Celebrating America’s birthday isn’t cheap. Americans will spend $6.8 billion on Fourth of July festivities this year, and the typical family will shell out $71 for food for their Independence Day BBQ, according to the National Retail Federation. Add in the cost of fireworks, American flag T-shirts, and other items, and you could be spending $100 or more to celebrate.
Fortunately, it’s possible to save money on your Fourth of July festivities without cutting back on the fun. If you’re part of the 65% of Americans who are planning a cookout or picnic on the Fourth, there are plenty of ways to make your party more affordable, according to Real Simple, from not wasting charcoal and lighter fuel to just buying the essential grilling equipment. But one of the easiest ways to save is on the menu itself. If you’re hosting a holiday barbecue on a budget, you’ll want to try one of these five cheap and easy recipes.
1. Grilled Chicken Thighs with White Barbecue Sauce
Chicken thighs are a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive chicken breasts, plus they’re perfect for the grill. Fattier than their all-white-meat counterparts, chicken thighs stay juicy and flavorful when cooked over an open flame, so you’re less likely to end up with a dry, flavorless piece of meat. The bone-in chicken thighs in this recipe from Southern Living are topped with a tasty homemade white barbecue sauce.
For the chicken thighs:
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 10 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
For the white barbecue sauce:
- 1½ cups mayonnaise
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
Directions: To make the barbecue sauce, stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, minced garlic, pepper, mustard, sugar, salt, and horseradish until blended. Cover and chill 2 to 4 hours. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Combine the thyme, oregano, cumin, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper until blended. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Rub seasoning mixture over chicken. Place chicken in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 4 hours.
Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-high heat). Remove chicken from bag, discarding bag.
Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with white barbecue sauce.