8 Surprising Ways to Save on the Fourth of July

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The average Independence Day celebration costs $710, according to our recent Fourth of July spending survey. Yet most Americans plan to spend less than $100 on the holiday. The gap between those numbers shows that many people might struggle to keep their July Fourth costs on track.

With proper planning, you can celebrate the Fourth of July in style — without breaking the bank. Follow these July Fourth savings tips to get more fun out of the holiday with less expense.

1. Go coupon clipping for the Fourth of July

Before making any major purchases for your Independence Day celebration, take some time to check your weekly circulars and scout for coupons. You’re likely to find deals and coupons on a range of cookout items, from paper plates and cups to burgers, hot dogs, and buns.

Some fireworks stands even accept coupons. For example, TNT Fireworks offers $20 off a purchase of $100 or more at one of its stands. Depending on the laws in your state, your grocery store might even provide a discounted selection of fireworks.

2. Find a free fireworks show

One of the cheapest ways to get your fix of patriotic pyrotechnics is to attend a community fireworks show. The display will probably beat whatever you’d set off at your cookout or block party. It could be a safer alternative, too.

These fireworks displays are a great way to get outside this summer and mingle with members of your community. Best of all, they’re usually free to enjoy, so you can skip the average $85 most people plan to spend on fireworks, according to our July Fourth survey.

3. Buy fireworks at the last minute

As with many holidays, July Fourth paraphernalia is often discounted on the day of and immediately after. Since the Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, you could buy your fireworks the day after for more savings and celebrate this weekend instead.

Just be prepared for fireworks selections to be picked over. You might pay less but have a more limited selection to choose from.

4. Cook with what’s in season

Over one-half of people plan to spend more on food than on anything else for the Fourth of July, with food costs averaging $149, according to our July Fourth spending survey.

Luckily, summer has a lot of amazing food in season. Your holiday party is the perfect time to showcase these flavorful fresh foods that are often the cheapest they’ll be all year.

Several seasonal fruits could make for a colorful addition to your table spread. You could throw together a salad or skewers using these seasonal fruits: cherries, watermelon, blackberries, peaches, and plums. Or you could grill up veggies for a fresh side. Corn, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, and okra are in season.

5. Plan a low-cost cookout menu

An Independence Day cookout doesn’t have to cost a lot. The average holiday cookout can cost as little as $5.51 per person, according to an analysis from the American Farm Bureau Federation, with a menu that includes hot dogs, burgers, ribs, and all the usual fixings.

If you plan your cookout menu ahead of time, you can opt for low-priced alternatives at the store. Mixing together a cooler full of punch could cost a lot less than providing individual cans of soda, for example. You could also lower costs by cooking hot dogs and hamburgers instead of steaks, chicken breasts, or ribs.

6. Buy booze in bulk

If you’re providing alcoholic beverages for a large Independence Day get-together, don’t shy away from buying in bulk. You can save money at Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, or similar warehouse clubs or stores.

Boxed wine will fit right in with your July Fourth spread while providing more booze at a fraction of the price. A typical $15 box of wine will serve 20 glasses, according to Lifehacker. Compare that to a bottle of wine, which serves five glasses. That makes bottled wine four times more expensive than the boxed alternative.

You can skip the keg, however. When it comes to beer, a 24-pack can provide savings. Buying cans in bulk costs about the same per ounce, once all costs are included, according to an analysis from Clever Dude, a personal finance and lifestyle blog.

7. Ask party guests to chip in

Save yourself some costs and headaches by being thoughtful about what you ask guests to bring. You can decide on two or three main items you’ll supply, then divvy up the rest of your shopping list among attendees.

Don’t hesitate to ask your friends to contribute some big-ticket items, such as alcoholic beverages, patriotic decor, paper goods, and burgers or other meats. You could even ask for someone else to pick up fireworks or for each guest to pay $5 to attend.

8. Make the most of credit card rewards

A lot of July Fourth costs provide opportunities to earn credit card rewards. That’s because many of your purchases will fall into categories for which cards commonly offer above-average rewards.

Choosing the right credit card for different purchases can help you get more rewards and cash back. To save more at the supermarket, pull out the card that offers a higher percentage of cash back for grocery purchases. At the gas pump, make sure you swipe your card that offers the best rewards on gas.

No matter what your budget for the Fourth of July, you can celebrate the holiday in style. Follow these tips and you might have your best Independence Day in years — all while spending less.

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LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.58% APR to 14.87% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 12.575% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 16, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.28% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.