Like most families, we’re celebrating July 4th with a mix of fireworks, parade, and of course BBQ. If you’re planning to chow down with friends and family this Independence Day, let LOZO help you save with money saving tips on that big feast!
So, here’s how my family and I are doing it:
Use Grocery Coupons! Just like for your regular weekly trips, shopping with grocery coupons can save 50% or more on your bill for the 4th. And it’s even easier than you might think. Instead of spending hours hunting through newspapers, come to LOZO.com for 100s of free printable grocery coupons, all in one place. You can easily select categories (like meat, dips, or chips) and search for your favorite brands. I created a special coupon bundle you can use to get popular BBQ coupons in one click! You can also let LOZO do the searching for you, just enter your grocery list at LOZO.com and we’ll email you grocery coupons that are custom-matched to items on your list. I mean, it’s summer after all… we don’t want you to work too hard for these coupons!
- Create a Menu Based on Coupons & Sales. Well, now that you’ve got your coupons, take a look at what sales are taking place in your favorite local grocery store. Find out what food & condiments are selling at the best prices and—bingo!—you’ve got your meal planned out. If you can find a great deal on chicken and barbeque sauce, chicken it is! If you find a better deal on ground beef, ketchup and Kraft cheese, well then…bring on those cheeseburgers! For drinks, make your own pitchers lemonade and iced tea. They are better thirst quenchers than soda, and cost a lot less too when you use mixes.
- United We Stand. This country became great by standing together and joining toward one common cause. With that spirit in mind, rely on friends and family to help out. Let Betty bring her famous potato salad and Cousin John bring his favorite ‘flavor’ of beer. We’ll all work together to create one heck of a great pot luck dinner. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.
- The Land of Plenty…But Don’t Go Overboard. Leftovers are great, but you don’t want to have so much that the food will go to waste. Try to estimate how much food and drink you’ll need to keep your family and friends satisfied. Of course, there’s no exact science to this, but here are some questions to consider. How many sides will you have? If you you plan to have 5 side dishes, you can expect that folks will be eating more of the BBQ meat. If you’ve got 25 side dishes, you can expect they’ll be loading up on those and eating a bit less meat. And, how many kids (with smaller appetites) versus adults (with bigger appetites)? And if you do have leftovers, be sure to eat or store them before they go bad. Check out StillTasty.com for some great tips on how long different foods will last and the best ways to store them.
- Who Likes Free Music? We Like Free Music! Remember the old days when “free music” meant you stole it from the internet? Or the even older days when it meant you got a hand-me-down cassette tape of music you don’t even like from an older sibling (who you probably didn’t like at the time either)? Well, those days are over. Now there are tons of legit ways to listen to free music, but one of my favorites is Pandora. At this point most folks know it, but in case you don’t: it’s online radio you can get on your computer, smartphone, iPad, etc. Simply type in the name of a band you like and they’ll “create” a radio station made up of songs from that band and other bands that are similar to them. So, you may even discover a new band or two in the process. Another cool, lesser-known option is to download free music from Amazon.com. They have thousands of MP3 songs that are actually $0.00 (our favorite price)!
- Skip the Paper Plates. Convenient, yes. Cheaper, no. Using your own dishes and utensils will save you money and be better for the environment. (Although, if you don’t own a dishwasher, you have my full support in pretending you never read this tip. As a guy who lived for a few years without a dishwasher, I know first-hand that sometimes you just have to take the more expensive route).
- Red, White & Blue…and Hopefully Only a Buck or Two. Decorations are great, but there’s no need to spend an arm and a leg on them. If you’ve got a classic red and white checkered table cloth, you’re already off to a great start. Then see what else you’ve got around the house that could extend the theme. And don’t restrict yourself. Try to be creative and come up with ideas… anything that’s red, white or blue might work! Do you have blue bowl for the potato salad? Or some red candles left over from Christmas? Even red, white or blue sheets that could be shaped to hang like banners off the back porch. And, how about the food? Perhaps some blue corn chips to go with that bright red salsa? Or blueberries to go with the red, sliced watermelon (or strawberries or raspberries or apples)? Get as far as you can with items that you already own, then pop down to the dollar store to get a few inexpensive decorations to fill in the gaps.
So, that’s the scoop. All of our favorite ways to save money your Independence Day BBQ.
Happy 4th of July!