Father and daughter outdoors in a meadow on july 4th.

Fourth of July is around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, it has you thinking about a weekend on the lake, grilling outside and a fireworks shows. It’s a fun time, but if you’re the one throwing the party, it can be pricey.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have an awesome Fourth of July party.

From the decorations to the fireworks, we have tips to stay within budget and still have a day everyone will enjoy.

Decorations

This is where I usually go over budget. Walking into the store and seeing rows of outdoor décor and stars and stripes sends me into full-on party planning mode, and I leave with way more than I intended to buy. But adding simple touches can have just as much of an impact as decking out your whole house in a patriotic style.

Flags

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One of the easiest ways to incorporate an all-American theme is by using small American flags. You can usually buy them at the dollar store around this time of year. Just by adding a few of them, you can make a big impact.

Try placing them in a vase with flowers, or put a few in a glass jar to add something extra on the food table. You could even use some as a cake topper.

Red, White and Blue Touches

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You don’t have to have red, white and blue everything, but adding a few touches of those patriotic colors can go a long way.

Try using red, white and blue flowers for your centerpieces, in your paper goods, like napkins and plates, or even as focal points with lanterns or bunting.

Signage

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If you have a chalkboard or an empty picture frame laying around, this is a great option for you. A pretty hand-lettered chalkboard or pretty printed design doesn’t cost anything and can still embody the spirit of the holiday.

Try using traditional, Americana slogans like “Land of the free. Home of the brave.” “Let freedom ring,” or “Sweet land of liberty.” You could also try something cute like, “Snap. Crackle. Pop.” by the fireworks area or a simple, “Happy 4th of July.”

Food

Throw a Fourth of July Party Without Breaking the Bank - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Whenever I have people over, it can be tempting to get fancy and show off my culinary skills. The only problem with that is it can be kind of expensive. If you’re looking to stay within a budget and have a bunch of mouths to feed, keep it simple.

The easiest way to keep food costs down is to have a potluck. If you’re hosting, you can prepare a main dish and ask guests to bring their favorite side dishes and desserts.

If you don’t like the idea of a potluck, stick with backyard grilling classics like hot dogs and hamburgers. They’re filling and inexpensive.

Whatever you choose, when planning your menu, try to incorporate some red, white and blue into the food, too. It’s easiest to incorporate patriotic colors in desserts with food dye or berries, but you can also use it in your drinks. Red, white and blue food and beverages add to your décor, too, killing two birds with one stone.

Activities

Having an activity for your guests can make the day more enjoyable for everyone, and it doesn’t have to cost too much extra money.

Fireworks Station

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Image: UncommonDesignsOnline.com

Creating a small station of inexpensive fireworks (like sparklers) and firecrackers is a fun way to keep people entertained as you’re waiting for the main fireworks show. It’s great for kids, too!

You can also include fun extras like party poppers and paper lanterns.

Photo Booth

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Who doesn’t love a good photo op?

Create a Fourth of July photo backdrop for your guests to take silly selfies in front of. You can set out fun props too like patriotic top hats; red, white and blue accessories; and clever signs.

If you want to take it to the next level, think of a hashtag for your party so you can curate all the photos in one place.

Whether you use all of these tips or just mix and match a few, you’re sure to have a rockin’ Fourth of July blowout! Do you have more tips on how to throw a patriotic bash and stay on a budget? Share them with us in the Comments section.

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