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Save on your Fourth of July BBQ with these simple swaps

The cost of your Fourth of July cookout should be slightly lower than 2022's inflated prices. But there are ways to save even more.
Posted at 6:52 AM, Jun 30, 2023

Being a party host these days is expensive. Despite inflation leveling off this year, if you're throwing a Fourth of July bash, you may want to know about a few simple swaps that could help you save money.

JP Homan is the beef purchasing manager at Lehr's Prime Meats, a very busy shop on the days before the Fourth of July.

Shoppers like Steve Misla were looking over the rows of fresh steak in their display cases and stocking up for the big day.

"I'm buying deviled eggs, green beans, and beef kabobs," he said.

Fourth of July cookout items, including a cheeseburger, chips, beans and ketchup.

The cost of grilling out this Fourth of July is less than last year

Despite high inflation, grilling out this year might be cheaper than a year ago as several July Fourth staples have fallen in price.

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No need for top-cut steaks

If you're planning a cookout, you know beef prices are still high.

But Homan says the great thing about the Fourth is that it doesn't require pricey steaks.

"Especially the Fourth of July," he said. "It's not Father's Day when you want a good steak. People are happy with burgers."

And to save even more, he suggests you swap pricey ground round or sirloin for cheaper ground chuck.

More good news this Independence Day: The American Farm Bureau Federation found a July Fourth cookout will cost about 3% less than last year.

It says a cookout for 10 people should cost about $67, excluding soda or alcohol.

Simple ways to save

But prices are still high compared to two years ago, which is why smart shopping expert Trae Bodge suggests you host a potluck.

"It's something that's fun for everyone to contribute to," she said. "And then, that way, you're not struggling with this huge bill."

She says now is also the time to utilize your wholesale club membership at stores like Costco or Sam's Club.

"Especially if you're going to be using paper plates or other serving items," she said. "You can buy those in bulk."

Finally, when it comes to "extras" like ketchup and mustard, she suggests you stick to generics rather than expensive brand names.

"A generic product is often made in the same factory as the brand name," she said. "So buy generic; it's totally fine."

Electricity bill paper form on the table

Tips to save on your energy bill this summer

Americans spend an average of $137 per month on their energy bill, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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When to buy prime steaks

Still want that fancy steak?

Homan, who watches beef prices weekly, says to wait until after July 4, when demand and prices drop.

"We are just above pre-COVID numbers on beef prices, and soon enough, they will be down again," he said.