Whether your cookout is in your backyard or at a park, these hacks will help make the day go easier:

1. Use muffin tins for condiments - Mayo, mustard, relish, jalapenos, BBQ sauce, whatever you are going to put on a burger or dog can go in the muffin tin.

2. Plastic laundry tubs - Use them for recyclable soda cans. They're big enough to hold a lot of cans and they can be rinsed out and used for laundry after the party. You can also line it with a dollar store plastic tablecloth for a makeshift beer and soda cooler. It will be super easy to drain, just slip out the tablecloth and let the ice and water drain onto your lawn or the grass in the park.

3. 5 gallon paint buckets - You can get never-used ones at Home Depot. If you're going to the park, they can be used for extra clothes, beach towels, toys, iced juice boxes for the little beasties, garbage bags for after-cookout cleanup, sunscreen - you get the picture. You can use them at the end of the picnic by putting all the dirty utensils and food containers in them so they are all in one place and not all over the trunk of your car. They can carry a lot of stuff and have handles for easy carrying. After you're finished with them rinse them out and stack them for next time.

4. Blue jean cloth - You know how your favorite pair of jeans take a beating but look like new after you wash them? A length of blue jean material will do the same thing at your next picnic. Go to JoAnn Fabrics, buy a five or six foot length of jean material and use the heck out of it. Spill stuff on it, throw it on the grass, use it as a tablecloth, put it in your trunk to protect it from spills, and then wash it and bring it back to life. Best thing is, you don't have to worry about hemming it because jeans always look best when they're frayed!

Happy Fourth of July!

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