Independence Day is a wonderful time of year to celebrate with friends and loved ones. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities and barbecuing that makes for an all day event. Money shouldn’t be an excuse not to enjoy the fourth and celebrate our nation’s independence. Here are a few quick tips to enjoy Independence Day without being dependent on someone else for the bill.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the 4th of July are the fireworks. They are easily the most memorable aspect of celebrating our nation’s independence each year. Their hisses and booms can be heard all day while people bask the warm summer weather. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy them.
More likely than not there will be a free fireworks display somewhere within driving distance. They are great events for families and friends. Plan ahead of time and figure out where you’re going to park. These events always attract large groups of people and vendors trying to gouge prices for parking spots. You will also want to avoid wasting gas sitting in traffic due to everyone trying to leave at once. Plan to leave later or pick a place far enough from the event to avoid the smog bog afterwards. Consider parking a few miles away and make a bike trip during the day to the event location.
If there are no shows nearby consider teaming up with a neighbor to split the costs for a neighborhood fireworks display. You can get decent sized fireworks package for ~$20 or less. If a big fireworks display isn’t a must for you, just stick with sparklers. There are cheap and kids love them. If you are looking at cheap fireworks, stay away from the snakes. I remember getting so excited after picking out one with a big cobra on the package in a fireworks tent, only to be let down by the lackluster pile of ash it metamorphosized into.
You can always avoid the sweat, smoke, and pesky mosquitoes and catch a fireworks show on TV. There is bound to be a huge show on network TV, not to mention it will probably be bigger than anything you can muster together.
Plan an outdoor activity for the day. A bike ride or hike in a nearby park doesn’t cost a dime. It is also a wonderful opportunity to play some outdoor sports. If you are playing an event, think of some activities your guests might enjoy. Potato sack and three legged races, water balloon tosses, and good ‘ole Frisbee all hardly cost anything to put together.
If you are planning a barbecue, check to see if you can save by buying in bulk. Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring a side dish. I’m sure most of them will offer to when you invite them, so make a list ahead of time to make sure everything is covered. Don’t be afraid to ask people to throw in money if they can spare it. They should have no problem sparing a few bucks to reimburse the hardworking host for the money and time they have spent.