If you’re throwing a holiday party, setting a budget is crucial to avoid out of hand spending. Check out three areas you can save money on your 4th of July party below.
While decorations can lend to a fun atmosphere, they shouldn’t be the main focus of your party budget-that would be the food and the people. Don’t waste tons of money getting expensive items that will be thrown away. Instead, visit your local dollar store and pick up red, white, and blue items on the cheap. Sienna Beard on Cheat Sheet suggests using decorations sparingly, and explains that streamers, balloons, and other items in patriotic colors are sold year round and will be cheaper to buy than themed Fourth of July decorations. This rule also applies to paper goods like plates, cups, and napkins.
“Assigning certain items guarantees food you need instead of items you may already have stocked.”
Hosting a party can get expensive when you’re the one buying all the food. So don’t! Enlist your guests for help; people are always willing to pitch in when invited to a party. Assigning easy to bring items, like drinks or sides, helps keep costs low and eliminates some of the effort and stress. Many times guests will bring something even if they aren’t asked, so assigning certain items guarantees food you need instead of items you may already have stocked.
Making food from scratch can be infinitely cheaper than buying pre-made food or buying catered food. The Huffington Post offers suggestions on how to cook for your party and how to plan out your menu. One of these suggestions is to plan your menu based on the sales at your supermarket, and to make dessert that also doubles as patriotic decorations.
Perhaps the hardest part of Fourth of July parties is the entertainment. A good suggestion: leave the fireworks to your city if you live near a show. It can be hard to top the city firework display, and fireworks tend to be pricey, and even illegal, in many areas. To avoid dancing around regulations and laws, have some alternative entertainment. One option is to host the party earlier in the day-this means that your guests don’t have the expectations of fireworks since it’s not dark. This also leaves guests evening’s open if they want to attend any local firework shows. If you are set on fireworks, don’t literally burn through money by purchasing the expensive items- sometimes simple ones like sparklers, can get the job done. Oftentimes sparklers are more fun since they can be held without exploding in your face, and are relatively safe compared to many fireworks.
Fireworks are also another area where guests will be happy to bring their own stash. By combining guest fireworks, you have the potential of putting on quite a show.
Looking for more ideas beyond food and fireworks? There’s plenty! Surfnetkids has a list of Fourth of July party games that include themed tag, word games, and sidewalk art contests. If you’re looking for games that can easily cater to older crowds as well as youth, the Reader’s Digest has 10 more suggestions for you. Among these are costume contests, history competitions, patriotic scavenger hunts, and even baseball! Get creative and offer up activities that everyone will want to get involved in, whether it’s by participating or judging them.
Your Fourth of July party doesn’t have to be expensive and it’s very possible to do a party on a budget. Just remember, getting help with a party will cut down on costs and on stress levels, and friends and family are usually more than willing to help out. A party is about having a good time with good people, and it’s 100 percent possible to do that on a budget.
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