The 4th of July is right around the corner and many families like to celebrate by having cookouts. However, cookouts can get quite expensive. There are ways though that you can save money on this special, once a year event. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Use Dollar Stores for Decorations and Paper Goods
If you look around your local Dollar Stores, you will find lots of really cool decorations just perfect for your event. I have especially found great decorations at the “everything is a dollar” type dollar stores. They seem to have a great selection. You can also save a ton on paper goods and flatware at these types of stores if you choose to use these items. So give the Dollar Stores a chance to save you lots of money on your event.
Ditch the Paper Goods
This is a personal choice as paper plates and cup save so much time, but you could save even more money by choosing to use plates, cups, etc from your house. This could save you as much as $20. That could be worth the effort it take s to clean-up and better yet you are saving the environment.
Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Looking for cheaper cuts of meat can really save you money. You can also usually find lots of these kinds of meats on sale during this time. Some include hot dogs, ground beef, and chicken. Try to avoid more expensive cuts of meat like shrimp, steaks, and ham, unless you can find a sale on these items.
There is nothing wrong with asking your guest to bring a dish. You will have lots more food and a lot less work for yourself. Most people love to bring a dish, so don’t think twice about asking them. Just make sure you let them know what the main dish is going to be so they can plan around that.
Serve Cheaper Drinks
You can spend a lot of money on drinks if you are not careful. Your guests would probably be happy with just lemonade and water instead of pop and harder drinks. Lemonade and water are also very refreshing and cheaper for you. You can even make homemade lemonade to make it look fancier.
Look For Sales
At this time of year, you can find great sales on cook out type foods, especially side items like ketchup, mustard, pickles, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce. I recently purchased a brand name mustard for only 50 cents! What a great deal! I did this by matching a coupon with a sale. What a great time to stock up on these items! So take advantage of this time of year sales to make your cook out more frugal.
Make It Yourself
You can save lots of money by making your own breads and desserts. There are a ton of great summer dessert recipe ideas online. So, choose something you think your guests will like and make it yourself. You can also make your own hamburger and hot dog buns with a little practice. I have also found in season fruit to be on sale during this time of year, so you could just make your dessert around those types of fruit or the fruit itself.
Wishing you and your family and friends a happy and frugal 4th of July!