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4 Ways to Save Money Shopping for a Fire Pit

You don't have to sacrifice the fun when you spend less on a backyard fire pit.

Breeo X series fire pit
Backyard fire pits are fun, but some can get expensive.
Brian Bennett/CNET

Backyard fire pits can improve life and recreation at home, but some of them are tough to afford. An elite gas-burning model can cost you thousands, and "smokeless" wood-burning fire pits don't come cheap, either. Flagship models from the two most popular smokeless fire pit brands, Breeo and Solo Stove, cost $500 or more. 

So what if you want an advanced outdoor fireplace without incinerating your budget? There are a few steps you can take to be more frugal when shopping for a fire pit. Here are my personal recommendations.

Consider a slightly smaller pit

Bigger is often better -- but not always. Check out the 19-inch Breeo X Series smokeless fire pit, for example. Sure, this model's inner diameter is a tad smaller than the 24-inch X Series, but it also costs $230 less and offers the same smokeless performance and cooking abilities as its bigger sibling.

Going with the $245 Solo Stove Bonfire nets similar savings. Its 19.5-inch outer diameter is less than the 27-inch Solo Stove Yukon. However, the Yukon costs $485, which is $240 more. 

The Biolite FirePit Plus is a smokeless fire pit that doubles as a hibachi-style grill.

Biolite

Portable pits work well, too

You'll definitely save by choosing the $245 Solo Stove Bonfire and, since it weighs just 20 pounds, you'll get the added benefit of portability. 

My current favorite portable fire pit is the $300 Biolite FirePit Plus. Yes, it costs a little more. But weighing just under 20 pounds and equipped with handles and folding legs, it's easier to transport. The FirePit Plus also boasts a fan-powered, electronically controlled airflow system. Better yet, it can double as a hibachi grill and comes with grates for cooking food.

You can convert Breeo fire pits into serious outdoor cooking machines.

Breeo

Get a dual-use pit

Another way to keep within your budget is to get a fire pit that also functions as an outdoor cooker. Both the Biolite FirePit Plus and the 19-inch Breeo X series are great options. Solo Stove also sells cooking kits for its pits, but they're expensive -- the griddle kit for the Bonfire will set you back an additional $220.

This dual-use approach only pays off if you're in the market for a new grill. Remember, you can't cook over luxury gas fire pits, as they're meant for aesthetic appeal and for providing heat. The same goes for inexpensive cast iron fire pits. Though you could slap together homemade work-arounds, cooking food isn't their intended purpose, aside from s'mores and hot dogs.   

Keep an eye out for sales

Like many other products, fire pit pricing often fluctuates. I've found that the biggest drops come with holiday promotions and seasonal sales in the fall and winter, including around Black Friday. It's always good to keep close watch around the beginning of summer and the Fourth of July, too.