Like the rockets responsible for the legendary red glare, 4th of July business is booming! According to a National Retail Federation report, Americans spent more than $7 billion on Independence Day celebrations last year. That figure is pretty steep — especially when you consider that America only spent $151 million (approximately $2.4 billion when adjusted for current inflation) on the Revolutionary War itself.
With our country’s birthday quickly approaching, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to show your star-spangled spirit without overspending on the festivities. We’re happy to report it’s entirely possible, especially if you follow these five tips:
1. Use DIY or dollar store decorations.
Thanks to Pinterest and your local dollar store, it’s easier than ever to stretch your decoration dollars. Before you spend your hard-earned money on red, white, and blue decorations from big box stores or trendy boutiques, see if you can give the holiday a personal touch with some simple DIY projects. If you don’t have enough time to get crafty, swing by the dollar store and load up your patriotic cart for less.
2. Host a BBQ potluck.
There’s nothing like celebrating the 4th with family, friends, and food. But just because you’re the one hosting the party, doesn’t mean you should foot the entire food bill. If you’re going to grill out, consider providing the main course (burgers, hot dogs, chicken, etc.) and asking your guests to bring their favorite fixings, dessert, and sides. While everyone gets to show off their individual tastes, you get to hang on to more of your hard-earned cash.
3. BYOB. If your gathering is going to include adult beverages, there are a few great reasons to adopt a BYOB policy. First, when everyone brings their own beverage, they’re sure to have something they enjoy. Second, unlike kid-friendly sodas and juice boxes, grown-up drinks can be pricey. Just like buying a round at the bar, providing beer or wine for all your cookout guests can put a serious dent in your budget.
4. Do not BYOF.
Not familiar with this abbreviation? BYOF stands for “Buy Your Own Fireworks.” And if you’ve ever experienced the sticker shock that happens in a fireworks store, you know exactly why purchasing your own explosives can be dangerous to your wallet (not to mention your health and safety). Check your local news outlets and social media accounts for information on community fireworks shows instead.
5. Plan for next year.
One of the best things about 4th of July festivities is that the theme is always the same. That means you can score some incredible deals on Independence Day trinkets and decorations by shopping on July 5th and beyond. Since most stores don’t want to hold holiday inventory for an entire year, they often offer drastic discounts that will let you pick up next year’s decorations for much less.
However you choose to commemorate our nation’s birthday, a little creativity and advanced planning can help you celebrate in style — and within your budget.