Summer is all about being outside, enjoying friends and family and great BBQ. The trick is trying to put all of them together and not spend a fortune. It can be done.

I found some great tips on how to throw a BBQ but keep the prices down.

U.S. News says,

-First set a budget. Yeah, I thought the same thing. Okay, on to number two.

-Take advantage of your friends' generosity. Okay this one is more like it. So, when your friends ask, "What can I bring?" Give them an idea of what you want or need. Chips, potato salad, bread or paper plates. Whatever it is, just give them an idea of something to bring. It's one less thing you have to worry about.

Bankrate.com suggests to drop the big slab of meat. I agree. Have you seen the cost of a brisket lately? Ouch. Instead think hot dogs and just cheaper cuts of meat and tenderize them. Oh, and chicken thighs are great on the grill or smoker and they are reasonably priced.

- Don't forget the veggies. Corn on the cob is cheap and easy to prepare whether you cook it inside or throw it on the grill.

- Keep dessert simple. Watermelon and maybe some cookies.

- Drinks. Don't feel like you need to supply it all. Grab a few liters of soft drinks and make some iced tea then tell your guest "Bring what ya want to drink!" Usually, people are pretty cool with that.

- This last one, personally I'm not too sure about this one. Drop the paper plates and plastic utensils. What? Yes the price can add up on this but I find it's the only way. Sorry the last thing I want to do is be stuck washing all those dishes, knives, forks and cups.