By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The number of summer weekends is dwindling and after vacations and activities for the kids, you may feel like your bank account is shrinking too. But as 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, there’s still plenty of time between now and Labor Day to host simple summer gatherings without breaking the budget.

Every good host wants to please every guest, but catering to every taste and preference can be time-consuming, and costly.

Jonathan Pogash is known as the Cocktail Guru. He suggests serving one simple, signature cocktail.  That way instead of stocking a full bar, you can cut expenses. He says, “I try to get as much of an idea of what everyone likes. There are some common ingredients that pretty much everyone likes, I think lemonade, who doesn’t like lemonade? Classic tropical ingredients I think are really great for the wide audience. and just flavors of the summer, banana, coconuts all of these things.” Another way to make a drink special — an inexpensive garnish that also adds flavor.

Hosts can take the same approach to food — items that are easy for guests to self-serve or to share. Pogash would pair his spiced lemonade cocktail with something like this shrimp, sausage and pepper dish. He says, “The hint of spice to compliment that Andouille sausage, some peppers in there, some bell peppers, sweet peppers in there. I think just really works well, a perfect meal, a perfect cocktail food pairing.”

By the way, be to make enough for leftovers when cooking on the grill.  It could save you the fuel costs of firing up again for another meal.

For more information visit:

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE