Fireworks and BBQs are some of the first things that come to mind on Independence Day. As we honor our nation's birthday, let us not forget to be friendly to our national grid and vehicles.

Check out our list of energy and money saving tips to keep you celebrating this July 4:

Keep your Car in Shape and Save on Fuel

Be sure to help save on fuel by properly inflating your tires before heading out on the road to watch the fireworks or visit family and friends.

Also, consider cutting down on the number passengers or cargo in your vehicle before heading out the door. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could increase gas mileage costs by as much as $0.08 per gallon.

Drivers should also hit the gas station early if they want the best prices. With high travel demand anticipated over this holiday weekend, the price per gallon can unexpectedly spike. For more fuel-saving ideas, check out this list of energy-efficient driving tips.

Hit the Department Stores for Energy Saving Products

If your home has been hurting for energy-efficient appliances, be sure to take advantage of some of the best summer sales this weekend. Fourth of July discounts on ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances and LED light bulbs can save you more money up front and for years into the future. Check out the Energy STAR website to see how you can upgrade your home this year to save money and transition to cleaner, more efficient products.

Not ready for a big change? Something as simple as changing your light bulbs can save as much as 80% a year on lighting costs. For more information on improving your home's lighting, please see our Lighting Tips page.

Efficient Home Barbecue

When prepping your home barbecue this Friday, be sure to grill outdoors, sparing your home's oven and other appliances some electrical labor. Your home's air conditioning unit and the electricity bill will absolutely thank you.

In addition, if your party is running late, consider using solar-powered decorative lighting to keep your guests in sight while saving on some watts well into the evening.

For all other seasonal energy saving tips, check out our Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips guide.