With the Super Bowl just days away, millions of football fans across the country are gearing up for one of the best parties of the year. Even if you don’t care about which teams are playing, Sunday’s big game is a chance to get together with friends, eat good food, drink good beer and watch good football.
For those who are hosting a Super Bowl party, it’s important to watch your spending because food, booze and decor can add up quickly. To keep your party budget in check, review these eight strategies for a winning game-day bash.
Find a friend or family member to host this year’s Super Bowl bash. Co-hosting means you split the work and the costs of food, alcohol and decorations. Plus, set up and clean up is a lot easier when you have a partner by your side to help out. Just make sure to review your combined guest list so it doesn’t grow out of control and opt to send invites via text using the app HobNob.
Serve buffet style
Step aside, burgers and dogs! Buffets are all the rage these days because they’re cheap and easy. A taco bar is an instant crowd pleaser especially when you add avocado and fresh cilantro to the mix. If you want to avoid paying for beef this weekend, consider chicken tacos served with the typical toppings like shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato. If you need more guidance, this Lime Chicken Soft Tacos recipe is sure to be a hit!
DIY dip and marinade
Grocery stores view Super Bowl as an opportunity to mark up party must-haves, but you can avoid overpaying by making your own dip and marinade. Ranch and French dips require no more than a package of seasoning and some sour cream (choose the store brand to save!).
Guacamole is as simple as coarsely chopped avocado with garlic salt, lime juice and cilantro. Meanwhile, marinade for chicken and meat is also much cheaper and very easy to make yourself with some lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Stick to beer
Football and beer go hand-in-hand so you can’t get away serving just water. However, you really don’t need more alcohol than that. Save yourself from the cost of serving a full bar by sticking to just beer. Offer up a selection to appeal to everyone’s tastes, from light to dark options. Check your local grocery circulars to find specials or head to a warehouse store to pick up booze for up to 30% less than traditional liquor stores.
Many hosts don’t like asking guests to bring food or snacks, but a fun way to engage your guests is to host an appetizer challenge in which friends and family are encouraged to make their favorite dish then everyone votes on it after the party. This helps reduce your cooking time and money spent on snacks and foods. Make sure to have a prize for the winner set aside.
Borrow before buying
The one year my husband and I threw a Super Bowl party, I came home to find a brand new 46-inch flatscreen in our living room. My husband decided that we needed two screens to impress his buddies, but this was clearly an impulse move that led to a waste of money. Don’t fall into the same boat as us. Before heading to the store to buy whatever you’re lacking—whether it be a TV, fan gear, folding tables/chairs, oversized cooler—find out if you can borrow from friends, neighbors or coworkers.
Save on decor
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get guests in the Game Day spirit. Create a tailgate experience in your living room on the cheap by setting up camping chairs around the TV and serving beers in a cooler. You can also find party supplies like paper plates and napkins in your favorite team colors at the dollar store. And if you want to create a Pinterest-perfect Super Bowl spread, you can find free printables online at sites like ThreeLittleMonkeyStudio.com, which offers football-food flags, bottle labels and more.
Games for less
No Super Bowl party is complete without additional games for adults and kids to play. Lawn games like Corn Hole and Washers are also entertaining choices and can be found at reasonable prices among major retail chains like Target or Sears, or build your own with tips from CornHoleHowTo.com. Don’t forget to download the free NFL trivia apps like SportsPal to test the football knowledge of your guests.