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5 Ideas to Save on Super Bowl Party Food, Recipes & Supplies

By David Bakke

superbowl football party snacksThe big game is upon us and you might be planning a Super Bowl party at your house this year.  If you want to make a great impression on your friends and family, you could blow a wad of cash (or credit) to do it. But unless you’ve saved up all season, you’ll later thank yourself for keeping costs in line. Plus, the best part is you don’t have to break the bank to really impress.

Consider these ways to cut costs without cutting corners. Enjoy the game and may the best team (that would be yours) win!

How to Save on Your Next Super Bowl Party

1. Decorate Smart
Decorations set the mood for your Super Bowl bash, and they can set you back a pretty penny too if you’re not careful. But there’s no need to spend a lot of money on team-themed decor – especially since it could be years before you use it again. Look for the colors of the two teams in the big game this year (e.g. blue, green and silver, and orange, blue, and white) and visit your local dollar store for some cheap decorations in these colors. Streamers work great. You should also be able to find what you need in the way of paper tablecloths, napkins, and balloons. Best of all, it won’t cost much.

Go ahead and use real dishes and silverware at your party – that way you don’t have to spend on 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. Just have your guests tell you what they’re bringing beforehand. Write everything down to prevent overlap – you could have a group conversation going on email or make it an event on Facebook. Then, figure out what you will need to provide yourself. This is a fantastic way to minimize your party expenses. 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, consider a keg. The savings is about 50% over buying bottles or cans. There are a lot of cheap and tasty beers for football season to choose from.

football party

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 going to care about the brand of potato chips they’re eating. In fact, Americans will consume 30 million pounds of various snacks this Super Bowl Sunday. And since most of these snacks will be placed in serving bowls, there’s no reason not to buy generic items at the grocery store. In most cases, no one is going to notice the difference between a Tostitos chip and a generic one.

Note: Be careful of the generic foods that you do select. Do a taste test yourself before buying a bunch for your crew.

4. Buy Frozen Foods in Bulk
If you need a lot of snacks, consider buying frozen snack foods and appetizers in bulk. This is a much cheaper route than buying pre-made party platters. If you have a membership to discount wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco, you can pick up heat-and-serve type snacks like mini-pizzas, pigs in a blanket, fish sticks, and fries. And if you’re not a member of one of these clubs (or don’t need to buy in bulk), your local grocery store probably has a wide selection of frozen snacks too.

5. Prepare Some Good Home Cooking
Cooking at home instead of paying someone else to do it can significantly reduce your costs. Instead of buying that $10 veggie plate from the store, make your own from scratch. Chop up carrots, celery sticks, and broccoli, and throw in some cherry tomatoes. Add a store-bought dressing, and you’ve just saved yourself a good bit of money. You’ll also be able to cut calories and lose weight by adding veggies to the mix.

Another favorite is homemade nacho dip – it tastes great and couldn’t be easier. Combine equal amounts of cheese and salsa, melt the mix in the microwave, and you’ve got an awesome dip. And though it may taste great, skip the guacamole this year. The price of avocados is just too high – you can easily replace it with something else. If you’re looking for ideas, try this easy homemade chili recipe or concoct your own Crock Pot slow cooker recipes. And do yourself a favor and prep your snacks the night before. That way, your workload will be much lighter on game day.

Final Word

You don’t have to spend a lot to have a great time on game day. Be smart, be creative, and you’ll enjoy the Super Bowl as much as your guests do. 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.

How else do you save on a Super Bowl party?

David Bakke
David started his own personal finance blog, YourFinances101, in June of 2009 and published his first book on ways to save more and spend less called "Don't Be A Mule..." Since then he has been a regular contributor for Money Crashers. He lives just outside Atlanta, GA and most all of his free time is taken up by his amazing three year old son, Nicholas.

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