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Summer in Canada is usually about making the most of the fresh air and sunshine, in a very short amount of time! And just because we are living through extraordinary times, the summer of 2020 has been no different in that respect! But here we are, already closing out the summer, and the upcoming long weekend is the perfect time to make the most of the outdoors. That means barbecues, picnics, pools, and great food!

Before we get ahead of ourselves, we have to keep two things in mind: social distancing (of course) and budget! It’s one thing to make the most of a great weekend; it’s another thing to make the most of it while adhering to a strict budget! iCASH to the rescue with the top, inexpensive ideas for dressing up an amazing Labour Day weekend barbecue!


Labour Day is all about grilling. It’s a weekend to be outside as much as possible and in the kitchen the least amount of time possible. So, check out some amazing ideas for delectable main dishes that are both economical as well as “grill-able”:

  • Burgers with a twist: What is Labour Day without a good, old-fashioned burger? But it’s time to get a little innovative and fancy with this classic barbecue staple. For an interesting twist, why not try Delish’s No Bun Bruschetta Burger. The visual alone is worth making these colorful chicken burgers! Will Work for Smile’s has a Quesadilla Burger recipe that is a guaranteed home run! It is, quite simply, a burger, a cheeseburger, and a quesadilla all rolled into one fantastic, mouthwatering main! Any vegetarians around? We didn’t forget you! Check out A Pinch of Yum’s Spicy Cauliflower Burger. Even meat lovers will be clambering for the recipe after just one bite!
  • Miscellaneous Mash-ups: Why not use this weekend to try out some new recipes? Have you ever tried to grill a pizza? Check out Epicurious’s article on how to make the best grilled pizzas and then get inventive with your pizza toppings! Or perhaps you can’t decide between a sandwich or a kebab as your main dish. Well why should you have to choose? Check out Food Network’s Turkey Club Kebabs and enjoy a taste of both worlds!


Side dishes are always so very underrated. Yet they are, in our humble opinion, just as important as the meaty mains! Not only are they scrumptious, but they are much easier on the wallet than heavy meat main dishes. So why not dress up your Labour Day table with some of these easy and colorful side dish recipes:

  • Grilled Corn on the Cob: Corn on the cob is a classic for any barbecue. Not only is it currently in season, but it is quite inexpensive as well as healthy! But it can be so “been there, done that” when cooked conventionally. One great way to spruce up corn on the cob is to grill it with different seasonings. Check out some of these amazing grilled corn on the cob recipes: Food Network’s Grilled Picnic Corn, Delish’s Bacon Wrapped Grilled Corn, or Epicurious’s Grilled Corn with Herb Butter.
  • Salads: Now before you roll your eyes at the simplicity of the salad suggestion, here us out! Salads are often the most overlooked side dishes since they are usually overly simple and therefore boring. But, when dressed up and done right, they can be the star of the show (plus the added bonus of them being super cheap!). Check out some of these interesting alternatives to the traditional garden salad: Kraft’s 7-layer Pasta Salad is both stunning and easy-to-prepare, Swanky Recipes Loaded Baked Potato Salad recipe is a far cry from your average potato salad, and what barbecue would be complete without a lovely tomato salad such as Chatelaine’s Tomato and Peach Salad.
  • Pinwheels: Pinwheels are one of the most visually attractive item on any dinner table. And nowadays, people have gotten quite inventive with the different types of pinwheels. We have collectively come a long way from the days of the standard cream cheese wrapped tortilla with a pickle! Check out these inexpensive and fun ideas for a beautifully presented pinwheel: Food Network’s Zucchini and Goat Cheese Pinwheels, Dinner at the Zoo’s delectable Taco Pinwheels which have all the deliciousness of a taco rolled up into one eye-pleasing roll, or Inspired By Charm’s Sun-dried Tomato and Basil pinwheels.


And, of course, the pièce de resistance of any good barbecue is a tantalizing dessert, or two, or three. But for a weekend like Labour Day, the dessert needs to be epic. Check out some of these perfectly barbecue-balanced delectable dessert recipes that won’t break the bank (although they might break the diet!):
**** Smores Dip:**** Dinner at the Zoo has an absolutely, finger-licking-good Smores Dip recipe that is sure to wow the guests at any barbecue. The best part is that you can use any fruit slices, cookies, or wafers that you happen to have on hand as the dipping vehicle (which makes this recipe happily inexpensive!).
**** Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars:**** BBC Good Food has a recipe that is absolutely perfect for outdoor gatherings or picnics! Check out these Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Jars! They are perfect for eating outdoors, standing up or sitting on a perfectly placed blanket. You can simply swing by any dollar store to pick up some inexpensive jars with lids and get creative in the presentation!


It’s always a little too easy to accidentally start overspending when organizing a backyard event. So, not only did we want to provide you with some great inexpensive recipe ideas, we also thought it would be helpful to throw in some tips on how to keep your barbecue wallet friendly. Check out these amazing cheap tips:

*** BYOD:*** If you are hosting a socially-distant outdoor bash for more than just your immediate family, why not opt for a BYOD. Similar to a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer), a BYOD would ask each guest to bring their own drink. Whether that drink is alcoholic, or juice for the kids, or soft drinks. Whatever the beverage of choice, it is a clear money saver to ask people to simply bring their own!
*** PANTRY PARTY:*** While the above-mentioned recipes are wonderfully delicious, to effectively save some money, a good idea would be to pantry dive before planning your menu. If you are low on beef, but have a ton of chicken, design your menu around chicken recipes instead of hamburgers! Or if you have pasta galore, go for a pasta salad over a garden salad. A quick ingredient search on a recipe website like will help you find a delicious menu recipe no matter what ingredients you happen to have on hand.
*** NO USELESS SPENDING:*** Before buying anything, just take a minute to figure out if you can either use what you already have (ahem, regular utensils and cups instead of purchased plastic ones), make it yourself (ahem, like ice or popsicles), or if you can simply borrow something from a neighbor or a friend (such as folding tables and chairs). An efficient cost saver is to try to minimize any useless spending, whenever possible of course.

The 2020 Labour Day weekend, just like the entire 2020 summer, is sure to be one for the history books. But with a little ingenuity, one can always find a way to make even small gatherings epic. iCASH will be open all weekend long, even on holiday Monday, so don’t hesitate to reach out if any financial emergencies pop up!

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!