TYLER (KYTX) - Plan on shelling out a ton of cash for your end-of-summer party? Experts say you don't have to spend a fortune to say goodbye to summer.
Tyler store manager John Abler says roasted chicken is always a tasty, inexpensive main dish for guests.
"In the oven or on the grill. It's cheap enough to buy a whole chicken.. And, it'll make it taste a lot better than your rotisserie chicken at the store."
And, there's still lots of produce in season.
"Buy a bunch of cheap vegetables. Grill them up and make them taste fantastic."
For something to munch on, Abler says popcorn is cheaper and easier to whip up than fancy hor d'oeuvres. He likes Amish popcorn with seasonings.
"It's a lot cheaper than microwave popcorn. And, it's a lot healthier for you too. One bag would last you quite a long time." he says.
To wash down all that food, try carbonated water with flavorings. You can even add red or blue food coloring to make it look more patriotic.
One more affordable idea that's also easy to clean up- using brown paper bags as place mats.
Experts say you can experiment with what you already have to be creative and save money.
Good news for end of summer parties- lots of patio furniture and camping gear is on sale now. Check stores for deals...
For dessert- the people at Sweet Gourmet suggested bread pudding. It used to be called the "poor man's dessert" because it was a way to get rid of old bread. Even today, it's still super cheap and easy to make.
And, don't forget the decorations. Try floating candles or lanterns.
Also, experts say serving food or drinks in mason jars adds a nice summer touch.