Memorial Day is a great time for family get togethers. I love cooking out with the family on holidays. A cookout or barbecue is the best way to get everyone together for as little cost and trouble as possible.
Unlike most women, I am not fond of shopping. My motto is “get in, get it, and get out”. I always try to pick stores where I know I can find what I need quickly, easily, and inexpensively. My plan for our Memorial Day cookout is as follows :
decor and general supplies
Although you often have to wait in line at the local dollar store here, it is well worth it when it comes to decorations and supplies needed for our get togethers. I know I can count on them to have a wide selection of flags, red, white, and blue tablecloths, cups, napkins, paper plates, streamers, even noise makers if that is what I want, for a mere dollar per item. Some smaller items can even be found there for less than a dollar.
I also get many of my general supplies at the dollar store. Paper towels, inexpensive plastic serving dishes, utensils, and even many condiments, such as mustard and ketchup can be had for a dollar per item as well.
food and drinks
Though dollar drinks can be had at the dollar store, I prefer to get these items at the local grocery, where I can get the store brand for .69 to .89 cents each. I can also grab all the meats, chips, and other food items I need while there.
unique serving dishes
My family is nothing if not unique, and they seem to get a kick out of my often odd ways of presentation. For example, one Memorial Day, I served the chips in red, white, and blue plastic top hats I got from the dollar store. There was actually a race to finish all the chips, so the kids could then wear the hats. It made the whole day far more fun and interesting.
I love cook outs and barbecues for the simple fact that they can be done outdoors, and if there are spills and mess, mother nature is far more forgiving of them than the upholstery on my couch cushions is. We have patio furniture (table and four chairs), and a few lawn chairs, and if that isn’t enough for our large family, there are several chairs on the porch already (where I usually try to stay to avoid the ravages of the sun). More can always be brought out from the kitchen if needed as well.
lighting, music, and atmosphere
Generally, all this transpires during the day, but should everyone want to stay into the evening hours, I usually try to keep a few tiki torches and some citronella candles on hand. These I usually have no problem finding at the dollar store as well.
As to music and atmosphere, we are not the typical family, so if you come to one of my get together, you will have to deal with loud metal music, regardless of the holiday. Then again, so will the neighbors, but so far, it hasn’t been an issues.