Next weekend is Super Bowl Sunday, and you’re just a regular ol’ guy or gal who loves to cheer for their team. Unlike the players and coaches on the screen, you’re not getting paid millions to do, well, anything, but you still want to have an epic Super Bowl party to celebrate the big game.
If your goal is celebrating this year’s Super Bowl without breaking the bank, here are seven steps to follow this week:
Step 1: Tell your friends to B.Y.O.B.
Beer and football go hand-in-hand, but so do cocktails and football… or wine and football, I suppose. Either way, alcohol can easily be the most expensive component of any party. For this reason, it’s best to tell your guests to bring their own.
This may make you feel cheap, but you can explain it in a way that serves your guest’s interests, too. Explain that Cousin Bob likes Miller Lite, but your neighbor Doug wants craft IPAs only. The best way for everyone to have their drink of choice is to bring their own. This one step will help you save big on your Super Bowl party -- especially if you have some big drinkers in your circle.
Step 2: Ask everyone to bring a dish
If you can ask everyone to BYOB, you can surely ask your friends to bring a dish. Perhaps you can supply some of the meatier and bulkier snacks while your friends chip in for the easy stuff – bags of chips, bowls of dip, or a sweet dessert.
Step 3: Decorate in solid colors
You might be tempted to order a last-minute, team-oriented tailgating kit off of Amazon, but doing so is a big waste. At the end of the day, the disposable plates and napkins you use will wind up in the recycling or trash, so why bother?
Instead of decking your place out in team décor, head to the Dollar Tree to buy solid-color supplies at a dollar a pop instead. Doing so will let you decorate in your favorite team’s colors, but your total bill will be a lot cheaper.
Step 4: Break out the slow cooker
Slow cookers, such as a Crock-Pot, offer a great way to make a huge batch of all kinds of goodies – and for less money than you think. Consider making a slow cooker roast or a big batch of pulled pork or chicken for sandwiches. Your crowd will love it.
If you or your guests are big dippers (who isn’t?), you could also utilize your slow cooker to make some pretty amazing dip concoctions.
Step 5: Plan with leftovers in mind
Make sure you consider the fact that you may have leftovers: the money you spend today on your Super Bowl party becomes you money you save tomorrow on lunch.
If you make something your family will eat all week long, you can ensure you won’t wind up throwing food (and the money you spent) in the trash.
Step 6: Prepare side items yourself
You can buy vegetable trays with all ingredients precut and washed, or meat and cheese trays with everything chopped and prepared for you, which saves you time in the process. But the problem with conveniently prepared foods is that you’ll pay a lot more for them. That’s why, if you want to save money, it’s wise to do the washing and chopping on your own.
Buy fresh vegetables and make your own veggie tray or create a DIY meat and cheese tray, and you’ll save a bundle along the way.
Step 7: Buy generic snacks and chips
Finally, buying brand name snacks isn’t necessary when you’re trying to feed a room full of guests. If you can trade out your Doritos and Tostitos for the store brand, you will absolutely save money and your guests will never know the difference.
And if someone complains? Well, maybe that person can host next year.