DIY Patriotism: Your 4th of July on a Budget

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The Fouth of July is one of my favorite holidays. What’s not to love about fireworks, parades, and celebrating the nation around a sizzling grill, cool beverages, and all of your friends?

In the lineup of expensive holidays, it’s not on the level of Christmas, New Year’s, or Thanksgiving, but it can get pricey if you aren’t careful.

By taking a few common sense steps, you can make sure that you aren’t spending a lot of money in order to enjoy the holiday, here are some ways that you can do that.

Stay Close to Home

One of the big advantages of Fourth of July is the summer weather.

You can have your celebration in your backyard, at a local park or beach, or at your local swimming pool. All of these locations are free or really easy on your budget.

Since Fourth of July is the high watermark of summer, it’s high tourist season. Hotels and resorts will be crowded, expensive, and stressful – the three things that will practically guarantee a bad time! By keeping your celebration close to home, you’ll avoid the biggest single expense and still have a lot of fun.

Keep the Party Outdoors

If you have to have your party indoors, you’ll have to clean up before and after the party. That will cost you a lot of time, if you do it yourself, or a lot of money, if you hire a company because you’re too busy or too tired!

By keeping the celebration outside, you limit how much cleaning you need to do. If you hold it at a remote location, it’s even better!

Organize Local Entertainment – By Your Guests

What’s a celebration without entertainment, right? But you don’t have to pay a professional to provide the entertainment. If you have some friends who play instruments, you may be able to put together a pickup band that will provide entertainment (while at the same time keeping themselves entertained!).

If live music isn’t your thing, then enlist your friends to bring their favorite games. Someone will own a bocce ball set or a frisbee or some other game you can play outdoors.

Go Easy on the Party Props

It’s always nice to have a party that is complete with party props. This can include holiday balloons, table cloths, cups, paper towels, napkins, flags, table centerpieces, and even utensils.

Fortunately with Fourth of July, plastic and paper everything is just fine, especially outdoors. Not only are they inexpensive, but makes for easy clean up. If you want to be especially green, go with biodegradable plastic utensils and paper plates that biodegrade easily.

This is another area where you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can buy everything you need for your celebration at a dollar store, for just a few dollars. And just as important, you don’t necessarily have to buy items that are Fourth of July specific. Just about anything that contains the colors red, white and blue – especially all three – will fit the bill.

Have a Bring-Your-Own-Food, Bring-Your-Own-Booze Party

Since Fourth of July celebrations tend to be highly informal, there is no need for you to provide an expensive spread even if the celebration is at your home. To cut down on the cost of food and alcohol, ask all of your guests to bring a prepared dish and their favorite alcoholic beverage.

This will not only save you money but it saves you a lot of time and reduces the chances you’ll run out!

Take Advantage of Public Locations and Public Events

If you aren’t going to host or attend a party, try to find a local parade or fireworks show to attend. They are almost always free of charge and your only challenge will be finding parking!

Fireworks displays are typically held in public parks, and are usually accompanied by other entertainment related events. This can include free concerts, all-day entertainment, and multiple activities for the kids. It might make for a fun and inexpensive all day celebration that involves zero cleanup on your part!

Keep It Simple

Lastly, remember that the Fourth of July is a largely informal celebration and an excuse to get together with friends and family. Don’t go overboard on the celebration, which can not only end up costing you a lot more money than you need to spend, but it could also lead to unnecessary stress.

Keep things as simple as possible, remember what it’s really about, and have fun.

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