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As we hit July 4th, I can’t help but be that person who says: “How can it be July already?” But on the plus side to being more than halfway through the year, there are some mid-year bargains you can snap up that’ll make sure your barbecue is a hit, even if celebrating our freedom falls on a Wednesday.

1. Food

The main event at most barbecues is the meat selection. While hot dogs and hamburgers are always a bargain barbecue staple, skirt steak, chicken legs and chicken thighs are also great on a grill and usually reasonably priced. Keep an eye out at your grocery store in the days leading up to Independence Day, stores tend to stock up and offer sales on the meats they think they might have too much of after the fireworks have fizzled.

Don’t forget about sides. In July, summer produce is at its peak, which also means that grocery stores and farmers markets have an abundance of delicious fruits and veggies for you to snag up for rock-bottom prices.

Look for corn (local is best because it will likely be freshest), berries and cherries, avocados, tomatoes and watermelon. If you have a farmer’s market nearby, try stopping by there for some of your produce.

2. Decor

If you want to dress up your backyard, hit the dollar stores. You can pick up seasonal table toppers, plates, napkins and more for way less than what you’d find at a party store.

3. Clothing

Swimsuits can still be pricey since we’re right in the middle of summer, but some stores are starting to clear out their stock to get ready for fall fashion. This means to keep an eye out for those sales, especially the ones around 3-day weekends, including Fourth of July. Stores use these to clear out inventory, to your advantage. Old Navy just had its annual $1 flip-flop sale, and with it comes a bunch of other great deals on summer clothes.

If you need some summer items now, make sure to go to these kinds of sales early, as the stores won’t be buying more in different sizes. Once a size or style is gone — it’s gone.

I also love these kinds of sales to stock up on gifts for friends and family. This is a great trick my aunt taught me. She uses the seasonal sales to snag up Christmas gifts, birthday gifts and more. Then she stores them in her closet and always has a gift on hand for everyone when she needs it. This can be tough with young children as they are constantly growing, but you can often get a guesstimate from parents if you wanted to get something for the following season. We have some friends who recently had a baby and I used the winter clearance sale to buy their kid an adorable outfit for the following fall.

4. Outdoor Fun Gear

This can be a tough one because sometimes you can find bargains and other times you have to wait till Labor Day to really get the best deals.

It’s helpful to look at places you wouldn’t normally think of for great deals. Last year we bought one of those small plastic kiddie pools that retail for $20, for just $8 at a Rite Aid, of all places. Drug stores can be a great place to pick up outdoor games and toys for kids around this time because again, they want to make sure they can easily clear out that aisle of stock to be ready for fall. Even now at Rite Aid, all its summer inventory is 50 percent off.

If you don’t mind something secondhand, there are still bargains to be had. New outdoor furniture won’t go on sale until September, but there are people who are trying to get rid of their old stuff to make room for the new stuff they got at the beginning of summer. This goes for items like grills and sandboxes as well. If you need something, keep an eye out for it.

So to recap, four ways you can save this Fourth of July, and all summer long are:

  • Buy fresh produce because it’s in season and it’s cheap!
  • Use the dollar store to stock up on summer party decorating needs.
  • Keep an eye out for stores clearing out their summer clothing stock.
  • Check drugstores for outdoor toy bargains as well as people selling their older outdoor items.

Have fun and be safe this season! Make sure to wear lots of sunscreen!

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Meet the Author

Jessica Patel

Jessica Patel


Jessica Patel is an award-winning editor and writer living in Los Angeles. She previously served as deputy editorial director of T Brand Studio at The New York Times and as Senior Editor and Analyst of


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