Westchester home and lifestyle writer dishes on ways to save on Labor Day barbecues

News 12's Veronica Jean Seltzer visited Stew Leonard's in Yonkers Friday, where staff says they were slammed with shoppers preparing even with higher food costs.

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Sep 2, 2023, 2:34 AM

Updated 235 days ago

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If you're having a Labor Day barbecue, the question this year isn't potato or pasta salad, but whether you can afford the barbecue at all.
News 12's Veronica Jean Seltzer visited Stew Leonard's in Yonkers Friday, where staff says they were slammed with shoppers preparing even with higher food costs.
Food prices have gone up nearly 5% between last July and this July, according to the Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"We cannot let that stop us from having a great party," says home and lifestyle writer Dina Sciortino of westchesterwoman.org.
Sciortino says don't feel obligated if you can't host a party financially because there are ways to celebrate without spending a ton.
Before you shop, she says keep to a budget, check out the store website to see what's cheapest and see what you already have. There are probably plates from your last party in the pantry.
"If you have condensed milk from Christmas that is still good, make a key lime pie," Sciortino says.
She recommends saving by skipping the pre-made items, going wholesale for bulk purchases and opting for cheaper cuts of meat with memorable seasonings.
"Everybody knows how tight things are, so no one's going to be expecting filet mignons at your barbecue," says Sciortino.
Most importantly, focus on who's around the table and not what's on it.
"Having everyone bring a dish they love, and their family loves is going to make the event all the more special, and it'll make the food taste better too," Sciortino says.
She also recommends checking out recipes from local foodies. They have some great ideas that won't cost you a lot.


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