Here are a few tips to put on a great Fourth of July party without blowing your budget:
Decorations: Dollar stores are a great place to start. Look for red and blue towels as table cloths. They are easy to wash and the wind won’t blow them off the table.
Spray paint mason jars and put candles in them. Instead of balloons, consider tying beach balls to low tree limbs. Pull down the Christmas lights from your attic to light up your outside space.
With all our wet weather this spring and summer, mosquitoes are plentiful. Be sure to include some citronella or other bug-fighting items in your decorating to avoid any unwanted pests. Light any citronella products at least an hour before you expect guests.
Food: Good menu planning is essential to saving money. If you are a member at one of the membership warehouses, now is the time to take advantage of the great deals you can get on bulk items. Big savings can be found on paper plates, forks and food bought in bulk.
Decide on your menu and avoid last-minute additions. Make a list of what you will need and then use area sales and coupons to save.
Great menu ideas: Kabobs with seasonal vegetables and marinated proteins are a great way to save money: They take less protein and typically use less expensive cuts such as London broil or flat iron steak. Marinate the meats properly so they are tender.
Pasta salad can be a cheap and healthier alternative to chips. Use seasonal vegetables and salad dressing to create a great side dish.
Desserts don’t need to be complicated. Consider watermelon or cookies and cupcakes.
Drinks can be a huge part of your budget. Consider letting guests bring their own alcoholic beverages and you supply the rest. Make a summer punch, buy two-liter sodas and provide pitchers of fruit-infused water.
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