How to Save Money and Have a Safer Fourth of July

Posted on 06/28/2012

How will you celebrate our country’s 236th birthday? For most people, the Fourth of July involves three things: food, fireworks and fun. Here are some tips to save money and have a safer Fourth of July.

Scale Back the Cookout Forbes estimates the average American will spend $54.62 on Fourth of July cookouts alone. That’s a lot of money when you consider that Independence staples like hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon are typically some of the best bargains in the grocery store this time of year. A great way to save money is to either scale back the guest list or asks friends to contribute some food. Most BBQ-goers won’t mind bringing a drink, side dish or dessert to share.

Leave the Fireworks to the Pros
In 2010, US emergency rooms reported treating nearly 9,000 people for fireworks-related injuries. Three-fourths of those injuries happened in the weeks before and after the Fourth of July. Want to save money and avoid a trip to the emergency room? Leave fireworks to the pros by attending a free public show instead of lighting them off yourself.

Avoid Alcohol
Expect law enforcement to be in full force around the Fourth of July holiday. Working to keep roads safe for travelers means they’ll also be looking for drunk drivers. Switch to a cheaper and safer beverage like iced tea, soda or lemonade and you’ll have a better chance of staying safe over the holiday. Plus you’ll avoid the fees associated with a DUI ticket. In Illinois for example, a DUI costs the perpetrator an average of $17,000 in fees, court costs and other expenses.

Keep Pets Indoors
Loud noises that usually accompany the Fourth of July can cause your normally sweet pet to bolt or become agitated. Experts say keeping pets indoors or in a secured kennel during the holiday will prevent them from getting away. If your furry family member does escape they could be injured or lost and looking for them will cost you time and money.

Stay off the Roads
According to AAA, July 4th is the deadliest holiday of the year, thanks in large part to fatal car crashes, many of which involve drunk drivers. Save money on gas—and avoid drunk drivers—by keeping your Fourth of July celebration close to home.

By Alison Storm

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