Hosting a 4th of July party is a great way to get your friends and family together for the celebration, but many people are put off by the potential costs. If you assume that you’d need to spend lots of money to throw an impressive party, think again. As long as you’re prepared to do a little more planning than you might otherwise have done, you can easily save across most areas without looking cheap or tacky. Here are some tips for hosting a 4th of July party that won’t hurt your budget too much and that will still be remembered for all of the right reasons:
American-themed table decorations can often be bought from dollar stores and your guests probably won’t even notice the difference. Balloons can also be bought inexpensively so you can buy some packs in red, white, and blue and use them to decorate the party area in patriotic colors. You don’t necessarily need to go overboard with the decorations and they can sometimes have greater impact if you use them more sparingly.
Make a list of who will be coming to the party and base your food around that to avoid serving more than your guests will eat. See if you can find coupons in your local paper or on websites like Coupon Mom to help you lower your food costs a little bit.
If you’re having a backyard barbecue, cooking burgers and steaks for multiple guests can become expensive, so think about alternative options like hot dogs. This way, you can still maintain an American theme without seeing your food costs spiral out of control. You might also ask your guests to bring along some potato chips or other snacks to help you out. Side dishes and drinks are all easy things that guests can bring, and they won’t feel like you’re a cheapskate for asking them.
Plastic utensils/cutlery, napkins and cups can be purchased cheaply from dollar stores if you don’t want to use your own or you don’t have enough to go around, but if you want to help the environment and save more money, use your own dishes and utensils and ask a good friend to borrow some of theirs so there’s enough for everyone to have a plate!
Again, asking your guests to bring their own isn’t a big deal. They might prefer it. The 4th of July is usually a casual affair, so sodas, beer, and lemonade usually work best!
Fireworks are a popular form of entertainment but it can be expensive and unsafe to have your own fireworks extravaganza. It’s likely that there will be a fireworks event in your area and it’s much cheaper to take everyone along to this and bring snack supplies so you’re not hitting up the refreshment stands. If there are no local fireworks events being held, look around for alternative entertainment options. For example, there might be a fair or a parade to enjoy nearby. You can also invite all of the neighbors over and combine your fireworks display in a big block-party type atmosphere.
Throwing a fabulous 4th of July party doesn’t need to break the bank. With some creativity and careful planning, it’s more than possible to impress your guests without going over budget, especially if you can persuade them to pitch in with food and drink to spread the costs around. Ultimately, it’s all about the company that will make it a good time.
(photo credit: StuSeeger)