How To

How to Be the Host with the Most Savings

The long weekend is here: Happy Fourth of July! Chances are you’ll be throwing or attending a festive celebration full of food, friends and a healthy dose of red, white and blue. If you fall on the hosting side of the party equation, you may be tempted to bust your budget on a soiree with lots of bells and whistles. But spend too much on supplies, and you may find your budget in the not-so-patriotic red before the second week of the month! Check out these tips to keep Independence Day free from over-spending:

Take Advantage of Local Festivities

Who said you have to pull out the grill on Independence Day? Meet up with friends at a free celebration, like a parade or fireworks display, and pack affordable snacks like carrots and hummus. If you’d still like to have people over after the show, snacks and board games are the perfect way to close out a fun day: watermelon, cookies and punch are delicious and affordable.

Keep It Casual

Pinterest and design-themed blogs inspire us to create beautiful experiences in our everyday lives. But they also can create some mighty high expectations, sometimes coupled with high budgets to match. When creating your party planning to-do list, don’t forget the time spent with friends and loved ones makes the most lasting memories – not pricey decorations or complicated dishes. Utilize items you already have at home to create a party environment: put tea lights in juice glasses or string Christmas lights outside to create a festive feel. Check out your local dollar store for kitschy, thematic ambience.

Add Color to Your Dishes

Meats for the grill can quickly butcher a budget! Instead of buying costly ribs and chicken breasts, consider throwing some vegetables in the mix and make kabobs! Colorful – not to mention nutritious – peppers, onions and tomatoes will cut your meat spending in half. Fresh fruit as dessert is another way to keep spending down, or to save more money: defrost frozen theme-ready strawberries and blueberries in the refrigerator and mix together just before guests arrive.

Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals

The allure of fireworks is understandable, but they are often dangerous. Fireworks injured more than 10,000 Americans last year, with nearly half of those injuries happening to young people under 20 years old. Also, fireworks are illegal in many states. Remember to be safe, sane and smart!