Five Fourth-of-July Saving Hacks

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Five Fourth-of-July Saving Hacks

My favorite Fourth-of-July memories consist of my family and I watching the fireworks eating some ice-cream on my grandmother’s balcony. The balcony overlooked about three different Fourth-of-July local fireworks including San Diego’s Seaworld. I loved grabbing a blanket and staring up at the dark sky contrasted with the bright, flickering lights of the fireworks. My parents always found a way to make small moments feel special.

Pete and I try to save money around the holidays so we can put them to good use for larger vacation trips now that we’ve paid off all of our debt, besides the mortgage. Check out how we paid off $65k of student debt here. This year we are saving up for our first child through international adoption. Check that article here.

Here are a few fun tips that we use when we get ready to celebrate the Fourth-of-July without breaking the bank, but they really can be applied to any holiday.


  1. Save money on festival food by packing snacks or budgeting out cash for treats.
Dollar tree
Snacks are my go-to item at the Dollar tree when I’m craving something quick and cheap.

Both Pete and I grab some snacks from the Dollar Tree before we go out to a movie, festival, or sometimes before entering sports event or amusement park. We definitely have a weakness for sweets!


Our favorite snacks (not necessarily together) to go include strawberries, Asian pears, Pringles, Simms Turkey Snack sticks, and some sweets like Haribo gummy bears or Dark chocolate. Like I said, these don’t necessarily get eaten together, just thought I’d share what we love to snag before we head out.


  1. Find parking for free and if possible scout parking locations early.

Parking during special events can cost between $10 or more dollars. Snag a spot early by scouting out locations in advance or parking farther away. You’ll have trek a bit farther, but it always helps me get in a little workout instead of doing things easier.


  1. Save on park fees by biking or walking into the location.
fourth of july savings
Pete locking up the bikes on our way to our favorite park

Sometimes festivals or state or local parks will require you to pay a fee to enter. To avoid this, Pete and I normally do step 3. It bothered me a lot at first because I thought walking was really inconvenient, but you can get a lot of places faster if you bike. You’ll get to your location faster with your bike and if you have a basket, you can haul a lot of extra snacks, blankets, or other things you want to set up camp.


  1. Bring a portable grill (if your park allows) and grab some hotdogs and condiment ingredients. I’m a sucker for American fare during holidays and the smell of BBQ always gets me lures into the food trucks and extra spending I probably don’t need.


  1. Bring your own games to the park or festival. Although Pete and I are DINKS (double-income-no-kids), we love all sorts of games. But instead of paying gobs of money on games at a park event, we bring our own games like a frisbee, a beanbag toss, or even a volleyball. One of our favorite parks (St. Clair Metropark) has a nature center, volleyball net, shuffleboard, basketball court, pool, waterslide, and water play area just to name a few.
Me at my favorite park St. Clair Metropark

The last thing that is cheap or free for the Fourth-of-July, which I won’t include in the list is to enjoy nature. Step outside to enjoy the air. If your family is up for it, do a quick hike and reflect on the beauty around you. You’ll get some exercise and it’ll be a good break from cell phones and social media.

biking and park

What do you all do for the Fourth-of-July? Share your favorite memories below!


fourth-of-july saving hacks

Until next time finance friends,




  • Kristopher lee

    Great post. On the Forth, I like going to to park at night and watching the fireworks. I usually bring along sandwichs and drinks instead of grilling. It’s less to clean up that way.

    • Melody

      Absolutely! Sandwiches are an easy clean-up and fairly inexpensive. My husband will agree with you 100%!