Get the most from your grill — without your grocery budget going up in smoke

Barbecuing doesn’t have to overheat your grocery bill, and budget-friendly meals don’t have to focus on hot dogs and hamburgers. Here, some ways to enjoy the grill without blowing the food budget.

Shop the sales

Let’s start with the obvious: your grocery store or market flyer. Stores know weekly specials will bring people in to shop — especially near special events (For instance, prime rib or lobster tails may go on sale around Father’s Day or a long holiday weekend.)

After a major holiday, stores are often stuck with excess stock they need to clear out — like turkeys, which keep well in the freezer. If you’re looking for discounts for dinner that night, watch for meat that is reduced for quick sale.

Another item to comparison shop: your choice of fuel. Whether you use charcoal, pellets or propane, make sure you’re getting the best price and look for promotions when available.

If you’re looking for a new barbecue or accessories, wait for end-of-season sales. If you can hold out that long, you can snag a deal as retailers make room for winter and Christmas merchandise.

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Elizabeth Rogers