LIFESTYLE

Plan Your 4th of July Party Without Breaking Your Budget

LONDON - AUGUST 27: Carl from Jamaica cooks up Jerk Chicken during the Notting Hill Carnival on August 27, 2006 in London, England. People from all over the world meet in Notting Hill to watch the parade, dance to the massive street sound systems and eat traditional food from all over the world, cooked on the hundreds of stalls that line the streets. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)

LONDON - AUGUST 27: Carl from Jamaica cooks up Jerk Chicken during the Notting Hill Carnival on August 27, 2006 in London, England. People from all over the world meet in Notting Hill to watch the parade, dance to the massive street sound systems and eat traditional food from all over the world, cooked on the hundreds of stalls that line the streets. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)  (2006 Getty Images)

Everyone looks forward to the yearly 4th of July cook out. It’s a time to fire up the grill and enjoy the day with our family and friends.

But the last thing you want to happen is to have the July 4th festivities blow your weekly or monthly grocery budget. Planning properly is the key to save money for everyone attending your party.

As host, here’s the cookout game plan that’s always worked for me.

E-mail or text the anticipated attendees and let them know everyone will be bringing their "signature dish" to the cookout and you need to know what they are bringing a few days before. Make sure you include in your e-mail that everyone needs to bring 2 large empty food storage containers with them…I’ll get to these later.

  1. Make it a fun event by forwarding the ‘signature dishes’ as they are emailed to the other attendees to build the excitement.
  2. Once you receive all the signature dishes you’ll know exactly what you need as host to compliment those dishes.
  3. Once everyone has eaten and the clean up begins, bring out the 2 large food storage containers for everyone to take home a few of their favorite items leftover from the cookout.

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There’s nothing like everyone pitching in and then going home with another meal for their families. It’s a ‘win/win’ for all. And don’t forget the evening fireworks to put a great finish to your day!

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Yoly Mason writes about frugality and savings tips and tricks in her popular Spanish written blog Cuponeando.net.

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