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Our Summer Entertaining Essentials on a Budget

Our Summer Entertaining Essentials on a Budget

This post is sponsored by Family Dollar.

My family always looks forward to summer BBQs, ice pops and outdoor fun. Summer means longer days, slower evenings, and more family time!

When we get a sudden craving for family time, being able to quickly prepare a relaxed outdoor dinner is key in being able to enjoy those opportunities to spend an evening together. Or maybe cousins or friends will visit and we can have an impromptu backyard picnic or barbecue!

It's good to know that Family Dollar is around the corner in case I'm missing something. I can always go and quickly find all our summer favorites at an affordable price there; especially when I can also use their Smart Coupons!


Family Dollar always has the best prices for seasonal decorations and essentials. I planned a summer bash and 4th of July party with my family and I was able to get everything I needed like serving dishes, decorative bins, foil baking pans, plates and napkins for less than $50!

When I went to buy supplies for our summer bash, I also saw they had plates and cups with beautiful designs; perfect for an outdoor summer evening meal for only $1 each.

These hamburger and hot dog baskets that I found at Family Dollar were some of the kids' favorites. They were inexpensive (4 for $1) but very cute and best of all, reusable!

Summer Toys and Games

We have a little budget-friendly tradition of going to Family Dollar in the beginning of summer every year to get summer toys for the kids like sand pails, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and hula hoops. We also get water toys like fun sprinklers, floaties and pool noodles.

This year, the bubble wands were a winner and everyone got their own! It keeps them busy while the adults get to relax a little bit.


Starting from the beginning of June until late August, we will be entertaining on the weekends more often, so I like to keep a stocked pantry with summer essentials for quick outdoor dinners, such as:

  • hamburger and hot dog buns
  • potato chips
  • marshmallows and chocolate bars for s'mores
  • disposable plates and napkins for a larger crowd (or reusable plates and cups with summer designs for a smaller group) 

I also like to keep these on my shopping list every week during summer for snacks or a spontaneous outdoor meal:

  • frozen hamburgers
  • hot dogs
  • corn
  • watermelon
  • mangoes
  • cantaloupe
  • berries

One sauce I like to prepare when I have guests stop by at a moment's notice during summer is our "secret" hot dog sauce & dip. It's very easy to make and kids, as well as adults, always enjoy it. The ingredients are: one cup of mayonnaise, one cup of ketchup and a teaspoon of mustard.

This time I bought a squirt bottle at Family Dollar and I'm keeping the mixture in the fridge (it lasts up to a week) for a spur-of-the-moment dip or sauce.

Don't get caught off guard the next time you have a last minute get together with family or friends! Visit Family Dollar for all your summer entertaining essentials! What are you planning to do this summer?

By Denisse Icaza

TWITTER: @DenisseIcaza

FACEBOOK: @AhorrosParaMama

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