5 Inexpensive Ways to Enjoy Independence Day

Here's how to celebrate the nation's birthday in style while also staying true to its frugal roots.

5 Inexpensive Ways to Enjoy Independence Day Photo by rozbyshaka / Shutterstock.com

America’s birthday is right around the corner, and no holiday deserves greater fanfare than our celebration of the land of liberty and all it has bestowed upon us.

For more than 240 years, America has been a beacon of freedom and light to its own citizens and to struggling people around the globe.

Today, we live in turbulent times. But on July 4, let’s remember that for all this nation’s faults, it still remains the greatest democracy the world has ever seen.

Of course, famously frugal Benjamin Franklin — one of the nation’s Founding Fathers — probably would urge you to plan a celebration that doesn’t empty your piggy bank. In that spirit, we are sharing five ways you can cut the cost of your July 4 celebration.

1. Buy food in bulk from your local warehouse club

If you belong to a warehouse clubs — and possibly even if you don’t — you can save a bundle by purchasing food in bulk for your Fourth of July celebration.

For tips on how to save more at specific warehouse clubs, check out:

2. Stop by the dollar store for decor

Use a little good-old American ingenuity and cut costs by visiting the dollar store for your paper plates, plastic utensils and July 4 decorations.

As we point out in “21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store“:

“By some estimates, you can save up to 70 percent by using party supplies from a dollar store. Get plastic tablecloths, paper plates and cups, streamers and party favors from the dollar store and save a bundle. Don’t forget to look for Mylar/foil balloons, too. These are an absolute bargain and can easily sell for five times as much elsewhere.”

3. Make sober decisions when purchasing beer and spirits

July Fourth is a great excuse to pour yourself a cold one and let down your hair — responsibly, of course.

If you are planning a party, alcohol can be one of the more expensive items. So, make sure you exercise good, sober judgment when planning out your drink menu.

As I wrote in “5 Smart Ways to Save on Wine, Beer and Spirits,” simply making a few smart, small choices can save you a bundle:

“But if you drink wine often, switching to a boxed variety can save you a lot of cash. In fact, Epicurious says boxed wine is ‘insanely cheap’ and contends that you can get 3 liters of good wine in a box for around $30. That’s equivalent to four regular-sized bottles.”

Also, warehouse clubs are a great place to get not just your party food but your booze at a bargain price. You may not even need a membership to buy it there.

4. Host a barbecue or potluck

If money is super tight this July 4, consider hosting a simple barbecue.

A 2016 survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation found that the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 would be $56.06 — or about $5.61 a person. That includes:

  • Hot dogs and buns
  • Cheeseburgers and buns
  • Pork spare ribs
  • Deli potato salad
  • Baked beans
  • Corn chips
  • Lemonade
  • Chocolate milk
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Watermelon

If you need to cut costs even further, plan a potluck. That way, you can divide the cost among all your guests.

5. Start planning for July 4, 2019

Once your July 4 celebration is over, take a moment to congratulate yourself on a job well-done. But don’t relax too long.

Check out the after-holiday sales, where you can save up to 50 percent — or more — on July Fourth-themed plates, napkins, decorations, flags and other items.

Also, consider buying fireworks on July 5 and keeping them for next year. They are likely to be on sale. Just make sure you store them in a sealed solid container in a dry place, out of kids’ reach.

According to Alamo Fireworks:

“You don’t want any cardboard or paper materials surrounding the fireworks that could possibly ignite. A plastic or metal container with a secure lid is ideal for firework storage — never use a cardboard box! This will keep moisture out to maintain the integrity of the explosives, but also keep them from accidental exposure to a spark or flame and keeps them out of eyesight of curious children.”

Do you have more great tips for celebrating July 4 economically? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

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