Inexpensive Ways to Entertain Outside

Summer/Outdoor Living

Inexpensive Ways to Entertain Outside

It’s that time of year again when we hose down the garden furniture and fire up the barbecue. Life has once again moved outside and that means entertaining alfresco. 

For some, the idea of eating out of doors conjures up pictures of mosquito bites and flies in the potato salad. But just as many of us relish the thought of cold lemonade and a hamburger under a shady elm in our own modest patch of nature. You don’t need a lot of specially made picnic ware to do that but you can enhance the experience with a few inexpensive items from the dollar store.

Here are just some of the supplies you can find there.

BBQ Tools and Equipment

If you love to BBQ, always check the dollar store before you look anywhere else. You can find long-handled spatulas and other tools for cooking, as well as metal trays for grilling veggies or other foods that would otherwise fall through the grill.


This end cap also included tablecloth weights and clips, food covers and plastic trays designed to hold food.


Melamine is a good way to go for casual dining out of doors. You’re sure to find some melamine plates and acrylic glasses that you’ll love. You can get plates, glasses and trays in colourful patterns.



Melamine bowls and plastic juice jugs are also available at the dollar store. 

Placemats and Napkins



You can also find an assortment of place mats suitable for the outdoors. I recently found these straw placemats that would make an attractive addition to your patio table. Of course, dollar stores always have a variety of vinyl placemats in a variety of patterns to choose from.

As well, good quality paper napkins are available at the dollar store for a lot less than you’ll find in other stores.

Add a Centrepiece




If you are entertaining, you might want to add a centrepiece to your table setting. Flowers are always a nice touch and, if you have a cutting garden, creating a casual bouquet is easy.

For the rest of us, an inexpensive grocery store bouquet, or even fake posies, set in an empty jam jar, will do the job nicely.

Nighttime Lighting



For nighttime entertaining, go for glow with candles and lanterns. From Chinese lanterns to solar stake lights to glass candle holders, the dollar store has everything you need to help light up the night.



In fact, the dollar store has everything you need for eating or entertaining in the great outdoors.


If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the Dollar Store Style newsletter. Every month, you’ll get a new article, a Quick Tip, my pick for Find of the Week, a Product Review and much more.