You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You also don’t have to have a pot of gold to get into all the St. Patrick’s Day action this March 17. Let’s face it, we all want to have fun, but no one wants to shell out too much green.
According to the National Retail Federation, last year Americans planned to spend approximately $5.9 billion on St. Patrick’s Day festivities. To help you minimize the amount you spend, we’ve put together these easy tips to help you save money on your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Use your military discounts
Your military status entitles you to discounts at many stores and restaurants. Whether you need shamrock-themed décor and party goods or want to indulge in some food and drinks, look for places that offer military discounts. Here are a few businesses that give special year-round savings to the military:
Party and craft supply stores
This is not an inclusive list of military discounts available. If you are shopping or going out to eat be sure to ask if you are eligible for special savings. Many places offer unadvertised discounts and deals for service members. Just remember to bring your military ID!
Military members can save money this St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you need shamrock-themed party goods or want to indulge in some food and drinks, look for places that offer military discounts.
Search thrift stores
Looking for a green sweater, hat or mug? Check out your local thrift stores. You might be surprised at what treasures you’ll find for just a few dollars.
Save on your St. Patrick’s Day celebration by checking out your local thrift stores. You might be surprised at what treasures you’ll find for just a few dollars.
Attend free/low-cost festivities
Free and low-cost St. Patrick’s Day activities take place throughout the country. From parades and 5K runs to fairs and concerts, chances are there is something fun happening not too far from where you live. Here are several of the most famous annual St. Patrick’s Day events:
- The Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois is dyed emerald green on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Savannah, Georgia throws a parade and the Forsyth Park fountain flows green water.
- New York City hosts the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade. More than 150,000 people participate in the parade and two million people line the Fifth Avenue route to watch it.
- Boston is home to many people of Irish ancestry and the city celebrates the holiday with a parade, Irish film festival, bagpipe and Irish band concerts and more.
You may also want to check your MWR for activities right on or near your base.
Hang out at home
You can save money on your St. Patrick’s Day celebration by skipping the bars and restaurants altogether and hosting a party at home. Ask your guests to bring a snack, dish or dessert – many people will be happy to contribute something for the occasion.
And being home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on green beer – simply make it yourself! A few drops of food coloring are all it takes to turn ordinary beer into everyone’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day beverage. Here are the easy directions from Betty Crocker.
Fill hungry bellies with some homemade corned beef and cabbage. This corned beef and cabbage recipe uses a crock pot. Just put the ingredients in the crock pot the night before and wake up to the delicious aroma of this dish which is actually an Irish-American meal, not a dish that originated in Ireland. Read this Smithsonian.com article to learn more about the interesting history of corned beef and cabbage.
To keep people busy, bring out the board games, watch Irish films, play Irish music, or have some fun sharing St. Patrick’s Day trivia. Impress your guests with these 10 interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day.
Pay with cold hard green cash
One smart rule of thumb to follow is that if you don’t have the cash to pay for a non-essential, it is better to do without. Leave your credit cards at home. You don’t want to go into debt for a one-day celebration.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. All military discounts require proof of military service. See individual websites for details, blackout dates, restrictions, expiration dates, and other information. Offers and discounts can change at any time. Omni Financial does not endorse, recommend or imply affiliation with the listed companies or organizations.