Kat’s Money Corner: Have a fun -- and frugal -- Fourth of July

07/01/2014 2:00 AM

06/27/2014 3:33 PM

Three-day weekends are always a good excuse for an impromptu party. When that extra day of fun and relaxation appears on the calendar thanks to the Fourth of July holiday, it’s cause for celebration. You don’t have to plan a big party to get the gang together; a last-minute Independence Day celebration – from yard games to cocktails – can be done on the fly without breaking the bank. And a little frugality can turn the celebration of our independence into your financial independence over time!

Set the Table

On the Fourth of July, the best seat in the house isn’t even in the house – its outdoors. Your yard is an ideal location for a get-together. Or, if you don’t have a yard, take advantage of the numerous and beautiful parks throughout the Kansas City area. http://kcparks.org/park/loose-park/

Save yourself the hassle of preparation (and cleanup!) and have guests contribute to a potluck. Or, ask that they BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) and fire up the grill. Easy side dishes like pasta salad or grilled corn on the cob are crowd pleasers, and easy on the wallet, too. Of course, you’ll want something to wash down all this summertime goodness, too. http://www.southernliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/easy-pasta-salad-recipes/confetti-pasta-salad-recipes

Fruit-Flavored Fireworks

A cool drink on a hot day is a thing of beauty. For awesome looking layered drinks, pay attention to the sugar content. The drink with the most sugar should be your bottom layer and you’ll build from there. Try cran-apple juice, white Sobe piña colada, and blue G2 Gatorade for the kids and for the kids over 21, ½ part grenadine, 1 part vodka and 1 part Blue Curaçao. For an added touch, serve these cool cocktails in existing glasses you have or mason jars (less than a dollar a jar) and garnish with a skewered stack of cut strawberries, bananas and a blueberry. http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/2012/06/july-4th-layered-drinks.html

Oh Say Can You See

Decorating for the Fourth of July is as easy as red, white and blue — and keeping you in the black. No doubt you already have these popular, primary colors in your cabinet or pantry. Use standard red party cups, white napkins and a bit of blue ribbon and you’ve got a themed place setting. You can even include festive, easy-to-make pinwheels for your little ones. These aren’t the only patriotic printables you can find online. Free banners, signs and even photo booth props are available on the Web, too. http://www.skiptomylou.org/2014/05/13/printable-patriotic-pinwheels-and-a-printable-blog-hop/

For outdoor decorations, put the kids to work beautifying the driveway. Offer a bucket of sidewalk chalk or bust out the cornstarch and make your own sidewalk chalk paint. While you’re waiting for the sun to set, pass out glow sticks. They’re a great way to keep little ones entertained while the big kids (aka the parents) get the fireworks set up.

Made In America

Looking for even more excitement, or don’t want to host a large group? Meet up with friends and family at any of the many inexpensive or free Independence Day events around KC. Berkley Riverfront Park, Merriam Marketplace and Corporate Woods in Overland Park are all options to catch an amazing pyrotechnic show;or if you’re interested in catching a ball game, the Kansas City T-Bones at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. http://www.tbonesbaseball.com/schedule/?act%5Bv%5D=graphical&frm%5Bd%5D=2014-07-01

Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.


Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service