Finally, school is out and summer has begun! Around this time, there is nothing greater than to be able to store your backpack far away from sight and kick those caffeine cravings brought about by final exams and pinched deadlines to the curb -- even if it’s only for a few months. For most, being home means reconnecting with long-time friends, creating memories and celebrating just for the thrill of it.
Unfortunately, I’ve become all too familiar with the monthly, budget-conscious timestamp that’s been placed on my wallet. Despite it being the season of the sun, the scarce allocation of my funds limits the amount of time spent on recreational activities; although, I wish it didn’t. This means no vacations to Miami or Los Angeles for me anytime soon. So, if you’re like me or just looking for an amazing, less expensive way to get back-to-summer savvy, consider throwing a cookout! Below are a few easy steps to enjoying an evening outdoors with your pals.
1. Where’s the function? Whether big or small, every backyard has potential as a venue for a cookout. Backyards, as well as patio spaces, can be quickly converted from something typical and drab to a scenic view of everything fab! With the help of a creative imagination and a various array of colorful paper lanterns, table decorations, plates, cups and utensils, your event is sure to impress. If the weather doesn’t permit for an outdoors affair, don’t fret. Clear a space indoors, set up your decor accordingly and fire up the George Foreman!
2. Let’s get friendly! What’s a party without people? After choosing a date, a time and a location, your next move should be to send out invites. To be courteous, make sure to send the text message, email or formal invitation at least a week or two before you plan on partying.
3. Fight the food blues! The cost of providing food and beverages for your guests can get pricey depending on the number of guests attending. In order to save money, suggest that each guest bring a side dish of his or her choosing to go along with your prepared, grilled entrees. I must note that when hosting a cookout, especially one on a patio, make sure to leave ample room between your fire source (the grill) and your home to prevent any mishaps from occurring. Instructions in regards to how much space is needed between the two is provided by your grill manufacturer in your owner’s manual.
4. Don’t hide the funk! When I say funk, I mean music of course! After everyone’s been acquainted and had their fill, don’t be shy to encourage the group to bust a move to some of the hottest current and not-so-current tunes. If you decide to make your own party mix, it’s perfectly okay to combine well-known artists with newer ones. Trust me, by doing so, you’ll spark conversation and ensure that your event remains alive and rockin’.
5. Have fun! After all, that’s what it’s all about, right?! You’ve put relentless effort in multiple research papers and spent countless hours in libraries all semester. Therefore, you deserve to enjoy your downtime with those who matter the most to you.
This article is a part of Brianna's weekly column on entertainment.
By: Brianna Arps | Image: Source