If you'd rather shop early for Friday's festivities, dig into the recycle bin and pull out those Sunday inserts. Here's a rundown of the savings:
Wal*Mart doesn't advertise their grocery items often, so when they do, you need to pay attention. If you are looking for one-stop shopping for the backyard BBQ or picnic, Wal*Mart is the place. There's pre-made gourmet burgers at $6 for six patties; sliced Sargento cheese for $2; mustard ($1) and ketchup ($2) plus buns for $1.68. Ballpark franks are $2; Lays potato chips are $2 and 24ct. holiday cookies are $3. But, really, on the Fourth you must have S'mores and Wal*Mart makes that easy with graham crackers at $2.50, marshmallows at 88 cents and Hershey's chocolate bars for $2. In the drink department, Coke is $5 for a 24-pack; Gatorade is $4.98 for a 12-pack, jugs of lemonade are $2.50 for 128 ounces and a case of Nestle Pure Life bottled water is $3.88.
In a related note, Wal*Mart soon will be changing its logo. The Wall Street Journal says that in an effort to update its image, the giant retailer will abandon the blue and white motif for an orange background, with the company name in white letters followed by a starburst.
Speaking of groceries, the Target ad featured BBQ and picnic offerings out front with the home and outdoor goods stuffed inside. At Target, you can get Ballpark dogs and buns at 3/$7; Doritos, Cheetos, Rold Gold and Fritos for $1.88 a bag. Soda - A&W, Sunkist, 7UP and Canada Dry - is 3-12 packs for $8. There's also a free ice cream offer with soda purchase. If you haven't already, you should try Simply Lemonade or Limeade at 2/$4. Propel or Gatorade is $9.99 for a case.
Over at Longs, you can stock up on drinks like Crystal Geyser spring water $3.66 for a case; Snapple 4-packs are $2 each and the A&W, Sunkist, 7UP, Canada Dry combo is 5-12 packs for $11 (with the coupon on page 8). Longs also has Martinelli's sparkling cider 2/$4 but I'm off the stuff until I recover from the freezer explosion.
Stop the presses! At Walgreens all the ingredients for S'mores are $5. A six-pack of Hershey's bars and Nabisco graham cradkers are 2/$5 and the Campfire marshmallows are free with purchase of the chocolate and the crackers. Walgreens also has coupons for spring water at $2.99 a case; VanCamp's pork and beans at 39 cents; plastic cups and tumblers for 99 cents and when the party's over, Tums for $3.99.