LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED…WHAT CAN I GET YOU TO DRINK?
Whether you’re hosting a summer cocktail party or frugal back-yard grill-fest you’ll want to make sure that your beverage center is fully stocked with some of the best summer drinks for your guests.
There are also plenty of ways to add a splash of colour to your summer drinks with or without alcohol. Today I want to talk about alcohol-free drinks, mixed drinks, frozen drinks, fresh fruit drinks, summer drinks for kids and new summer drinks that are all budget-friendly. I went on a Pinterest hunt for some of the best summer drinks recipes I could find that were budget-friendly and easy to make.
Can your budget handle summer drinks?
If you’re not sure if you can afford to have a summer party but really want one maybe it’s best if you plan by knowing your party budget, writing down everything you’d like to have at your party and save up for it first. This way it takes financial stress off your shoulders rather than trying to fit it into your monthly budget schedule as an unplanned expense.
Related: How to host a frugal back-yard BBQ
Summer drinks by the pool or in our case the sprinkler or kiddie pool is a must especially when we are faced with hot and humid days in Canada. Most times when I’m outside with the family or by myself you will catch me with a cold bottle of water to keep hydrated and something I always keep in a cooler filled with ice outside for company when we have a summer party.
Always treat your party host
I was never a fan of the “Bring Your Own Booze” (BYOB) invites when going to a party although I would always make sure to bring a bottle of wine or spirits for the host to help with the summer drinks cost. This to me is proper etiquette and if you plan to host a summer party and don’t drink alcohol yourself plan to buy something for your guests who do drink to offer an array of beverages.
Related: The Best Homemade Lemonade
If your party is explicitly no alcohol let your guests know in advance so they don’t load you up on alcoholic host gifts or bring their own booze to your summer party. There are plenty of non-alcoholic drink option available that are just as refreshing if not better when the heat is beating down on your guests like Citrus Fruit Infused Water.
If you plan to bring alcohol to your host for fun summer drinks you are always safe sticking to the basics, red/white wine, rum, vodka and whiskey which take care of most popular alcoholic drinks such as rum/coconut rum and coke, vodka and orange juice, summer punch, blender drinks and so on.
You can even add some outrageous colour with Grenadine or Blue Caraco which are also popular in party cocktails and inexpensive.
Related: Firecracker Cocktail
You can even make delicious summers drinks with white wine that pair nicely with frozen and fresh fruit. One of the cheapest pitcher cocktails you can make is a white or red wine Sangria for a large gathering.
Related: How to make Sangria without a recipe
The list of alcohol to buy is limitless however depending on your budget and tastes prices will vary so it’s important to either buy what’s on special at the L.C.B.O (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) and stock up or stick to the cheaper bottles.
The likelihood of your guests complaining about the type of rum you bought is slim besides once you add fruit, pop and other mixers you can’t hardly tell the difference. Give it a few alcoholic summer drinks and your guests will tell you that you’re the best bartender in town!
You can apply the same idea for drink mixes and edible accessories which you’ll want to stock up on depending on the summer drinks you will be serving. I believe having a few options for drinks is all you really need as you’re not a bartender and want to enjoy your party.
I’ve seen hosts who have backyard summer parties and set up a table with blenders and have coolers filled with drink ingredients, drink recipes and the guests make their own summer drinks like this Frozen Strawberry Lemonade.
- Coffee/Instant Coffee
- Almond Milk
- Chocolate Syrup
- Caramel syrup
- Fruit (you can freeze it and find it cheaper on the reduced rack too) Bananas are a must for many smoothies and frozen blender drinks to help thicken them up.
- Pop, Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up, Root beer, Orange Crush, Sprite etc.
- Cases of water or offer refillable water from the kitchen or a cold pitcher
- Clamato juice,Tomato Juice
- Lemon juice (or fresh)
- Lime juice (0r fresh)
- Orange Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Pineapple Juice
- Apple Juice
- Frozen Juice from concentrate
- Coconut milk
- Pickles, Peppers, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Beans and Olives
- Fresh herbs -mint and basil
- Cucumbers, Celery and other vegetables
- Drink Seasonings- Lemon pepper, salt, pepper, paprika, rim sugar
- Extracts- Peppermint, Brandy, Rum, Lemon etc.
You can stock up on party drink supplies when the summer sales start or even before if you’re a party planner. Don’t forget to make a boat-load of ice-cubes and stash them in freezer bags or buy bags of ice from your local shop. A party without ice in the summer is horrifying.
Another option to save money on alcohol is if you make regular trips to the USA for work or pleasure. Alcohol is far cheaper and if you stay for extended periods of time you can bring alcohol back to Canada Duty Free.
If mixed drinks aren’t your thing because beer is your summer beverage of choice offering a variety of drinks is important because your guests might not love beer as much as you do.
You can still keep your beer costs lowered when hosting a party by purchasing beer such as Brava which will run you about $28 for a case of 24 and it’s perfectly fine.
A fantastic drink to pair with beer is a nice cold Cesar cocktail or Bloody Mary dressed with olives, celery or pickled beans. Some people even add grilled cheese to the side of this popular drink.
You don’t have to rush out to buy a selection of craft beers for your summer party unless you’ve saved the money to splash on the good stuff. Sometimes it’s nice to save a beer splurge for yourself or when a pal comes over.
Summer drinks for the kids
If you plan to make ice-cream smoothies, yogurt fruit smoothies, frozen fruit slushies or smoothies like this Healthy Green Pina Colada Smoothie which has spinach inside but the kids will never know.
It’s always fun to have an accessory centre for the kids. You can buy a tray or two from the Dollar Store and fill it with sliced or whole fresh or frozen fruits, crushed Oreos, Smarties, Recces Pieces, Sprinkles, Licorice to use as straws.
Kids love snow cones so why not make your own homemade snow cone syrup in a variety of colours to be added to shaved ice. Thanks to blogger Jennifer at I Save A to Z for this wonderful idea. Can you hear the kids excitement already? I can.
You can also offer crayons, colouring books, paint and other activities to keep the kids at the table enjoying their drinks rather than running around. I find that they tend to drop their drinks far more when they are running about as opposed to sitting to enjoy it.
New summer drinks
There’s no harm in creating your own new summer drinks and testing them on your guests. Some of our best summer drinks come from our blender filled with ice, fruit, extracts, yogurt, protein powder, hemp hearts and sometimes a splash of alcohol.
This year it seems that popular drinks without alcohol are fruit slushies of all descriptions, Iced-coffee with flavour shots and frozen Iced Chai tea latte similar to that from Starbucks.
Related: Iced Chai Tea Latte
If there was one drink that my wife craves in the summer is iced-coffee so we’re working on creating a recipe at home to save us some money although McDonald’s does a pretty decent one for a buck in the summer.
Related: 21 Awesome Iced-Coffee Recipes
Outdoor dining – Tableware and Glassware
Whether you choose to make healthy summer drinks filled with organic greens, herbs and fresh fruits or a simple banana-strawberry smoothie make sure to dress the glass up to make it sparkle. Other fun ideas would be to add little umbrellas from the Dollar Store or Party Store, funky straws, designer coloured or flavoured ice-cubes (Dollar store or Second-hand shops).
If having plastic colourful summer beverage cups is a must the dollar store is a great place to find what you are looking for or opt for plastic cups, mini pitchers, buckets, freezer mugs which are great for keeping drinks cold.
If you don’t mind using glass outdoors for your guests check out the second-hand shops for full sets of glassware fit for your summer drinks for cheap. Mason jars make great summer drink vessels! You’ll likely also find tablecloths, utensils and just about anything else you’ll need.
If you’re not worried about colours and designs you can do a mix and match of whatever partial packs you find. Garage sales are another great place to score cheap summer tableware and glassware so stock up when you see it especially if you frequently have parties at your house.
The Dollar store also has an array of glassware which is reasonable for what it’s worth as we’ve purchased many types over the years which are still going strong in our kitchen.
You don’t have to be rich to host a proper summer party because with a little planning and saving your guests will make memories with lots of good food, fun summer drinks and lots of laughter.
What are some of your favourite summer drinks?
July Grocery Game Challenge posts 2016
Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy.
New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10 Canadian. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.
Congratulations to our June Winner- #4 Kathryn!!! Message me for your gift card.
July Grocery Game Posts
- Picnic Food for a Summer of Good Eats (Last post for June)
Free Money Saving Tools 2016
I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2016 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$235.00-$52.57=$182.43
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $182.43
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $50
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 223,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Just under 800,000 Optimum points (I will update this twice a year)
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $17.00
Our Grocery Shop This Week
- 2 x 2% Milk $4.27ea
- 2 x seedless cucumber $0.88ea
- Bananas $2.05
- Spinach Containers Dole 227g 2/$4
- Avocado bag $3.99
- Cheerios Family Size Sale $3.99
- Astro Yogurt Coconut $1.99
- Lactancia Whipping cream $2.49
- Lactancia 10% cream 1L $2.49
Total Out-of-pocket $31.30
- 2 x Philadelphia Cream Cheese $2.99
Total Out-of-pocket $5.98
- Portobello Mushrooms Sale $2.97
- Strawberries 1lb $1.88
- 4 x dozen eggs $2.78ea
- 2 x Schnieders Hot Dogs $2.00ea
- Crispy Minis Sale $1.33
- Romaine Lettuce $0.87
- Radish 1lb $1.99
Total Out-of-pocket $24.16
- Total to spend this month : $203.57
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $0
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $15.36
- Total in-store discounts this week:$0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $335.30
- Total spent this week: $61.44
- Total spent so far this month: $0
- Total over/Under spend this shop: n/a
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $0
- Total left to spend for the month: $142.13
- Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $248.11+May $279.07+June $231.96+July $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
There wasn’t too much on sale this week that captured our attention although we didn’t spend much time looking as it’s a busy week for us. We are working on getting the freezer down and then re-stocking as we go along or find sales. Right now we are hoping to get cheese on sale as that is getting low.
Coupons and Coupon Apps 2016
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning…
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2016!
Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.
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