.

Repurpose things you already have around the house. Cupcake liners are great to cover drink cups to keep bugs out. Just poke the straw right through the paper. They also work to catch drips from popsicles if you press the stick through them. Coffee filters make great hotdog holders. Use your coolers to keep food warm. (What?) Fill your insulated cooler with cooked hotdogs, corn on the cob or baked beans while they’re hot and they’ll stay warm for hours.

Let people help. Save time and money by throwing a potluck. People really do love to bring their signature dishes to share. Everyone gets to try new recipes and you aren’t stuck providing the whole menu. Win, win!

Serve Thyself Buffet. Make life easier with a thoughtful buffet line. We only have two hands! Start with plates, your salads, then sides and lastly the main dish and condiments. End the line with silverware and finally drinks. Make bundles of utensils wrapped with napkins so it’s easy to grab with a plate in your hand. Invest in some inexpensive, washable, reusable bandanas to use as napkins. They come in so many colors and cost about a dollar each. When you lay out your buffet table, leave space in front of serving dishes to put the plate down while you serve.

Keep cold things cold! For larger parties use a small kiddie pool filled with ice to keep all your foods and drinks cold. Put it up on a table so people don’t have to bend down. It looks cool, too!

Pre-portion as much as you can. Individual portions allow your guests to effortlessly and quickly serve themselves. Use cups to serve potato or pasta salad. Make kabobs with grilled meat, veggies, even fruit. Pre-scoop ice cream and place in muffin tins or cupcake wrappers.

Make trash disposal easy. Have several trash and recycling receptacles placed where people can easily access them. When you set up, layer several garbage bags in each receptacle so when the bag is full you remove the top bag and the next one is underneath ready for use.

Be the host that thinks of everything. Every great event starts by thinking about your guests’ needs. Like sunscreen and bug spray in a convenient spot and baby wipes next to the BBQ sauce. Enjoy your weekend!

Fabulous Festivities by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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