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4 Ways to Honor Memorial Day on a Budget

May 23, 2018 | By Peyton Sawyer

Memorial Day as we know it was originally observed on May 1, 1865, when a group of Southern women from the Charleston, South Carolina, gave 257 fallen Union soldiers a proper burial. Now a federal holiday, Memorial Day continues to be a day of remembering the sacrifice of our armed service members in protecting our freedoms.

Today, we celebrate Memorial Day the last Monday in the month of May, which will be the 28th this year. Also known as Decoration Day, this three-day weekend has also become the unofficial start of summer. There are many ways to enjoy this holiday, even if you are on a budget. Here are some ideas that could help you stretch your budget across the long holiday weekend:


Get the family and friends together for a good old-fashioned backyard barbeque. There is no end to the delicious and low-cost options that you can serve. Pretty much anything grilled is delicious, so you don’t need to serve filet - some burgers, hot dogs and a few racks of ribs are all you need to feed a fairly sizable crowd for very little money.

Another great way to cut back on your overall cost is to ask your guests to bring a covered dish, beverages or dessert of some sort. Not only does a potluck picnic keep down your costs and increase the variety of options, it also lets everyone feel as though they have helped contribute to your party’s success.

Free Events in Your City

Check out the local events being held in your city. There are plenty of free events that surround the holiday, so do a quick online search or turn to your local newspaper to find an outdoor concert, county fair, craft show, or other fun family activity to celebrate this Memorial Day.

Picnic and Fireworks

Many people celebrate the holiday with the dazzling color, sound and lights from a beautiful and patriotic firework display. All you need to do for this holiday favorite is pack a nice picnic basket of snacks, drinks, and a delicious picnic lunch for the family. Stake out a great spot early in the day to lay a blanket down and wait for night to fall. The fireworks won’t start until the sun goes down, but that’s when the fun really begins.

Day Trip

Take a low-cost trip for the day to one of the many Tennessee State Parks to enjoy the great outdoors - after all, you pay for them with your taxes and there are plenty of options to choose from. Go hiking, biking, swimming or simply enjoy the beauty of nature for little or no cost at all. Depending on the park and its amenities, you may want to budget a few extra dollars to rent a boat, canoe, or kayak for some adventure on the water. Just be sure to remember the sunblock and life vests.

It doesn’t matter how you celebrate or show your gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice; this holiday is also about spending quality time with the people you care about the most. So, if you need a financial boost to make that happen, you have the opportunity to get emergency cash you need from an alternative funding source. If you own a vehicle, an auto title loan could put money in your pocket in as little as 30 minutes.

Enjoy the holiday!