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View Full Version : How much do you spend on a KCBS competition?


The Pickled Pig
07-18-2007, 10:35 PM
To date, we've assigned categories to individuals on the team for each contest. Each person has been responsible for a specific category and we've shared in the overhead expenses. We're trying something new this weekend for a contest in that we're taking a team approach to each category and centralizing all expenses. One thing this has already done is given us an idea of exactly how much we spend to do a contest. Up to now, I had little idea of the total money we as a team actually spend.

I'm wondering how much money everyone spends in an average KCBS contest. I realize different contests have different expenses. Our American Royal expenses last year were off the charts. But this is a small contest (maybe 40 teams) and we're not doing any entertainment. Without including any personal expenses (like beer) or entertainment expenses like Friday night food. Just to enter the 4 main categories we've spent just over $500 (including food, supplies, and the $150 entry fee but not including any capital cost for equipment and gear). Is this reasonable or are we going overboard?

It seems high to me. Over the years we've become accustomed to some luxury items and I know we could trim some of the costs if needed. But I was just wondering what everyone else spends for a typical contest?

Rub
07-18-2007, 10:50 PM
Based on your $150 entry fee, which is low where I am, I would spend a total of about $400 + fuel to get there. I'm a 1 man low budget team :wink:

MilitantSquatter
07-18-2007, 11:31 PM
I generally run $600-$1000 depending on location and charge of entry fee.

This # includes entry fee (avg. 225 w/ utilities in Northeast), gas & tolls (depends on distance, but avg. approx 200 mi.), KCBS meats (usually +/- $150), garnish, sauces/rubs, estimates on replenishable items like charcoal/wood, foil, paper goods & other misc. supplies, misc. food & drink.

Plowboy
07-18-2007, 11:38 PM
We got by last weekend with $150+gas. That figures that we won half of our entry fee back, get our chicken & brisket for free each contest, and split a case of garnish with HoDeDo.

BBQchef33
07-18-2007, 11:58 PM
$800-$1000 here per contest.... entry fees, fuel, and supplies..

Groceries are always the shocker.. and then ICE.. that last expense on the way to the highway.. .. packing 2 - 150 qt coolers with ice.. 75 bucks at 7/11.



oh...
plus $41 for a bottle of kitchen bouquet and a thermometer. :twisted:

tonto1117
07-19-2007, 05:25 AM
I generally run $600-$1000 depending on location and charge of entry fee.

This # includes entry fee (avg. 225 w/ utilities in Northeast), gas & tolls (depends on distance, but avg. approx 200 mi.), KCBS meats (usually +/- $150), garnish, sauces/rubs, estimates on replenishable items like charcoal/wood, foil, paper goods & other misc. supplies, misc. food & drink.

Same # here depending on how far we have to travel and whether I have to pay for a double space.

swamprb
07-19-2007, 05:54 AM
I asked this same question back in January when I was collecting stuff to get started. Still collecting, took a couple cooking classes, judged a couple comps, meeting teams and defintely have the itch to get started.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23546

Brian

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2007, 06:38 AM
If I had to spend $1000 per contest, I'd be able to do a grand total of TWO or THREE per year. Holy chit!! We do around $400 plus gas here.

tonto1117
07-19-2007, 07:32 AM
Just broke down last weekend's:

Entry fee $125 x 2(needed the space)= $250
Comp Meat =$125
Family & Friends food & beverage= $150
Motorhome Gas(no electric at comp, so running generator 24/7= $100
Supplies that need to be replaced,
(Aluiminum foil, pans, sauces, rubs, gloves..ect..= $50

That's $675 for a comp that was 15-20 min from the house. Mind you I wouldn't normally do the friends and family deal, but still need to feed the team. Plus the gas for a further away comp will be much more than that anyway.And I'm sure there is stuff I'm forgetting to take into account...:eusa_clap

Fredbird
07-19-2007, 07:54 AM
We spend about $500 plus gas for each contest. Of course, the Royal and the GAB cost more.

KC_Bobby
07-19-2007, 08:07 AM
So far we're at about $400 per plus gas. This amount is including some start up team costs - t-shirts and bulk purchase of foil, tins, wrap, etc.

My brother and I split costs 50/50. Enter our costs in a spreadsheet to track and email it back and forth as we add stuff. Works well.

Now that we've recruited our dad as our team technical engineer (Mr. Fix-It) and runner - we're trying to talk him into providing an RV. At the last comp I gave him the I have a Dream speech. The one reminding him when he was younger and wanted a family that it was his dream to raise and provide for them as they needed then stated that he shouldn't give up on that dream. He laughed.

Big Dog Barbecue
07-19-2007, 11:57 AM
I'd estimate not including travel expesnses (fuel, tolls) etc. or lodging (since we always stay at the site) we're in for about $500-$600.

This includes entry fee, meat (KCBS and grilling), sauces, spices. paper goods, garnishes, ice, and other incidentals.

Beer/Alchohol & non competition food not included.

Certainly NO consideration for gear or equipment in here.

Timmy
07-19-2007, 12:07 PM
Man, I don't even want to figure this up. Don't want to know. If I knew what it was costing me, I wouldn't do it. Some things are better left alone.

YankeeBBQ
07-19-2007, 12:08 PM
Man, I don't even want to figure this up. Don't want to know. If I knew what it was costing me, I wouldn't do it. Some things are better left alone.

Amen

butts a fire
07-19-2007, 12:15 PM
We probably average about 350 or 400 per contest. For the meat, entry fee and the stuff needed to cook. With gas it is probably closer to 500.

The Pickled Pig
07-19-2007, 03:48 PM
I asked this same question back in January when I was collecting stuff to get started. Still collecting, took a couple cooking classes, judged a couple comps, meeting teams and defintely have the itch to get started.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23546

Brian

Sorry Brian. I didn't mean to step on your thread. I looked for a similar thread but did not see yours.:oops:

Thanks for all of the responses. I don't feel so bad now as it would appear we're in a reasonable range.

So let me get this straight. We brethren spent countless days of preparation, hours of travel, and upwards of $1,000 for the privilege of cooking food for people we don't know under sometimes deplorable conditions to be subjected to sometimes unfair critcism with the hope of being validated by hearing our name called. And then because it makes so much sense we repeat the process several times each year.

What is wrong with us?

swamprb
07-19-2007, 11:09 PM
No problem Paul! This is definitely my learning year.

Brian

HB-BBQ
07-19-2007, 11:53 PM
:eek: I had no idea of the costs involved with competition. I have lots more to learn about this before I jump in.

VA BBQ PIRATES
07-20-2007, 04:48 AM
Our first competition is next week and since it's just my wife & I there is no one to split the cost with. I don't even want to thing about what we've spent on "stuff". It all adds up quick.

pigmaker23
07-20-2007, 06:27 AM
Cost of 16' Trailer and 3 smokers $ 10,000
Towing Vehicle $ 40,000
Meat $ 200
Supplies $ 300
Fees $ 200


The pleasure of setting up in the outdoors, getting rained on, bitten by you name it, nasty port potties, taste scores of 4 or 5 when its the best product you ever made.... PRICELESS !!!

For everything else, theres Visa when you just dont have anymore cash...:-D

Bentley
07-20-2007, 11:14 AM
To date, we've assigned categories to individuals on the team for each contest. Each person has been responsible for a specific category and we've shared in the overhead expenses. We're trying something new this weekend for a contest in that we're taking a team approach to each category and centralizing all expenses. One thing this has already done is given us an idea of exactly how much we spend to do a contest. Up to now, I had little idea of the total money we as a team actually spend.

I'm wondering how much money everyone spends in an average KCBS contest. I realize different contests have different expenses. Our American Royal expenses last year were off the charts. But this is a small contest (maybe 40 teams) and we're not doing any entertainment. Without including any personal expenses (like beer) or entertainment expenses like Friday night food. Just to enter the 4 main categories we've spent just over $500 (including food, supplies, and the $150 entry fee but not including any capital cost for equipment and gear). Is this reasonable or are we going overboard?

It seems high to me. Over the years we've become accustomed to some luxury items and I know we could trim some of the costs if needed. But I was just wondering what everyone else spends for a typical contest?


Our next contest will be Clovis. It is about 230 miles from Pasadena.

Entry fee-$250
Meat-$100
Motel-2 nights $125-150 for my team mates.(Hard to see your 81 year old mother sleep on the asphalt!:eusa_clap )
Gas-$75
Extra items-$100

Bottem line $600-$700.

tony76248
07-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Can only speak for IBCA comps.

This weekend at West (1 hour from home) the entry fee will be $190, that includes $10 for the kids cookoff Friday night plus $30 for electricity.

Meat will cost us:

$6 a rack of St. Louis cut spare ribs (I'll cook about 6 racks because I can therefore about $36)

Brisket will cost us about $25 to $35 depending on whether I cook two or three.

Chicken will cost about $20 because I will cook a few Friday night and two on saturday for turn-ins.

I will pick up one nice size pork loin at COSTCO and have it cut in 3/4" cuts of which my daughter will do her kids category on friday night. That should cost about $30.

$25 for ice and charcoal

$25 for spices, sauces, etc.....

Therefore $190+$36+$35+$20+$30+$25+$25=$361

This will feed us for the remainder of the week though, so I could possibly knock off half of the meat costs, but won't.

+$200 for booze
+$20 for gas

Pit and travel trailer costs, don't have to count, do they?

tonto1117
07-20-2007, 07:18 PM
+$200 for booze



:shock: :shock: :shock:

tony76248
07-20-2007, 07:41 PM
yeah only $200, we have had to cut back.

big blue bbq
07-21-2007, 10:02 PM
We just spent about $450.00 for the one we were in last weekend. $250.00 entry, $130 meat(trimmed flat vs packer), the rest was food and gas for lighting the charcoal, charcoal and wood. Contest was only 20 miles from home so that helped.

Mooner
07-22-2007, 12:47 PM
If I had to spend $1000 per contest, I'd be able to do a grand total of TWO or THREE per year. Holy chit!! We do around $400 plus gas here.

yeah ditto.

n-2-que
07-22-2007, 01:12 PM
i would say 500-600 which we are gonna cut down some, entry fees and meat and gas is always a given along with what we call perishables kingsford,foil, and such but we seem to buy to much stuff for us to eat and drink and such and usually only use half of that. so we will cut back on personal stuff.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
07-22-2007, 02:27 PM
Entry fees , food (both for eating and comp) beer, drinks, foil pans.etc,etc,etc,
probably around $500.00, doesnt sound like a lot but when you are a 2 man team it adds up not to include upgrades or replacement on equipment,tents etc.. ouch I shouldnt have even thought about it!

Cabntmkr1
11-11-2007, 06:37 PM
I am contemplating getting into the comp. scene next year. This thread helps me to see what everyone else spends on comps, which will, I hope, help me to be prepared financially.
Thanks for the info.

The_Kapn
11-11-2007, 06:52 PM
I have kinda given up on the $$ thing.

Mrs Kapn picked up some stuff on Sat--said "here is your receipt".
My reply--"Trash it---I really don't want to know anymore"! :oops:

I just go cook and hope for the best anymore.

TIM

Mitch
11-11-2007, 07:37 PM
$500 to $600.

CTSmokehouse
11-11-2007, 07:49 PM
Cost of 16' Trailer and 3 smokers $ 10,000
Towing Vehicle $ 40,000
Meat $ 200
Supplies $ 300
Fees $ 200


The pleasure of setting up in the outdoors, getting rained on, bitten by you name it, nasty port potties, taste scores of 4 or 5 when its the best product you ever made.... PRICELESS !!!

For everything else, theres Visa when you just dont have anymore cash...:-D


Yeah,

Except that Eric is low on Meat and Supplies by 1.5 to 2X...!

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff

smoke-n-my-i's
11-11-2007, 08:11 PM
Sorry Brian. I didn't mean to step on your thread. I looked for a similar thread but did not see yours.:oops:

Thanks for all of the responses. I don't feel so bad now as it would appear we're in a reasonable range.

So let me get this straight. We brethren spent countless days of preparation, hours of travel, and upwards of $1,000 for the privilege of cooking food for people we don't know under sometimes deplorable conditions to be subjected to sometimes unfair critcism with the hope of being validated by hearing our name called. And then because it makes so much sense we repeat the process several times each year.

What is wrong with us?

But it is so much fun..... and it is only money... it grows on trees, remember????

Our first competition is next week and since it's just my wife & I there is no one to split the cost with. I don't even want to thing about what we've spent on "stuff". It all adds up quick.


Same here....

I too average about 500-600 depending on how far I travel and the cost of gas. Since I don't smoke or drink.... it is my smoking and drinking money...

Bill

swamprb
11-11-2007, 09:31 PM
Good thread! For a newbie, I needed an idea how deep into this "hobby" I could get. Can't wait for my next comp!!

Kung Fu BBQ
11-11-2007, 11:15 PM
We average about $400 per contest also.

Next season we want to try and get everyone to chip in a sum of around $200-250. Use that money for reg. and meat purchases of a determined amount of contests. That way we are not scrambling to see who is going to pay for which contest. It will also help during those times when money is down. Extras for each contest (beer and other food) will not be included in that sum. We have 5 core members, I hope it works. May do that twice during the season once at the begining and then midway... who knows it's still in the planning stage.

tonto1117
11-12-2007, 05:54 AM
We average about $400 per contest also.

Next season we want to try and get everyone to chip in a sum of around $200-250. Use that money for reg. and meat purchases of a determined amount of contests. That way we are not scrambling to see who is going to pay for which contest. It will also help during those times when money is down. Extras for each contest (beer and other food) will not be included in that sum. We have 5 core members, I hope it works. May do that twice during the season once at the begining and then midway... who knows it's still in the planning stage.

Planning on a similar plan for next year. This way we can do more comps and the cost is split up. Gonna figure out the details this winter, but like Swamprb said, I'm already looking foward to next year!!!!!

acorette
11-12-2007, 07:08 AM
...and gas for lighting the charcoal

:eek: I hope you mean propane and not unleaded.

Big Blue BBQ any relation to IBM? Just curious.

Mitchelina
11-12-2007, 04:30 PM
I see Timmy declined to answer this but I'll take a stab and guess:
$150 entry fee
$25 in electricity or fuel for generator
$100 in meat (Timmy buys on sale, and we usually cook only one brisket, butt, 2 slabs of ribs and a big pkg of thighs, maybe 16 or 18-- which makes us different from most teams, I imagine)
$25 in fuel if it's reasonably close by (most are)
$50 in misc groceries and beer (only 2 of us and we rarely have guests)
maybe $30 in replenishables - charcoal, ice, smoker wood, rub, etc.
maybe another $20 for side categories, depending on what and how many

Chit. It is expensive but we do a pretty good job of spreading out the costs. It's not really much more than it would cost for us to go camping - but when we camp we have no chance of getting any money back.:tongue:

Big Mike
11-12-2007, 05:28 PM
It runs me about $600 per comp.

Greendriver
11-12-2007, 05:38 PM
Min 500 bucks but I'm sure I'm accidentally on purpose leaving out a bunch (BUT....IF YOU CAN FIND ME A SPONSER WORTH 500 I'LL TAKE EM).

The_Kapn
11-12-2007, 05:49 PM
Just as moment of levity here--

When I was much younger, I lusted over a sports car (biggo bucks) on a lot.
I asked the sales dude--"What would the payments be?"
He said--"If ya gotta ask, ya can't afford it!" :oops:

I have kinda got that way about comps.
I am so tired of worrying about the $$.
I just "DO IT" :oops:

Hell, if I did not do comps, I would waste my money (and wasting is what it is for me) on something else!

Might as well go and visit with my friends and "see what happens at awards".

Just a thought.

TIM

Smokin Diablo
11-12-2007, 06:59 PM
We average $500.00 a comp but there are 3 of us and we split the total cost right down the middle. We all are in charge of purchasing cretin items a getting coolers together. We just keep our receipts and split it up after the competition. We did pretty good this year so most times we had some winnings to offset the spend. My two team mates are auditors so the books are easy to keep for us. I just wish we had a sponsor and then we wouldn't have to worry about how much we spent, but that's for a different thread.

Ford
11-12-2007, 07:06 PM
Quite a spread of costs. I did keep track this year of "costs" and good thing as I took a GC and need to file tax receipts so I don't have to pay. Turns out I'm down this year but not much. 5 contests - about $600 per. That includes gas but does not include general supplies like foil, steam pans, etc. Does include Slabs products, meat, garnish, ice, gas, entry, some food for the cook and usually a little jack, bottled water, gatorade. Used to spend at least 200 more but had some team mates to feed and we consumed much more booze. I found out being serious about competing and booze don't go together very well.

Does not include motorhome, trailer, all the smokers, other gear and new toys. I now have and FEC100 with IQ4 in the garage. Need more space for it in the trailer. Tonto1117 if you read this I might have a good deal for you on a used golf cart and I plan to keep my existing trailer. Fiscial responsibility rears it's ugly head again.

tonto1117
11-12-2007, 07:32 PM
Quite a spread of costs. I did keep track this year of "costs" and good thing as I took a GC and need to file tax receipts so I don't have to pay. Turns out I'm down this year but not much. 5 contests - about $600 per. That includes gas but does not include general supplies like foil, steam pans, etc. Does include Slabs products, meat, garnish, ice, gas, entry, some food for the cook and usually a little jack, bottled water, gatorade. Used to spend at least 200 more but had some team mates to feed and we consumed much more booze. I found out being serious about competing and booze don't go together very well.

Does not include motorhome, trailer, all the smokers, other gear and new toys. I now have and FEC100 with IQ4 in the garage. Need more space for it in the trailer. Tonto1117 if you read this I might have a good deal for you on a used golf cart and I plan to keep my existing trailer. Fiscial responsibility rears it's ugly head again.

PM Sent:wink:

Neal
11-12-2007, 07:33 PM
We can usually get by for about $500 including entry fees...but entry fees are pretty cheap in MO, KS, NE and IA. I also buy as much in bulk as I can...rub, sauce, meat, any ingrediants I can get and of course foil pans and other supplies too.

spicewine
11-12-2007, 08:29 PM
Comps cost alot!! Yes about 5 to 6 Hundred dollars per. We had enough sponcers and enough winnings that it only cost us out of pocket, includind gas---$90.00 each for the whole year. Next year may be different. But when you are winning, it's alot easier to snag the sponcers.

Hobbys cost money!!

Sometimes you win---Sometimes you don't

But we always have a great time----win or lose!!

Spice

TOPS BBQ
11-12-2007, 10:03 PM
I skipped over a couple of pages. Did anyone factor in practices? Meat is not cheap here in CA and Gas is thru the roof. Our typical entry fee is $300. We just got back from Arizona and the gas cost alone was $300 +. Luckily entry fee was sponsored. Meat was $230. Winnings were $275. You can do the math. Obviously, we do not do this for the money. BBQ is my passion and my only hobby. Can't complain. I know plenty of people who spend as much money playing golf. A new club can cost well over $300.

acorette
11-13-2007, 07:52 AM
I sense a common answer here - Barbeque is a passion, a hobby. Something that you get way more out of that you put in, but not in terms of dollars.

I loved the Kapn's answer "Might as well go and visit with my friends and "see what happens at awards.'"

Good thing most of us here (myself included) seem to have more money than brains.

Greendriver
11-13-2007, 11:49 AM
I skipped over a couple of pages. Did anyone factor in practices? Meat is not cheap here in CA and Gas is thru the roof. Our typical entry fee is $300. We just got back from Arizona and the gas cost alone was $300 +. Luckily entry fee was sponsored. Meat was $230. Winnings were $275. You can do the math. Obviously, we do not do this for the money. BBQ is my passion and my only hobby. Can't complain. I know plenty of people who spend as much money playing golf. A new club can cost well over $300.


That's why my pocketbook keeps getting skinnier all the time - boffa these hobbies together is killin me. LOL

Sawdustguy
11-13-2007, 08:46 PM
Just as moment of levity here--

When I was much younger, I lusted over a sports car (biggo bucks) on a lot.
I asked the sales dude--"What would the payments be?"
He said--"If ya gotta ask, ya can't afford it!" :oops:

I have kinda got that way about comps.
I am so tired of worrying about the $$.
I just "DO IT" :oops:

Hell, if I did not do comps, I would waste my money (and wasting is what it is for me) on something else!

Might as well go and visit with my friends and "see what happens at awards".

Just a thought.

TIM

Amen Tim! It costs us about $600 per comp but we would still do it if it costed us a $1000 per comp. We are lucky because it has not come to the point yet where it has hurt so we don't think about it at all. Sharing expenses with my brother (the other Fat Polock) sure helps.

Dale P
11-14-2007, 07:28 AM
our last contest this year was Owensboro
250 entry fee
150 booze
150 meat
100 gas
200 misc stuff
total= $850 and we won $525
We love it or we wouldnt do it.

ole'e
11-14-2007, 08:26 AM
I think last year we spent $5600 on 13 or so contest. I think we spend somwhere in the $400-$500 range and that is not including beer/soda and snacks. The most we spent this year was going to Pine Bluff, I think we were in almost $1000. Bbqing is a expensive hobby but I can not help to think all the people I have met and all the fun I have had.

lunchlady
11-14-2007, 08:39 AM
We try to work it so our tax refund pays for our entry fees. Doesn't always work out that way though. Especially when we add a bunch of extra competitions in near the end of the season.

tony76248
11-14-2007, 08:51 AM
I know of some folks who write off their hobby on taxes. This was my first year competing. We placed in the majority of the comps. That said, we almost broke even on three of the last four events due to placing high enough.

Like I said in an earlier post, IBCA is so much more economical in comparison to KCBS. That probably explains why there will be 50-100 teams in most of the events. I competed at one event that had 123 teams, the entry fee was $75, I won $150 for a 15th place brisket. That pretty much covered the entry fee and the meat. Now it didn't cover the gas or the charcoal or wood or booze.

If we didn't do the cookoffs we would have done something else on that weekend. Last weekend for example, we went to Shreveport blew $1500 in the casinos, a couple hundred on hotels and got a $140 speeding ticket on my way there.

Before this hobby I did motorcycles, before that there was sailboats and before that there was golf. It all comes out in the wash.

All that said, next year we will be more competitive and we plan on placing more often and higher. Heck we already have the gear, so much of the cost is minimized at this point. It isn't like we are still looking for what we need to be doing.

We have also learned to minimize the costs by buying right. I will talk to the butchers and buy meat in case quantities at a huge discount. We also share dinner expenses with a few other teams. One team will do breakfast, one lunch and the other dinner. One would think that we would all eat BBQ at a cookoff..... but nah.

Gas costs have definitely become a drag. Luckily we have a bunch of cookoffs within 100 miles of our home. For the most part we could probably do about 2-3 a month within that range.

One cost that we cannot get under control is that damned booze. Anyone have the plans for building their own distillary?

paydabill
11-14-2007, 10:57 AM
I have a freind who changes hobbies almost every year. Each time he does it, he buys the best he can for that hooby. He went from Guns, fishing, poker, motorcycles, golf and is back to fishing. I love it, I get to buy his used equipment for 1/2 the price.

I wish he would start bbq, then he might buy a nice cooker that I can take off his hands in a year. :twisted:

Chris Nickelson
11-14-2007, 02:41 PM
I think last year we spent $5600 on 13 or so contest. I think we spend somwhere in the $400-$500 range and that is not including beer/soda and snacks. The most we spent this year was going to Pine Bluff, I think we were in almost $1000. Bbqing is a expensive hobby but I can not help to think all the people I have met and all the fun I have had.
YA but, you had fun didn't ya????

:lol: