The warm weather is here, and along with it a chance to do some entertaining al fresco. Whether that's hosting an evening with a small group of friends on the back patio or a giant family cookout, now’s the time to get your space ready. We’ve got tips that will help you make sure your outdoor dining area is in tip-top shape.

BBQ time!

The first step of kicking off the spring and summer entertaining season is cleaning up your grill, so pick up some gear like a grill stone or a wooden grate scraper to get rid of all of last year’s gunk. They’re a better option than bristle brushes since the wires from that type of cleaning tool can sometimes break off, get stuck, and end up in your food!

Then, it’s time to heat things up by replacing your propane tank or buying a bag of charcoal.

Don’t have a barbecue? Make this the year you invest in your first one, and soon you too can be a master of the grill! Be sure to check your local circulars on Flipp for deals on BBQs and on food for your first bash of the season. Consider trying out some new recipes like registered dietitian Abby Langer’s BBQ Pork Loin with Spicy Watermelon Glaze and Cilantro. Or, if you’re looking for a grown-up, warm-weather treat, whip up a batch of Langer’s Vanilla Cold Brew Popsicles with Cacao Nibs.

Cleaning crew

If you have a deck or wooden patio furniture, you may need to give it a refresh. Head to the home improvement store for deck wash, stain, sealant and other supplies to get the job done right.

Prep for picnics

Consider your local parks or beaches an extension of your outdoor living space and boost your picnic game with some accessories like a basket, a beautiful blanket or a backpack that’s packed with dishes, cutting boards, cutlery and cloth napkins to take along with you. With reusable gear like this, you’re less likely to rely on single-use items, and you and your guests will feel a bit fancier if your spread isn’t presented on paper plates.

DIY some new outdoor accessories

You absolutely could buy some new outdoor cushions or a tablecloth, but if you’re crafty, hit up your local supply shop for some fun fabrics to whip up your own pillows and the like to brighten up your backyard patio or balcony. And don’t forget about lighting. If you’re feeling very Martha, consider making your own citronella candles, which will set the mood and keep the bugs away!

Get gardening!

Perk up your outdoor space naturally with some beautiful plants and flowers. Pots filled with annuals are a great way to get some quick hits of color and gorgeous scent. If you’re thinking longer term, consider planting pollinator-friendly flowers like butterfly bush or bee balm. There’s nothing lovelier than a patio that’s regularly visited by butterflies! Another great choice for planter-friendly greenery is herbs. Consider some mojito mint so you have supplies on hand for this delicious Cuban drink. Keeping it contained is a good idea, as mint is notorious for spreading easily!

Don’t have much room to play around with? Tune into “Big Dreams, Small Spaces,” a BBC show that airs on Netflix, for tons of inexpensive and creative small-garden ideas.

Flipp has everything you need for outdoor entertaining at the best price. Download the app to browse your local ads for inspiration or search for the items you need to plan your shopping trip.