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Save on your 4th of July barbecue despite record-high grocery prices

Kroger, Publix, Walmart and other stores offering big savings for the holiday.
A hot dog served with ketchup and mustard.
Posted at 7:25 AM, Jul 01, 2024

Fireworks blast off for the Fourth of July, but there's no need to blow up your budget while putting together that backyard barbecue. With grocery prices as high as ever, we found some ways to trim your July Fourth spending.

Save on meat for your grill

We turned to Kristen Bailey, owner of a string of barbecue food trucks, Sweets and Meats BBQ, and an expert on summertime grilling.

Bailey said your best bet to save money is avoiding steak and beef brisket.

"I don't know how the steakhouses are doing it right now," she said while working one of her food trucks.

So what does she suggest? Bailey said chicken and pork are less than half the price.

"Chicken quarters and chicken drumsticks (but not wings) have come down a bit in price," she said.

"We are also finding pulled pork, pork shoulders — boneless or bone-in — to be very cost-effective," she added.

And of course, hot dogs are always among your most budget-friendly grilling items.

Grocery store deals

But before you light the grill, you will need to hit the grocery store.

Heather Frye, marketing director of Rivertown IGA, said many stores this week will be lit up with red, white and blue deals for your cookout.

"We have burgers, hot dogs, brats, metts, ketchup, mustard and more on sale," she said.

Many stores are also offering extra digital deals on their apps this week.

Kroger stores in many markets have burger or hot dog buns for 99 cents with a digital coupon.

And Publix, in certain areas, is advertising pork chops or ground chuck for just $3.99 a pound.

In the meantime, Walmart has big discounts on propane and charcoal grills, coolers and lawn chairs.

Don't forget discount retailers

Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge said it is best to be strategic about where you buy your July Fourth staples.

"Maybe I'll order some things online," she said, "and then I'll go to my wholesale club."

"Clubs like Sam's, Costco and BJ's are great for stocking up for larger group gatherings," she said.

Keep in mind Costco stores are closed on the Fourth of July, and Sam's Club has shorter hours.

"Then if I need picnic decorations or paper products," she said, "perhaps I'll go to a dollar store to get some of that decor."

Bodge said don't be afraid to pivot if your original food plan is just too expensive.

Bailey agreed and said if you stick with a simple meal, you'll still have a great cookout. She said there is no need for expensive steaks on a holiday like this.

And that way you don't waste your money.

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