Summer Season Consumer Watch

Photo: Jeffrey Parkinson / USAF

As Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, many people are gearing up for outdoor parties and celebrations.

However, with the rising costs of food, beverages, and entertainment, it’s important to find ways to save money without sacrificing the fun.

In today’s consumer watch, we have five money-saving tips for your summer parties.

Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue, a pool party, or a picnic, how do you make the most of your summer celebrations without straining your budget?

“food and home decor and entertainment. those would be the, the three big areas to watch your budget and really rack in the savings,” explained Jessica Allen, Community Coach, Living Well Spending Less.

Jennifer Allen from “Living Well Spending Less” has these five valuable tips to help you save money on your outdoor gatherings this summer, and still have a blast!

One, make a menu plan and create a budget.

Before heading to the grocery store, check what you already have at home.

And then make a shopping list and stick to it.

“So just plan your menu and uh you know, decide what your non negotiables are,” stated Allen

Two, shop smart.

Buying in bulk is a cost-effective option.

Also, look for discounts, sales, and coupons to get the best deals on party essentials.

Three, ditch expensive party decorations:

Get creative and make your own.

Look for inspiration online or at local craft stores.

“Grab five or $10 to your local discount store. grab a couple of big bright beach balls and just toss them in the yard. the kids will love it. the grownups will too,” explained Allen.

Four, don’t splurge on outdoor furniture!

Instead, clean and spray off outdoor spaces–and add some fresh plants to give it a fresh look.

And finally, entertain on a budget.

Instead of hiring DJs, create a playlist of your favorite summer tunes.

“People will probably not remember 100% what you put on the table. they will remember the spirit in which you hosted. they will remember the fellowship and the fun that they had when they were in your space,” explained Allen.

Here’s a bonus tip, embrace potluck parties:

Instead of bearing the entire financial burden of providing food and drinks, consider hosting a potluck party.

Invite your guests to contribute their favorite dishes or beverages

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