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After being stuck inside for so long, I’ve never been so ready to throw some hot dogs on the grill and have myself a holiday BBQ. That said, I’ve spent the last few months online-shopping my little heart out, so I’m in need of some cheap barbecue ideas that will help my party look amazing but not cost me a million dollars. Fortunately, this is far from impossible, as you can create the ultimate Fourth of July barbecue without spending much money at all. Even with decorations, cocktails, food and games, there are ways to save your cash while still hosting an incredible celebration.
From creative ways to dress up your table to little details sure to delight all your guests, there are myriad ways to create a fun—and inexpensive—at-home barbecue that still feels festive. For decor, you can snag some cute banners to hang or even try filling up some clear balloons with red, white and blue confetti for a fun accent that works indoors or outdoors. To eat, stock up on BBQ basics and ask friends to bring some sides. Find a cute and cheap ensemble that will look oh-so-good on Instagram. Make some delicious cocktails and batch drink recipes for everyone to enjoy. See what I mean? The possibilities are endless—and if you plan accordingly, you don’t have to spend a ton of coin.
To help get you started, we’ve rounded up some easy at-home barbecue ideas that will make any party amazing (while also saving you major dollars). It doesn’t take much to make your July Fourth barbecue memorable, and these ideas make it easier—and cheaper—than you could have ever imagined. Fire up the grill, because this will be one Fourth of July you won’t soon forget.
1. Put Up Fun & Inexpensive Decor
Whether you’re outside or inside, decorations make a difference at any party. Luckily, you don’t have to spend much to create a super cute space. By hanging up a cute pennant garland, string lights or even streamers, you can take your barbecue to the next level in seconds. We suggest snagging a few decor items in shades of red and blue that feel festive but aren’t too holiday-specific, too, so you can continue to use them all summer long, rather than just on the Fourth of July.
2. Make Some Cocktails
Having libations on-hand at any barbecue is a must, so go ahead and whip up some tasty drinks. If you’re expecting quite a few people at your event, you can save cash by making drinks in big batches, rather than serving up individual cocktails. Big-batch cocktails allow folks to serve themselves—and you can cut your costs by buying in bulk. Or, if you’d rather not make your own, you can always grab some canned cocktails to serve in a cooler along with beer.
3. Set Up A Picnic Area
If you have some cute towels, quilts or blankets around your house, you can lay them out in your yard to create a fun picnic vibe. Your guests can soak in the sun, watch neighborhood fireworks and just sit and munch on some good food. If you don’t have any extra blankets lying around, though, there are plenty inexpensive picnic blankets online that you’ll get plenty of use out of all summer.
4. Try Some Easy Recipes
Arguably the best part about any barbecue is the food. Even if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, there are still plenty of easy Fourth of July recipes you can try—and many of them don’t cost much to make. Staples like hot dogs, hamburgers and delicious side dishes are easy to find and keep costs low. In addition, you can also turn your barbecue into a potluck and have all your friends bring a dish to share!
5. Play A Few Games
If you’re looking for some free entertainment at your barbecue, organize a few games for your guests to play. These could be anything from charades—with a Fourth of July theme!—to games like an egg toss or relay race. You don’t have to spend extra money to make sure your friends and family have a great time at your barbecue. Even if you’re stuck inside, you can play some fun online games and keep the party going.
6. Set A Pretty Table
Indoors or out, it’s always worth it to set a pretty table. You can use fun placemats, fill jars with colorful candies and put out some gorgeous flowers—all easy and inexpensive decor ideas! Barbecues are a time when you can use disposable plates, napkins and cultery, too, which makes cleaning up a breeze. If you’d rather not spend any cash, though, you can always use your own plates and silverware, and add some cute little decorations to each setting (like a red, white and blue ribbon tied around the cutlery!).
7. Make A Fun Playlist
A party without music? No such thing. Make your barbecue a memorable one by creating a fun playlist of upbeat songs that sound like summertime. Whether you’re a fan of country music, pop or hip hop, you can tailor your playlist to what you and your friends love. Or, if you need a little inspiration, you can just turn on Spotify’s 4th of July Party playlist!
8. Light Some Sparklers
Leave the fireworks to the professionals this holiday, and break out some fun sparklers instead. Once the sun goes down, you can break out the sparklers for some after-dark fun. Use them to write your name in the air, run around creating a stream of light or have a photoshoot while you pose. Just stay safe and make sure you keep the sparks clear of anything flammable!
9. Wear A Barbecue-Chic Outfit
Last—but certainly not least—is the addition of a barbecue-chic look. Whether it be a cute striped jumpsuit, a trendy crop top and high-waisted shorts or even a red, white and blue bikini, deck yourself out in a Fourth of July outfit and prepare for an Instagram photo-op. If you want to get even more into it, you can give yourself an at-home Fourth of July manicure or makeup look. Just have fun with it, and you’re sure to look amazing.
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