If you're still planning out food for the Fourth of July festivities but worried about the hefty price tag this year, "Good Morning America" has some last-minute money-saving ideas to help curb costs.
As sticker shock continues to stun shoppers nationwide -- with ground beef prices soaring 36%, pork prices up approximately 31% and potato salad up 19% from last year, according to to the American Farm Bureau Federation -- check out the below tips to keep any cookout budget from going up in smoke.
Jeanette Pavini, author of "The Joy of Saving," told "GMA" that "even though the grocery store prices have gone up -- you don't have to pay the price."
Plan the budget and menu around the meat
With meat being the largest expense for a barbecue, Pavini suggests consumers plan around what's on sale at the local grocery store.
"You want to start with the meat first because that's always going to be the most expensive item on your grocery list," Pavini said.
Opt for bone-in cuts
In looking at three supermarkets in three parts of the country -- Wegmans, Ralphs and Meijer -- drumsticks are priced as much as 70% cheaper than boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which retail for approximately $3.99 per pound.
Skip the steak and look for links
Sausages are a great swap for more traditional cuts of beef and can cut savings nearly in half.
Serve sides potluck style
"One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to share the grocery list with people," Pavini said. "People want to help. They want to contribute."
Plus, it saves on both prep and clean up time.
Save on your 4th of July barbecue with these last-minute tips originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com