We did 13 last year. Being that this is a hobby, it is gonna cost money, before this there was motorcycles (2-Montessas and 1-SWM for the vintage class), and before that there was sailboats (2-windsurfers, 1-16' racing boat and 1-26' which slept four). This is a cheap hobby, plus my wife enjoys it and my daughters can compete too. We got better throughout the year and made enough to cover in four of the competitions.
I can tell you one thing, the more you do, the better you will get and you could probably afford to compete in more. By only doing a few a year, your chance of improving greatly will be at a minimum. That is not to say that you wont luck out once in a while. I do have a sponsor for this year, but it will not be much, I'll post how that works out. I could have a sponsor (my wife's company, whom I have cooked for gratis on several occasions) who would pay the whole cost but then I would be beholden to them and it isn't worth it to me. Then again, the way I look at it they are already sponsoring us when she gets her paycheck.
BTW, I know some folks who are writing this off on their taxes. You can probably write off every visit to the supermarket and half your gas for the year. Plus cell phone, plus any kitchen supplies....etc etc etc
"Grilla in the Pits" "IMAGRILLA"
There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures.
Right next to the mashed potatoes.
Brinkmann Model 6668 Gasser
Stumps GF223 w/ Stoker assist
ECB that wins the $
Weber One-Touch Gold 22-1/2"
Large BGE w/ Stoker assist
55 gallon Drum Smoker
Wood Crate Cold smoker w/ smoke injector
No need for certification, I already know good BBQ!