4th of July drinks

Budget-Friendly Fourth of July Party Ideas

As darkness falls on the Fourth of July, Americans around the country gather to watch vibrant fireworks displays commemorating the patriotic holiday. But before the fireworks illuminate the night skies, Independence Day celebrations like backyard barbecues, pool parties, and parades will take center stage.

Hosting a party can get expensive, but we’ve compiled a list of Fourth of July party ideas that might keep your budget in check so you can still enjoy the summer fun.

1. Red, White, and Blue

Decorations are a great way to set the mood of the party. You could consider discount stores when you’re looking for patriotic accents to add some festive flair. You may be able to find tablecloths, paper products, mini American flags, and more all at a discounted price.

DIY Fourth of July party ideas may be a good way to cut costs on decorations. You could make a quick red, white, and blue bunting to jazz up your deck or front porch. Even a small bouquet of fresh flowers from the grocery store could add a warm touch to the space.

Another idea? You might ask your guests to wear red, white, or blue. Even without decorations, the party will feel festive as your guests arrive sporting the colors of the American flag.

2. Keeping Everyone Cool

During the long, hot days of July, is there anything as refreshing as a swim? If you’re fortunate enough to have a pool, you might want to let guests know that swimming is an option so they can come prepared with a swimsuit, towel, and any pool toys. This way you won’t have to worry about providing towels for all of your guests.

If you don’t have a pool but know some children might attend the festivities, you could hook up a sprinkler the little ones can run through to cool off. If older teens or pre-teens are in attendance, you could consider organizing a water balloon fight. A few dozen red, white, and blue balloons could make it even more festive.

If your guests will be spending the majority of the day outside, you might also want to make sure there are opportunities for taking a break in the shade, under umbrellas, trees, or sunshades.

3. Ready, Set, Play!

Having activities at a party keeps guests busy and breaks the ice to encourage mingling. You might keep the activities simple, especially if you have people swimming. Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive—you could set up some lawn games like bocce or corn hole.

If there are kids attending, summertime staples like chalk and bubbles might be a big hit. You could even set up a craft station for kids to make patriotic necklaces or popsicle stick flags .

4. Preparing Food on the Cheap

Nothing says summer like an outdoor picnic. If you’re looking for Fourth of July barbecue party ideas, summertime classics like hot dogs and burgers are typically crowd pleasers that don’t have to run up a grocery bill.

You could also consider marinating some chicken and tossing it on the grill for a tasty meal. If any vegetarians are attending, a hearty salad or some meaty grilled mushrooms or other veggies might please their palates.

As you plan your menu, you might want to pay attention to flyers and sales at the grocery store in the week or two before the Fourth of July. When a non-perishable item on your list goes on sale, you could scoop it up so you get it at a good price.

Then you’ll only have to worry about grabbing the perishable products a day or two before the event. Plus, in the hot summer weather, people tend to eat less, so you might stick with refreshing foods and beverages, like watermelon and fresh lemonade, that will please a crowd.

To cut your budget even further, you could make the event a potluck and ask your friends to bring a side dish, appetizer, or dessert. Not only could that cut down the budget, you also might end up with less prep to do before the party.

5. Remembering the Drinks

Spending hours mingling by the pool watching the kids swim is all fun and games, but hydration is still important during those hot summer days. You could set a cooler outside with drinks so people can help themselves.

To keep things organized, you could keep alcoholic beverages in one cooler and nonalcoholic beverages in another.

An ice cold beer might be a refreshing treat on a hot summer day, but you could also serve patriotic cocktails for the 21+ crowd. (And here’s a fun fact to share with your guests: Having a drink was a part of historical Fourth of July celebrations, as it was tradition to toast to each of the 13 original colonies .)

6. It’s Okay to Ask for Help

If there’s something on your list you just don’t have, you could ask a friend to lend you a hand. Need extra seating? You might ask a few neighbors or guests to bring any folding chairs they have available. And things like platters, serving utensils, and folding tables are fairly easy to transport. Borrowing some things could be a big budget saver.

7. Looking Out for the Fireworks

Fireworks and the Fourth of July have been a pair since the first Independence Day celebration in 1777 , in Philadelphia. Now, cities all over the country organize fireworks displays.

A free display in a nearby town could be a big budget saver, especially if you can see the fireworks from your own backyard. And if you want to add some sparkle to your party, you could stick with something on a smaller scale, like sparklers.

Keeping Your Budget Intact

It can be tempting to go all out for every holiday, but going above and beyond can be exhausting—for you and your wallet. Hopefully, you’ll be able to enjoy a fun, festive Fourth of July this year without going over budget. One thing that could help you keep your finances in check is a checking and savings account with SoFi Checking and Savings®.

SoFi Checking and Savings allows you to save, spend, and earn all in one product. And all the while, you can be earning a high interest rate (subject to change).

With SoFi Checking and Savings, there are no ATM fees at 55,000+ ATMs worldwide (subject to change).

Learn more about how SoFi Checking and Savings can fit into your financial picture.

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