20 Budget-Friendly Outdoor Entertaining Essentials In 2022 – Insider

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seven hands holding skewers with marshmallows over the flames of kingso fire pit

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  • Creating the perfect outdoor space for your home doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • Here are 20 budget-friendly picks for outdoor entertaining that you should have on your radar.
  • From stackable wine glasses to an inflatable hot tub, these are outdoor picks that you and your guests will love.

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Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, outdoor entertaining knows no season. From cool spring nights roasting marshmallows by the fire pit to summer cookouts, your patio, deck, or backyard can become the new favorite hangout with a few entertaining and dining products.

Here are 20 items that’ll surely entertain you and your guests and won’t cost a fortune. 

A set of shatterproof stackable wine glasses

tossware wine glass 3

Tossware/Instagram

Tossware 14-ounce Vino Stemless Wine Glasses (12 pack), available at Amazon, $24.99

These stemless wine glasses add an element of elegance to outdoor gatherings. The plastic glasses are a favorite of Insider Reviews former senior home and kitchen reporter Connie Chen. 

“This smart design means you can carry more than one drink in one hand, and it saves room in your cabinets,” she wrote in her review.

A tofu press for your vegetarian BBQ

The EZ Tofu Press

Amazon

EZ Tofu Press, available at Amazon, $19.99

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’re probably used to there not being many food options at restaurants, gatherings, and especially barbecues. Bring this EZ Tofu Press to the next cookout. Recommended in our roundup of the best vegetarian and vegan BBQ products, this tofu press helps remove excess water from the tofu, giving it a meatier texture.

A charcoal grill that’s easy to use and clean

The  22

Owen Burke/Insider

Weber Original Kettle Grill, available at Lowes, $109

Whether you’re looking for a charcoal grill for your next cookout or on the hunt for a beginner-friendly grill that won’t break the bank, the Weber Original Kettle Grill is a great option. This charcoal grill is rated the best in our buying guide and is super affordable. Insider Reviews senior home and kitchen reporter Owen Burke says this grill is easy to use, clean, and repair.

A portable gas grill

The Weber traveler grill in a leaf-strewn backyard as part of testing for the best gas grills in 2022

Lauren Savoie/Insider

Weber Traveler Gas Grill, available at Ace Hardware, $349

If you’re looking for a new gas grill for your patio or need one to take on-the-go, the Weber Traveler Gas Grill is the perfect choice. Picked as the best portable gas grill in our buying guide, Insider Reviews senior home and kitchen reporter Owen Burke says it offers the best flexibility and moves easily across sand, grass, and gravel.

“It has rugged wheels for easy maneuverability and folds down for easy wheeling and traveling, yet still has the solid, all-metal grill basin Weber is known for,” says Burke.

A patio heater for chilly nights

AmazonBasics patio heater

Steph Coelho/Business Insider

AmazonBasics Outdoor Propane Patio Heater, available at Amazon, $141.03

Cool spring and early summer nights shouldn’t put outdoor fun with friends and family on hold. We recommend the AmazonBasics Outdoor Propane Patio Heater to keep you and your loved ones nice and toasty. This patio heater is a personal favorite of Insider Reviews freelance writer Steph Coelho and made it possible for her to spend time with her family outdoors during the pandemic by providing a consistent amount of heat over a large group of people. This patio heater is easy to operate, is durably constructed, and has a wheeled design. We named it the best overall in our patio heater buying guide

A tent for camping in any season

orange and gray mesh tent on grass

Amazon

Flytop 3-4 Season Camping Tent, available at Amazon, $64.99

The Flytop Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent is our top pick for the best budget-friendly tent. Although it’s a four-season camping tent, health, fitness, and outdoors editor Rick Stella says it isn’t ideal for the brutal winter months. The waterproof tent comes with a storage bag, a rainfly, poles, and stakes and is sold in five different colors.

An outdoor fire pit for a cozy patio

KINGSO Outdoor Fire Pit

Amazon

Kingso 22 Fire Pit, available at Walmart, $50.99

The Kingso 22 Fire Pit is not only rated as the best budget fire pit in our buying guide. It is durable and lightweight, making it easy to travel with and includes great features and accessories. This affordable fire pit is made of heat-resistant steel and comes with a mesh cover that prevents sparks from flying out. Insider Reviews freelance writer Kraig Becker says the Kingso 22 Fire Pit is small but perfect for those with a smaller patio.

“Its 22-inch bucket can hold a surpassing amount of wood and can comfortably accommodate a small gathering of people,” says Becker.

An inflatable hot tub to unwind and relieve stress

Four people talking inside of a black inflatable hot tub.

Amazon

Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub, available at Amazon, $506.89

A hot tub is a great way to unwind after a long day and can be used in any season. The Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub is durable, heats up quickly, and an affordable and fun way to relax while catching up with friends. We like it so much we included it in our guide to the best inflatable hot tubs. It can fit up to six adults, but for a more comfortable experience, four is a better choice.

A 3-piece bistro patio set

A red Bistro table with two red chairs outside on a wooden patio.

Amazon

Grand Patio Premium Steel Patio Bistro Set, available at Amazon, $112.99

If your patio needs a little makeover with some new outdoor furniture, but you don’t know where to shop, we recommend checking out Amazon. We fell in love with this Grand Patio Premium Steel Patio Bistro Set. It’s not only a beautiful three-piece set, but it’s rust-resistant, comes in 10 vibrant colors, is durable, and can be easily stored away with its foldable chairs and table. With the Grand Bistro patio set, you can catch up with an old friend and chat over morning coffee or lunch on your back deck or patio.

A swimming pool for some relaxation and fun

Two people and a child playing with a beach ball inside a metal frame pool on top of the grass.

Amazon

Intex Metal Frame Pool, available at Amazon, $216.99

The Intex Metal Frame Pool is cheaper than an in-ground pool and more durable than an inflatable pool. Picked as the best swimming pool on a budget in our buying guide, the Intex Metal Frame Pool is the perfect way to cool off and play fun pool games with family or enjoy a nice cocktail with friends and relax as the sun is setting.

A swing set the kids will enjoy all spring and summer

Kids playing on a wooden outdoor swing set with an adult pushing two kids on the swings.

Amazon

KidKraft Ainsley Wooden Outdoor Swing Set, available at Amazon, $299

Bring the playground to your backyard with the KidKraft Ainsley Wooden Outdoor Swing Set. The set includes two swings, a clubhouse, a rock wall, a sandbox, and a canopy, and the best part is it’s all under $300. Insider Reviews freelance writer Alicia Betz has tested many KidKraft toys and pieces of furniture. 

“I have found it’s one of the most reliable, high quality, and affordable children’s brands,” Betz wrote in our best swing sets buying guide.

A leave-in meat thermometer with an alarm

A round black meat thermometer next to a green grill.

ThermoWorks

Thermoworks DOT Meat Thermometer, available at Thermoworks, $45

Whether you’re grilling thick-cut steaks or deep-frying a big turkey for the holidays, the Thermoworks DOT Meat Thermometer is a helpful gadget that alerts you when your meat has reached its set temperature. The Thermoworks DOT is the best meat thermometer on a budget in our buying guide. Despite it being under $40, it’s incredibly accurate, works fast, and has well-designed features.

An electric BBQ smoker

Masterbuilt's 30

Owen Burke/Insider

Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker, available at Lowes, $279

If you’re looking for a user-friendly BBQ smoker for tender, mouthwatering meats and vegetables the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is a great appliance to add to your patio. Electric smokers can cook for hours without you having to check or flip your food every five minutes. Home and kitchen senior reporter Owen Burke says the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is super easy to cook with. 

“There’s no fussy fuel to deal with, and all you have to do is remember to deposit a handful of either dry or pre-soaked wood chips,” Burke wrote in our guide to the best BBQ smokers.

A fun outdoor horseshoe game set

Image of four people throwing horseshoes onto a post, best outdoor games 2021

Amazon

Franklin Sports Horseshoe Set, available at Amazon, $34.99 to $50.38

The Franklin Sports Horseshoe Set is a fun and competitive game to play at barbecues or other outside gatherings with family and friends. You can choose between advanced, intermediate, and recreational versions at varying yet affordable prices.

Kenedee Fowler is a Home Fellow on the Insider Reviews team. She is a recent graduate from the University of Missouri – Columbia where she studied journalism. Previously, Kenedee was a multimedia journalist for mid-Missouri’s local news station. In her free time, you can find Kenedee trying out local coffee shops, adding new plants and decor to her home, and spending time with her family and friends. 

More: Features IP Home Entertaining Home Guides

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