With July 4th right around the corner, a lot of us are planning to celebrate the anniversary of American independence by having over friends and family for a party. Whether it’s a yearly tradition or your first time hosting, here are some easy ways to make sure that your Independence Day extravaganza is both fun and affordable:
Make it a Potluck
Instead of assuming the burden of buying all the food and cooking for dozens of people, ask your guests to bring dishes too. You can provide the hot dogs and hamburgers, but guests should be encouraged to bring appetizers, desserts, or clever garnishes that can be added to the traditional holiday fare. It might also be a good idea to host a BYOB party: beer and liquor can add up quickly, and everyone has their own preference for what they like to drink. Provide a 24-pack of beer to get the party started and some mixers for anyone looking to make a cocktail–the rest can be left to your guests.
Don’t Overdo Decorations
There’s no point in getting carried away buying expensive decorations and dishware for a party that only rolls around once a year. Make a trip to your local Dollar Store, where you can find plasticware that conveniently comes in red, white and blue, and cheap decorations, like miniature American flags, that guests can take home as party favors. And instead of tablecloths, buy some butcher paper and crayons–kids will have a blast coloring, and you won’t have to worry about washing anything when the day is done.
Host During the Day
Like trees on Christmas morning, it’s hard to imagine the 4th of July without fireworks. But if you host your party while it’s still light out, nobody is going to be disappointed if there isn’t an elaborate light display. Have people over at 3 or 4pm instead of later, so that there’s plenty of time to hang out and celebrate before the nearest firework show starts. It might not be a bad idea to prepare a few activities to keep people entertained while they’re over: a volleyball net, board games and a karaoke system are just a few simple ideas.
Before going out of your way to buy or rent a new grill and patio chairs, try asking around and seeing if any of your neighbors or friends has what you need. Chances are good that someone you know will be happy to help out and let you borrow what they’ve got. Just make sure to invite them to the party as thanks.
Hosting a fun July 4th party doesn’t have to weight down your pocketbook. Use some or all of these tips to celebrate our nation’s independence with your loved ones while keeping costs down.
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