Fourth of July on a Budget – Party Ideas

June 29, 2017 : Allie Freeland

Independence Day is a great holiday for many reasons – there’s no pressure for gifts or family get-togethers, it takes place during the lazy days of summer, and it usually involves the ultra-American menu of burgers and beers. What’s not to love? All of these things make the 4th a great party hosting opportunity, too. If you love the idea of hosting a 4th of July party but are afraid of the cost, follow these six tips to help you keep your party budget-friendly.

1 – Utilize the Dollar Store

Budget stores like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Dollar Store are everywhere and they are a great place to get both utensils and decorations. Paper plates and plastic utensils not only make things festive when you buy them in the right colors, but they also make cleanup easy on you. You can easily find red, white, and blue tablecloths and dinnerware at these stores, and many will carry specialized 4th of July party supplies (like star-spangled napkins) closer to the holiday as well. Dollar Stores are also a great place to get balloons. They offer helium-filled balloons at a fraction of the cost of specialized party stores.

2 – Shop for Food Items in Bulk

If you’re serving burgers and hot dogs, consider buying pre-made patties at Costco or Sam’s Club. Buying pre-made hamburgers can be surprisingly affordable at these bulk retailers. And if you’re worried about having meat left over, don’t forget that you can easily store leftovers in the freezer for later use.

3 – Consider a Potluck

4th of July parties are casual; so don’t hesitate to make it a potluck. Making the event a potluck celebration can add variety to the menu and take the pressure off of you – a win-win. And many times, your guests will enjoy showing off their signature dish.

4 – Be Creative with Beverages

Alcohol can send your 4th of July party planning budget through the roof, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t feel pressure to have everyone’s favorite drink on hand; instead, make it a BYOB event or some variation of that. If you don’t want to say straight-up BYOB there are ways that you can put a creative twist on it. You can say “bring a six-pack of your favorite beer to share,” or “we will have red and blue punch, so bring a beer if that is more your taste!” Making one or two punches can be much less expensive than stocking up on bottled beer, and that way you are still offering something to your guests.

5 – Ask Around for Yard Games

Yard games are great entertainment for summer parties. Ladder golf, bocce ball, and horseshoes are all classics that your guests are sure to enjoy. Don’t rush out and buy them all though – that could definitely add up. Send a text to your closest friends asking if anyone would be willing to bring theirs over on the day of the party. Chances are, you’ll find friends willing to help.

6 – Forgo the Fireworks

Fireworks and the Fourth go hand in hand, but they are dangerous and illegal in most suburban areas. If your party is going to go past sundown, consider having sparklers out for guests to enjoy. It will create nostalgia for your guests as they reminisce on their childhood – and who doesn’t love that?

Like what you’ve read? Head here for more budgeting tips.

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Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Contributing Editor, H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.

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