Fourth of July Cookout Essentials: Get the Lowest Prices

We compared Fourth of July cookout staples from different stores. Here's where you can score the best prices.

Fourth of July cookout and table scene on a white wood background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Have any plans for a Fourth of July cookout? Let me guess — you’re attending, or even hosting, a cookout or barbecue to celebrate the birth of American independence. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that 66% of Americans will attend a cookout, BBQ or picnic this year, and according to WalletHub, Americans plan to spend an estimated total of $9.4 billion on Fourth of July food in 2024. The average cost? $71.22 for ten guests (around $7 per person), up 5% from 2023.

That’s a lot of money on hot dogs and potato salad. But don’t worry, you actually don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your guests happy and full. Many grocery chains across the country are offering deals and discounts on cookout staples — like hot dogs and potato chips — to make July Fourth grocery shopping a bit easier on your wallet. 

One deal in particular that stands out is Walmart’s Summer Cookout Basket. With it, you can feed a party of eight for under $50. The basket, which includes 18 classic cookout items, costs just $45.43 before tax, a little under $6 per person. 

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But is it a good deal? Or just a well-designed marketing tactic? We compared similar products from both Publix and Kroger to see if Walmart's Fourth of July cookout basket gets you more bang for your buck, as well as to identify items that you can get cheaper from somewhere else. Here's what we found. 

Fourth of July cookout basics

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Fourth of July cookout essentials: cost per store
Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners Hot Dogs, 10 ct Pack (x 2)$5.00$6.48$3.98
Wonder Bread Classic Hot Dog Buns, White Bread Hot Dog Buns, 8 Count (x2)$4.94$8.38$6.98
Tomato Ketchup, 24 oz$1.08$2.53$1.25
Yellow Mustard, 20 oz Squeeze Bottle$0.98$1.87 (14 oz)$2.29
Sweet Relish, 10 fl oz Bottle$1.68$3.09 (16 oz)$1.79
Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10.5 oz$0.78$1.31$0.89
Bush's Original Baked Beans, Canned Beans, 28 oz Can (x2)$4.44$4.42$4.00
Potato Salad, Ready to Serve, 32 oz Tub (Refrigerated)$3.82$6.97$7.49 (48 oz)
Fresh Seedless Watermelon$4.68$7.75$3.99
Fresh Sweet Corn on the Cob, 4 Count Tray$2.98$5.53$1.99
Lay's Classic Potato Chips Snack Chips, 8 oz.$2.00$2.77$1.99
Pepsi Cola Soda Pop, 16.9 fl oz, 12 Pack Bottles$5.72$9.41$11.98
Kool Aid Jammers Juice Box Pouches, 10 Ct Box, 6 fl oz Pouches$2.48$1.85$2.50
Assorted Flavor Freedom Ice Pops, 19.8 fl oz, 12 Count (Frozen)$1.87$2.77$1.99
Chocolate Chip Bakery Cookies, 14 oz, 10 Count$2.98$4.41 (24 ct)$1.99 (12 ct)
Estimated Total$45.43$69.54$55.10

After comparing prices per item, Walmart came out as the cheapest option for Fourth of July cookout essentials, costing just $45.43 (pre-tax). If you shopped at Kroger you'd pay almost $10 more ($55.10) and if you filled up your cart at Publix, you could expect to pay almost $25 more ($69.54) than you would at Walmart. And that includes any additional coupons, sales or BOGO promotions both Kroger and Publix offered. Keep in mind that for all stores, additional pick-up, shipping or delivery fees may apply.

Another plus side to Walmart's deal? You don't have to search for each item individually (like we did sourcing these prices). Just follow the link, hit "add all to cart" and checkout. On the other hand, if you have some extra time, you could strategically shop at all three stores to get the cheapest option for each individual item. For example, you could forgo the watermelon and hot dogs from Walmart and buy them at Kroger, which will save you a couple of dollars.

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.