Turning your next barbecue or tailgate party into a sizzling success while also watching your pocketbook can be simpler if you follow five tips:

Set a budget and stick to it.

-Buy produce in bulk and prep it yourself. It lasts longer and stays fresher if it's washed and cut close to the party date.

-Go for the grains. Salads, side dishes and casseroles made with pasta, rice and potatoes can feed a crowd while taking it easy on your wallet. Pick up premade salads from the deli case and personalize by adding herbs and vegetables.

-Just say yes. Take your guests up on any offers to bring a dish or beverage. You may even care to consider a potluck theme from the get-go.

-Include plenty of grilled veggies for nonmeat-eating guests.

Artichoke and sausage stuffed mushrooms

24 button mushrooms

1/2 pound Italian sausage

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1 10-ounce container Stonemill Kitchens Artichoke & Parmesan dip, or favorite brand

The day before your next barbecue or tailgate party, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Break up and brown sausage, then let cool. Rinse button mushrooms and remove stems. Combine dip with green onions, red bell peppers and cooled sausage. Stuff mushroom caps with equal part dip mixture. Cover and store in refrigerator. On your party day, pack mushrooms in a cooler. Toss mushrooms on the grill until center is warmed through and the caps are golden brown (about 5-10 minutes).



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