Simple, delicious recipes and helpful tips.

Perfect 4th of July Picnic on a Budget


One of my favorite holidays is fast approaching. The 4th of July, Independence Day, is the perfect day to spend time with family and friends, share some amazing food, watch a spectacular fireworks show and most importantly, take a moment to appreciate being an American.

Politics aside, we live in a great country and I, for one, am grateful to the men and women who have fought to protect my freedom.

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I thought a nice way to kick off such a fun day would be a cute little picnic for two. Of course, you can take these ideas and use them to entertain a whole crowd!

If you’re like me, then you enjoy making things look beautiful, even if you are the only one who appreciates it.

The tendency to go overboard with presentation can get expensive, fast. My husband and I are fortunate to be living pretty comfortably, but with a baby on the way, I’m feeling a lot more cautious about spending money unnecessarily.

But because I just can’t help myself, I’m going to share with you my tips and tricks for making a spectacular presentation on a very reasonable budget.


If you only take a way one thing, let it be this: Dollar Tree is your friend. Take the image above, for example. How many things would you guess are from the dollar store?

The flowers, the blue gift shred inside the flower jar, the red, white and blue candles, the mason jar and the dish holding the pretzels are all from Dollar Tree. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your picnic or table decor look fancy. You just have to know what to look for!

Not everything at the dollar store is going to look great in your setup. But if you plan ahead, know what kind of things you’re looking for and know what you can expect to find, you’ll come away with some great items.

I think an important thing about picnic food is that it should be easy. This Frozen Mixed Berry Lemonade is so simple, you’ll probably want to make it all the time! Stay tuned! I’ll be posting the recipe very soon!


Speaking of refreshing treats… What’s better than watermelon and sunshine? Just give me a spoon and I will be one happy girl.


One good thing about a picnic for two, is that you can buy a small watermelon and cut it in half. It serves as its own bowl!

These sparklers tied with ribbon are such a cute accent, don’t you think? And guess what? Both are from Dollar Tree. So are the gorgeous red chargers.

Decor tip: Chargers are a must. They really add that little something extra that people like us are always looking for.

I’m telling you, I’ve seen the exact same chargers at craft stores and other places for about $10 each. Dollar Tree has them in different colors and I might actually own all of them.

Finger foods are great for a picnic. Fresh berries, pretzels with strawberry cream cheese and mini ham sandwiches are light yet filling. The pineapple wasn’t necessary, but sometimes I’m just extra. I’m not sorry.



Dollar Tree isn’t the only place to find great deals, though it happens to be where I got a lot of the serving ware and decor pictured in this post.

Target has specials all the time where, say, if you spend a certain amount on grocery items, you get a $5 gift card. I save those gift cards and when inspiration strikes, I don’t have to feel guilty about spending money on things I don’t really need.

This gorgeous red gingham picnic blanket is from Target and it’s HUGE. I can’t wait to use it again!


Lastly, don’t forget about places like Goodwill and Salvation Army. Just because something is used, doesn’t mean it’s worthless. I’ve found some absolutely gorgeous glassware at both stores. Salvation Army actually has sales, like everything is 50% off on Saturdays!

Just keep in mind that when you want to create a beautiful setup like this, don’t get stuck on buying everything that happens to be the right color. Fight the urge. I discovered, when shopping for this particular setup, that red and blue glassware are NOT hard to find. What I didn’t want, was to end up with a bunch of stuff I won’t end up using.

Have a plan for specific things. What foods are you going to make and what do you want to serve them in? That’s what you are looking for. Bonus points if it’s something you know you will use again.

I hope this has been helpful! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a fabulous Independence Day!

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Jen Tiffany, Oklahoma girl, mom, creator of Tasty Sunrise recipes.

Hey, I’m Jen.

I’m a photographer and food blogger from Oklahoma. I love to cook and share great food with family and friends. Oh, and I do love to eat, too!