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

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Fireworks blast off for the 4th of July, but there’s no need to blow up your budget while putting together that backyard barbecue. So with grocery prices as high as ever, we found some ways to trim your July 4th spending.

Save on meat for your grill

We turned to Kristen Bailey, owner of a string of barbecue food trucks, Sweets and Meats BBQ. She is also 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 steak houses 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 your most budget-friendly grilling item.

Grocery store deals

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

Heather Frye, marketing director of the 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.

charcoal grill

$19.97 at Walmart

Don’t forget discount retailers

Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge said it is best to be strategic about where you buy your July 4th 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. (However, note that Costco stores are closed on the 4th of July, and Sam’s Clubs have 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.

BBQ truck owner Kristen 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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This article originally appeared on WCPO, Scripps News Cincinnati.

About the Author
John Matarese

John's goal is to help as many TV viewers as possible save money, avoid bad deals, know a rip-off when one comes their way, and be educated consumers. His informative weekly consumer segment "Don't Waste Your Money" now airs on 45 TV stations from San Diego to Tampa to Houston and Cincinnati. More.