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Looking to throw a rocket of a 4th of July party on a sparkler budget?
You’re in luck: some of the best parts of Independence Day (The great outdoors! Neighborly gathering! Late night sky gazing!) don’t cost a penny.
And the rest can be done on the cheap if you’re savvy.
Embrace the potluck.
The easiest way to save on food expenses is to not spend at all – have your guests bring the grub instead!
The 4th of July cookout lends itself perfectly to the widely embraced practice.
To make things easy for your guests, assign them a broader category (like “side veggie”) instead of a specific request (kale chips).
Giving them the freedom to choose is not only on theme for the holiday, it also allows for a little creativity and leads to an eclectic, inspired spread.
Play it vintage.
Yard games are like fine wines.
No, really! The classics only get better with age.
But unlike wine, you can score awesome used croquet sets, bocce balls or badminton rackets on the cheap.
Check out Craigslist and eBay for wallet-friendly finds.
No birthday party is complete without tunes, and America’s is no exception.
Before buying tracks to create the perfect 4th of July mix, check out ready-made, free playlist options on Spotify, last.fm and Pandora.
Bonus points if the playlists contain super-hip songs that appear to be hand-selected.
Ditch the disposable dishware.
Paper plates and plastic silverware may eliminate dish duty, but they add to the trash heap at the local landfill and present a surprisingly high (but easily avoidable) expense.
Tip: If you don’t have enough dishes to go around, try focusing your BBQ around finger foods.
Serve a signature drink.
Alcohol is easily one of the biggest expenses of any party.
Find a happy medium between breaking the bank and reviving Prohibition by limiting your supply to a signature drink.
Serving concoctions like the Pop Rocks-lined Red White and Blue Cocktail or a pitcher of Bourbon-laced LiberTea is a festive way to avoid playing bartender and running up a massive tab at the liquor store.
On your invitations, indicate the signature drink that will be served and encourage your guests to BYOB if they’re not a fan of it.