Everyone loves a backyard party. Here’s a guide to hosting the perfect backyard barbecue!

1. THE MENU. Think of foods that are easy to grill and prepare. Purchase ready-made beef patties, hotdogs, and whole wheat buns for both. Purchase a box of pre-washed mixed greens as well; plus tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, and radishes, hummus, carrots and dressing. For dessert, find the juiciest fresh strawberries at the market and buy a container of vanilla ice cream. For beverages, instead of a full bar, serve wine, soft drinks, and one special cocktail. This will prevent a messy bar and cut down on the amount of dirty glassware.

2. ENTERTAINING. Keep the party outside. It’s easier to clean grass than carpet! Don’t overdo party decorations. Use machine washable tablecloths and cutlery, however, don’t be afraid to use plates and cups that can be thrown into the recycling bin as well. You can also use candles or patio lanterns for lighting. Set up a food table. Start with the appetizer (hummus and vegetables). As the burgers and hotdogs are grilling, slice some tomatoes and onions for your salad as well as the burgers. Be sure to put out condiments. Place napkins and plates on the table so people can serve themselves.

3. CLEAN-UP. Stay on top of the cleaning as the event progresses. For spills, keep a solution of white vinegar, dish soap, and water in a spray bottle nearby. Afterwards, collect dishes in a laundry hamper, bring them inside, and place them in the dishwasher. Throw linens into the washing machine, recyclables into the blue bin and garbage into the garbage can. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.