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How to Celebrate Memorial Day on a Budget

Red, White, and Blue napkins and forks

Celebrating Memorial Day can cost a pretty penny, but there’s no need to spend lavishly to have an epic holiday weekend. Here’s how to celebrate Memorial Day on a budget.

1. Hit the beach

Get out to the shore at the first opportunity! The beach can provide hours of relaxation and fun for the entire family at little or no cost, depending on your location. Stock up on some inexpensive patriotic-patterned towels to make the day feel a little more festive. 

2. Attend a local event

There’s no need to travel far for a fun Memorial Day outing. Check out local online forums and newspapers to see what’s happening in your town. You’ll likely find a carnival, parade, concert, and/or street fair that’ll give you some Memorial Day fun at no cost. As a bonus, local activities that do charge an entrance fee will often donate all proceeds to charity, so you’ll be paying it forward all day long.

3. Host a potluck

If you’ll be hosting this Memorial Day, make it a potluck party. Ask each guest to bring one dish for a complete dinner that won’t cost anyone a lot of money. As a bonus, the menu is a lot more fun when it’s varied and prepared by lots of different cooks.

4. Go easy on the decor

No need to blow a ton of money on making your Memorial Day celebration look festive. Spruce up the place with some red, white, and blue balloons, patriotic banners, and deck the tables with inexpensive and on-theme tablecloths from the dollar store.

5. Make a signature drink

Instead of setting up a full bar, make one signature drink for the night. Festive and fitting for the celebration, this comes out a lot cheaper than springing for a full-blown bar. You can find some great ideas for your signature Memorial Day drink here.

6. Look for coupons

Don’t go anywhere without first checking if you must pay full price. You can pick up some great discounts on restaurant meals, entertainment venues, and more at websites like Groupon.com. If you are a member of AARP or AAA, check to see if you can enjoy some additional exclusive discounts as well.

7. Host a DIY sports event

For a fun and frugal alternative to the traditional Memorial Day BBQ, invite family and friends over to your place, or meet up at a park, for a day of sports and games. You can play flag football, soccer, have a tug-of-war competition, or even drum up a full game of baseball. You can set up some light drinks and snacks, or ask your guests to bring their own for a truly cost-free day.

8. Visit historical sites

What better way to spend Memorial Day than checking out historical attractions? Lots of historical sites, like the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, host free events in honor of the three-day holiday. This event, along with other similar events across the U.S., is a great way to honor the courageous men and women who have served and lost their lives for our country.

9. Rent a boat

Enjoy a day out on the water at little cost by renting a boat from a nearby boat rental service or a private owner. Small boats, like kayaks and canoes, can cost as little as $30 for a few hours of use. Speed boats and pontoons will be pricier, but can also hold more people to share the cost. Bring along some snacks and drinks and good music for a fantastic day of water fun.

10. Participate in a race

Joining a race can be an enjoyable and healthy way to spend your Memorial Day. Participating in a race can cost you as little as $50. As a bonus, lots of Memorial Day races donate all proceeds to organizations that help soldiers pay for expenses that are not covered under military benefits. You’ll be supporting our servicepeople while stretching those muscles!

Memorial Day is always great fun, but it doesn’t need to cost a great deal of money. Use these tips to enjoy a memorable holiday weekend on a budget

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