Oh, Fourth of July Weekend. It’s a time to celebrate our nation’s independence in a quiet, reverent way.
Who am I kidding? It’s a time for hot dogs, grills, patios, and scaring the living daylights out of the pets of our nation. America!
If you’re anything like the stereotypical American (and hey, so am I), you’re going to be grilling this weekend. Barbecues abound this time of year, and there’s nothing like the taste of food that has visible grill marks.
But all that grilling can get expensive. Fear not! For we have provided you with ways to eat grilled food without breaking the bank!
5 Ways to Save Money at a BBQ This Weekend
1. Do NOT Host
Think about it. One cannot host a BBQ and save money. So, if you were thinking about hosting this weekend, cancel. Tell your friends there’s asbestos in your grill and moths in your hammock. Now, you don’t have to clean your house, buy paper plates, put gas in the grill (or charcoal, if you’re kicking it old school), or provide everyone with their own red Solo cup and a supply of Sharpies so people can name their beverages.
2. Two Words: Grilled Squirrel
Be careful, because your road kill needs to be fresh. Do not bring spoiled meat to anyone’s barbecue or there’s a zero percent chance you’ll be invited back. It also needs to be cleaned and turned into something that looks like meat, not like an animal. But it won’t cost you anything but time, and if you happen to hit the squirrel yourself, you will know exactly how fresh it is.
3. Crash a Stranger’s BBQ
Know of barbecues going on that you’re not invited to? If not, walk outside and follow your nose to the smoky smell of grilled meats. Show up at these barbecues! But don’t bring anything. Stay for a hot dog, mingle with the guests, then leave before the hosts notice there’s a stranger in their midst. Note: this does not work well for barbecues your friends are shutting you out of, because you’re sure to be spotted.
4. Bring the Cheapest Thing from the Store
If you can’t find any fresh road kill, you’re going to have to go shopping. Even the cheapest among us know we can’t go to a BBQ empty handed. So, head to the holiday section (you’ll know it by the stars, stripes, and banners, and hey, if you can’t find it, just ask someone!) and look for something cheap to bring. I’m talking hot dog buns, a pack of napkins, some ketchup and mustard… anything, as long as it’s under the $5 mark.
5. Have the Neighbors Buy the Fireworks
When you buy fireworks from the firework stand, you do know that you’re literally going to be setting that on fire. Would you set money on fire? No! I didn’t think so. So, skip the fireworks, and when it gets dark, bring a lawn chair to your neighbor’s house and watch them burn money. Do not ask to use a sparkler or to set anything on fire. Remember, they spent good money on this!
And Now, Links from Our Internet Neighbors
- The Oatmeal made a handy “this is America, this is what we do here” guide for anyone who happens to come to our fair country without any idea of what goes on. If that’s you, Happy Canada Day, friend!
- The World Cup Finals are Sunday! The matchup this time is US and Japan, two countries that used to be serious enemies, but are now friends. Except when it comes to soccer. USA! USA! USA!
- Lindsey wrote about the dash mat principle, which at first glance, looked like a typo, but in fact was a strong warning to stay diligent, even when you’re making a big-ticket purchase. Don’t let the salesperson talk you into anything you don’t need.
- This is an awesome collection of resources from an unlikely source: a law firm brought together a bunch of our friends and asked them about their favorite financial tools. Check it out — you may see some familiar faces!
- Wise Bread listed seven affordable meats to bring to a BBQ (although it would have been eight if they’d remembered squirrel)
In all seriousness, have fun this weekend, and stay safe!