In a little less than two weeks, families, friends, and residents across the nation will barbecue, relax by pools or lakes, and come sunset, fill the sky with glittering fireworks. All across the nation people will celebrate Independence Day.

Of course, hosting your own party or finding ways to celebrate isn’t exactly cheap. Fireworks alone can cost you hundreds of dollars when it’s all said and done. Even so, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the day without overdoing it on your budget.

Try these four frugal fourth of July celebration ideas to celebrate on a budget.

1. Get Creative with Food

When you think of a Fourth of July party the words BBQ likely come to mind. While that is the go-to, there’s no rule that says you have to have a BBQ.

Meat in itself is significant in price, which means if you’re cooking for a larger party, you’re spending a good portion of your budget on that alone. Find other, alternatives like heavy appetizers, pizza, or stick with cheaper meat like hotdogs. If you really want to go all out make your party a potluck and have everyone contribute something. You can even have guests bring their own meat to save.

Of course, the same goes for libations. Beer and wine can get expensive; to keep drink costs down have everyone BYOB with their own coolers and stash.

2. Go Easy on Decor

You don’t have to go crazy with sparkly banners, red, white & blue streamers, or put an American flag in every corner. In fact, don’t, because more likely than not the cost of said decor will be significant. No one’s going to expect a party decorated to the extreme.

Instead, find dollar store balloons, simple colored napkins (instead of more expensive star spangled ones), and download some free, festive DIY decorations from sites like Pinterest. A little goes a long way when it comes to decor, so there’s no need to spend a fortune. Furthermore, Independence Day is all about the fireworks anyway, so let those be the defining decoration.

3. Forgo Fireworks

Speaking of fireworks, yes, they have a tendency to be a big deal on the Fourth. Even so, fireworks are anything but cheap, unless you’re only buying poppers. In 2017 alone, consumers spent $885 million on fireworks. To truly make your show worth it, you’ll need to spend a couple of hundred dollars at least.

Unless fireworks are illegal in your city, there will likely be no shortage of firework shows and displays. Instead of putting on your own display, look for professional shows put on throughout your city and opt to have the party migrate there come dusk. Or, depending on your location, you might not even need to leave the comfort of your own home to view a terrific display at no cost to you.

4. Find Free Entertainment

Anytime you play host, you naturally feel the need to entertain your guests. However, that doesn’t mean you have to shell out money to hire a d.j., rent out bouncy houses, or go out and purchase a ton of games. Like your food, see if guests can bring games along, both indoor and outdoor to provide entertainment. Moreover, with Spotify and Pandora, you have access to a variety of popular playlists without the need for a professional d.j. Another great option to consider is any free activities that may be going on around your community. For example, if your town features an annual Fourth of July parade, have all guests begin there and then head back for food, fireworks, and conversation.

The Fourth of July is no doubt cause for celebration and a great time to get together with family and friends. That being said, if you’re planning on hosting for that day, be conscientious and don’t feel as though you have to spend a ton to throw a great party. Sometimes, the simpler really is the better. Consider some of these inexpensive alternatives; you’ll stay on budget and still have a great time celebrating Independence Day.

Where are some places you could get inexpensive decor? What are other entertainment options in your town?


About Kayla Sloan

Kayla Sloan is a freelance writer who covers business and personal finance. She has been featured in The Huffington Post, Time, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Kayla is passionate about helping people improve their finances so they can pursue their dreams.

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