BBQ on a budget? Throwing an outdoor summertime party doesn't have to cook your cash

With the summer season in full swing, it's time to take out the grills for some barbeque fun.

But throwing an outdoor summertime party doesn't have to drain your wallet.

Top chefs say there are several easy ways to save money while you're cooking with friends and family.

One great way to save is to skip the steaks and instead buy chicken breasts with the bone still in them. Chicken breasts with bones are about half the price of their boneless counterparts.

To cut costs even more, chefs say you should opt for dark meat like thighs and legs, which are great for grilling because the high fat content keeps meat moist.

If you’re sticking with standards like burgers, hot dogs or bratwursts, try adding an inexpensive element to expand the flavor. Stuff some blue cheese, chopped bacon or barbecue sauce inside your burgers before you grill them. Split your hot dogs lengthwise, add some cheddar in the middle and wrap that in bacon. Or keep your chicken overnight in your favorite marinade.

If you have a charcoal grill, stock up on coals. Right now, many stores have sales on charcoal with ‘buy one get one free’ or 20-percent off deals.

Finally, make your party BYOB (bring your own beer).

Americans spend $50 billion on alcohol each year, so it's no surprise it's one of the biggest expenses at barbecues.

A good tip: Make one signature drink instead of providing a full bar -- and ask guests to bring their own beer, wine and other favorites.

Finally, when deciding what sides to serve, grilling experts go with corn and potatoes. Both vegetables are inexpensive and can be bought in large quantities -- that way, you don't waste your money.

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