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.
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 of July 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 Fourth of July cookout will cost about three percent 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.”
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.
That’s great news for your later summer barbecues, so you don’t waste your money.