Bargain BBQs: Where to buy the best value food for a sizzling summer

It looks set to be a summer of BBQs. (Getty Images)
It looks set to be a summer of BBQs. (Getty Images)

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From sizzling sausages to dollops of ketchup on the side of your picnic plate; the great British summer just wouldn’t be the same without a barbecued al fresco feast.

But firing up the coals for burgers and bangers can be somewhat spenny, with the average shopper forking out an average of £51 on food per BBQ, which will add up to a whopping £258.3 million spent on barbecue food during summer 2021.

The impressive amount Brits spend on barbies has been revealed in the Best Value BBQ report by personal finance experts, who have predicted the average spend for consumers catering for between four to 10 guests this summer.

Thankfully, there are some ways to keep your bangers and burgers in budget during what’s set to be a summer full of sizzling snacking.

The report analysed 22 popular barbecue foods across six UK supermarkets, calculating the average basket price.

It also looked into the average cost of traditional, vegan/vegetarian and pescatarian barbecues for adults and children.

Read more: Best BBQs 2021: Top gas and charcoal barbecues to buy now

Vegetarian and vegan BBQs are cheaper than meat-based BBQs. (Getty Images)
Vegetarian and vegan BBQs are cheaper than meat-based BBQs. (Getty Images)

According to the research, Aldi is the most affordable supermarket for your big BBQ shop, with the average meat-based BBQ costing just £38.52.

Sainsbury’s (£42.26) takes second place, with Morrisons (£50.10) following behind in third. Tesco (£52.27) and Asda (£52.84) offer the same value and are tied in fourth and fifth spot.

On the spennier side of the scale, Waitrose is the least purse-friendly, at £55.43 for a meat-based BBQ feast.

Watch: Essentials for your summer BBQ.

Turns out, maybe unsurprisingly, that plant-based BBQs are 163% cheaper for couples than a meat-based cookout with an average £15.01 saving from your shopping bill.

What’s more, opting for a fish-based BBQ this summer will cost 34% less than a traditional BBQ meat-feast, at an overall average of £15.81.

The report also analysed the price difference between ‘value’ and ‘finest’ food options across each supermarket to reveal where the best deals can be found to suit the mood of your BBQ get together.

The team studied own-brand items – such as quarter pounder beef burgers (two or four per pack), pork sausages (six or eight per pack), and burger buns, alongside ‘finest’ options of the same items.

Results revealed filling a barbecue basket with supermarket own brand value items could save consumers up to £36.36, compared with purchasing items from the more up-market ranges.

On average, purchasing only luxury BBQ items will set you back £84.93, as opposed to value items at £48.57 - a saving of £36.36.

Read more: Snap up Aldi’s best-selling mini BBQ before it's gone!

Looking at the cost of luxury barbecue essentials, Waitrose was crowned as the most expensive overall at £104.88 on average for a barbecue shop for between two and 10 guests.

Tesco (£93.87) takes second place with Sainsbury’s (£85.65) coming in third position. Whereas, Morrisons (£76.36), Asda (£75.80), and Aldi (£73.02) all had similar luxury basket costs.

Taking both luxury and budget options into consideration, plant-based barbecues are 75% cheaper than their meat-based counterparts.

The report also found that consumers wanting to host a pescatarian summer BBQ should shop at Asda, where a budget shop will cost just £18.52 for six people.

Once again, Waitrose emerges as the most costly option for a fish-based BBQ, with luxury items amounting to £51.85 - £13.55 more expensive than its value basket alternative.

There are ways to save money on your BBQ food this summer. (Getty Images)
There are ways to save money on your BBQ food this summer. (Getty Images)

Read more: This £39.99 charcoal BBQ will see you through those summer garden parties

As well as knowing where to go for your bangers and burgers, Salman Haqqi,’s personal finance expert has some additional tips on how to save money on your summer barbecues.

“Hosting a BBQ can be quite expensive, but thankfully there are ways to stretch your budget as you welcome others back into your gardens this summer," he says.

“Try to look for more inexpensive cuts and types of meats while browsing the supermarket - replace the pricier options of steak and salmon with pork, turkey, cod or haddock.

"Use your freezer space to avoid any food waste. Take advantage of any reduced food and special offers at supermarkets, and stock up on essentials for future BBQs.”

Watch: The grilling game is heating up.