In my opinion, one of the most fun things about being an adult is being able to host parties and entertain! I know that entertaining can seem kind of daunting, but I promise that it’s really not that hard. As always, I’m an advocate for doing things on a budget, so today, I’m going to share some tips on and tricks for how to have an amazing 4th of July party without breaking the bank.
July 4th is one of my favorite holidays- what’s to love about it? It celebrates patriotism and being an American, it highlights the colors of our flag, and the holiday falls in the summer. Mr. NavigatingAdulthood and I usually throw a 4th of July themed party. Here are my top tips for how you can have a patriotic 4th of July celebration on a budget.
Here is a table of contents for easy navigation:
- Inexpensive Decoration Ideas
- Creative Ways To Consume Alcohol
- Patriotic Appetizer Ideas
- Red, White, and Blue Main Dish Ideas
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4th of July Party- Inexpensive Decoration Ideas
If you’re hosting a 4th of July Party, a few inexpensive decor ideas can really pull the party together. If you’re thinking to yourself, “This is a lot of red, white, and blue” you are correct. However, we’re celebrating America’s birthday, so we have to go big!
- Patriotic Tablecloth: I like this understated tablecloth because it has the colors of the American flag, but the pattern isn’t too assertive. This one is a great deal for under $6. A white or red solid-colored tablecloth would also be a great idea.
- 14ft American Flag Pennant Banner: Pennant banners are one of those craft projects that I always think I can tackle, but then I realize that I’m better off just buying it. This 14 ft banner is less than $4, making it an absolute steal!
- Red White Blue Star Streamers: These stars would add a whimsical touch to any party setting. The paper stars are sewn onto the string, so you can use them outside even if it’s windy without fear of the streamers being stripped of the stars.
- Red, White, and Blue Inflatable Bar Cooler: If you’re hosting an outdoor party, this is a great way to keep your drinks cold. Once you’re done, you can deflate it for easy storage, which is key if you live in a tiny apartment like me.
4th of July Party- Alcohol
Although I don’t personally drink, I’ve learned that when you’re having a party, alcohol is semi-expected in most social circles. I always keep some bottled waters. sodas and seltzers around in case people feel like taking it easy on the booze and to also encourage hydration. Here are some fun and creative ways to serve alcohol at your 4th of July celebration.
To me, nothing says summer like watermelon. This is a super fun way to serve a delicious beverage. The presentation looks really impressive, but it’s surprisingly easy to make.
Tools you’ll need:
- apple corer [<– Highly recommend- it makes things so much easier]
- chef’s knife [for cutting through the watermelon]
- beverage spigot
Tutorial: Here’s a video that walks you through step by step
Red, White, and Blue Jello Shots
Is it just me, or is no summer party complete without jello shots? These may look cute and innocent, but they pack a punch. If you plan on serving these, please make sure that your guests consume these responsibly and don’t drive if they’ve had a little too much fun. Tip: Get the jello shot containers with lids so you can stack them vertically. This helps save a ton of space in your fridge.
Click here for the recipe.
Buzzed Cherry Bombs
When I saw these on Pinterest, I knew they were a must-have at any 4th of July celebration. I mean, come on, they’re delicious and adorable! Note: because they are dipped in white chocolate, it’s best to make them within 24 hours of the party- otherwise the red from the cherries might start to bleed into the white. Click here for the recipe.
4th of July Party- Appetizer Ideas
One of the best tips I can give to an entertaining newbie is have appetizers out before the party starts. This lets people who are trickling in at the start of the party have something to munch on. I would recommend having all of the appetizers close together, because this creates a great, natural conversation zone. One of friends, who is also a fellow blogger, has this technique down to a science. At a recent party, she had Doritos, a cheese plate, and a veggie platter set out before people arrived and it allowed people to mingle and talk over snacks. Here are some ideas for appetizers that you can use at your 4th of July party!
Flag Cheese Plate
Besides vegans and people who are lactose intolerant, who doesn’t love cheese and crackers? This is such a fun presentation, and if you use the same $6 star cutter set for the watermelon fruit salad I mention in the desserts section, then you can get your money’s worth and use them for this too.
Lightened Up 7 Layer Flag Dip
Chips and dip go together like summer and sunshine. This 7 layer dip replaces sour cream with hummus, which helps to reduce the calories. Not to worry, with 7 layers of flavorful ingredients, you won’t even miss the sour cream. Click here for the recipe.
Fourth of July Deviled Eggs
Can we talk about how Pinterest-y these look? I love deviled eggs and think that these are such a creative idea. In a previous post, I revealed the secret to getting hard-boiled eggs. It makes making deviled eggs 100x easier, because the eggs come right out of the shell. Tip: If you’re going to a 4th of July party, consider getting a plastic carrier so the eggs will stay intact and the yolks won’t get all over the place.
Click here for the recipe.
4th of July Party- Main Dish Ideas
These main dish ideas are delicious, easy to make, and they’re also budget friendly. If you have a lot of people coming to your party, I recommend ordering some pizzas to help supplement the main dish ideas I gave below. If you get pepperoni pizza, it’ll fit right in with the red, white, and blue theme.
Bacon Flag Pizza
This pizza has both bacon and cheese, so you know that it’ll be delicious because fat=flavor. Alternatively, you could use pepperoni instead of pizza and I’m sure it will be just as tasty. Tip:If you want a really great crunch like you get at the restaurants, consider getting a pizza stone. Mr. NavigatingAdulthood LOVES pizza, and I can honestly say that this helps the pizza crust get evenly crisp and golden brown every time.
Click here for the recipe.
Red White and Blue Chicken Skewers
If you’re planning to grill at your 4th of July party, this would be a great, inexpensive addition to the menu. If you’re vegetarian, you can swap out the chicken for tofu and still stay within the red, white and blue theme. The blueberry barbecue sauce is such a creative idea! Click here for the recipe.
4th of July Party- Dessert Ideas
I don’t know about you, but I have a separate stomach just for dessert. These easy dessert ideas are simple to put together, making them perfect for beginner cooks. My personal favorite is the brownie pizza because I love the combination of chocolate and strawberries.
Star Spangled Fruit Salad
Anyway, a fruit salad is a great addition to a 4th of July party because it’s a healthy option to help balance out all the other not-so healthy options.
This is a great inexpensive set of star cutters under $6 if you want to recreate the picture below.
Note: I highly advise against adding sliced bananas to your fruit salad to make it truly red white and blue. Why? Bananas tend to oxidize very quickly, especially if they’re cut into coins. The banana slices will turn grey and make the fruit salad look unappealing. Don’t do it!
Red White and Blue Brownie Pizza
You really can’t go wrong with this recipe- you have a chewy brownie crust and a decadent cream cheese frosting. The best part is that the crust is made with a boxed brownie mix, so it’s very easy to make! Click here for the recipe.
Red White and Blue Fruit Skewers with Cheesecake Yogurt Dip
These fruit and angel’s food cake skewers look impressive AND it’s a relatively healthy dessert. Each skewer is under 100 calories!! An added bonus is you can assemble these skewers ahead of time, and refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve them.
Click here for the recipe.
Red White and Blue Poke Cake
This festive cake uses boxed cake mix, which you can often find at the store for a $1 on sale. This make it a very inexpensive dessert for your 4th of July party! Boxed cake mix is very hard to screw up, so this recipe is great for beginner cooks/bakers. Click here for the recipe.
Flag Cake With Cheesecake Topping
This recipe also uses boxed cake mix, making it very easy to put together! The indulgent cheesecake frosting take it over the top! Click here for the recipe.
Are you planning on making any American flag-themed dishes? I’m definitely going to make the 7 layer dip!