Well, the big game is just about upon us and I’m sure quite a few of you are planning on having a Super Bowl party at your house this year. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a party, I always try to make a great impression on all of my guests while also trying to keep my costs in line. Sure, you could go all out and blow a ton of money if you’re entertaining friends and family, but why should you if you don’t have to? This is especially true if you haven’t saved up for football season expenses.
In this article, I want to outline several different ways to keep your Super Bowl party expenses from going through the roof. Enjoy the game and may the best team win!
1. Decorate Frugally
You’re going to want to decorate your house at least a little bit to set a festive mood for your Super Bowl party. But instead of spending a lot of money in this area on what is usually just a one-time expense, utilize your local dollar store. Determine the colors of the two teams participating in the big game this year (e.g. green & yellow, and black & gold). Then visit your local dollar store for some cheap decorations in these four colors. Streamers, for example, work great. You should also be able to find all you need in the way of paper tablecloths, napkins, and balloons. Best of all, the expense here should be minimal.
Additionally, use real flatware and silverware at your party, eliminating the need to buy the disposable stuff.
2. Make it a Potluck or BYOB
There’s nothing wrong with making your Super Bowl party a BYOB or potluck occasion. Tell all your guests that they can bring whatever they want, but just have them let you know what they’re bringing beforehand. Write everything down to prevent overlap (or do this all via a group email using reply-all), and then figure out from the list what you will need to provide yourself. This is a fantastic way to minimize your party expenses, especially since alcohol is usually one of the more expensive items. Plus, this way, your guests can bring whatever they like to eat or drink.
On a side note, if you’re buying the beer for a larger group, I would seriously considering going with a keg. The savings is at about 50% over buying bottles or cans. There are a lot of cheap and tasty beers for football season that you can choose from.
3. Go Generic
Let’s face it. People are coming to your home to watch the game, and after they’ve had a few beers in them, they’re not really going to care so much about the brand of potato chips they’re eating. In fact, Americans will consume 30 million pounds of various snacks this Super Bowl Sunday. Since most of these snacks will be placed in some sort of serving bowl or container when the party starts, why not buy generic items at the grocery store? Trust me, in most cases, no one is really going to notice the difference between a Tostitos chip and a generic one. So stock up on those generics, get them in a bowl of some sort before anyone shows up, and you’ll save a bundle.
Note: Be careful of the generic foods that you do select. There are some dollar store snacks, for example, that you’ll want to stay away from.
4. Buy Frozen Foods in Bulk
If you need a lot of snacks for your party, consider buying frozen snack foods in bulk. This is a much cheaper route than buying pre-made party platters. You may already have a membership to discount wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco, and these are great places to pick up heat-and-serve type snacks like pizzas, pigs in a blanket, fish sticks, and so forth. And if you’re not a member of one of these clubs (or don’t need to buy in bulk), your local grocery store is sure to have these types of frozen snacks too.
5. Prepare Some Good Home Cooking
Cooking at home definitely helps in keeping expenses down. For example, you can easily put together a nice, big veggie tray with a store-bought dip in the middle. Chop up the carrots and celery sticks, throw in some broccoli bites and cherry tomatoes, and you’ve just saved yourself a good bit of money. You’ll also be able to cut calories and lose weight this way.
Another favorite of mine is a semi-homemade nacho dip. Combine equal amounts of cheese and salsa, melt the mix in the microwave, and you’ve got yourself an awesome dip! Be sure to prepare as much of these snacks as you can the night before. That way, your workload will be much lighter on game day.
Additionally, although it may taste great, skip the guacamole if you can help it. The price of avocadoes is just too high, and you can easily replace it with something else. Try this easy homemade chili recipe if you’re looking for ideas or concoct your own Crock Pot slow cooker recipes.
So there you have it. By employing some of these ideas in your Super Bowl party plans, you should be able to make the occasion an enjoyable and festive one for all, and still keep the expenses manageable. Be smart, save any way you can, and you’ll be enjoying the Super Bowl as much as your guests will. One final tip – don’t bet on the game! In years past, betting may have been an attractive option, but this year’s matchup is way too close to call. Keep your money in your wallet.
Do you have any other ways to save on a Super Bowl party? Feel free to share in the comments below.
(photo credit: Shutterstock)