How To Host a Super Bowl Party on a Budget
It’s kickoff time! There are only a few days left until one of the most celebrated days in United States history is afoot, so to speak. Across the country, friends, and family will gather to watch Super Bowl LI. Whether you’re rooting for the New England Patriots or the Atlanta Falcons, one thing is certain, you want to have a good time watching the game. And, if you’re the hosting the extravaganza at your place, that means throwing together a sweet Super Bowl party, complete with jerseys, food, drinks, and a big screen television. However, you probably don’t quite have a budget that’s as big as the one the NFL has, but that’s ok because you can still throw a great party and stick to your budget.
If you’re looking to host a solid party but save a bit of money while doing it, we have a few tips for you.
Make Yourself a List
Making a list is an essential part of saving money for the big game. When you’re trying to throw together a Super Bowl shindig, it can be all too easy to stroll down the aisles at the grocery store, swiping things left and right from the shelf into your shopping cart. You might be so excited to get home and set up that you won’t take notice of just how much you’ve spent until you’re halfway out the door. One of the best things you can do is plan efficiently for the things you’ll need. That’s what any good football team will do anyhow.
Food and Drinks
Depending on how big your living room is, and how many people you’re planning to invite, if you’re going to be providing all the food and refreshments, there’s no better place than Costco. Home of the family-sized…well, everything. Costco will most likely have the best deals on mass amounts of finger foods like chicken wings, chips, veggies and dip, soda, and beer. Alcoholic beverages will be especially cheap here. So, if you have a Costco membership, grab yourself a giant shopping cart and load up on all the supplies you’ll need.
However, maybe you don’t have a Costco membership. A regular grocery store will have to do. In this case, do the same thing. Get a rough idea of how many guests you’ll have, then head over and fill up your cart. For snacks and such, you’ll get better deals at a grocery store than you will, getting individual bits and bobs, at your local convenience store. Getting alcoholic beverages, beer being the usual choice on Super Bowl Sunday, will most likely take up the largest portion of your budget. Depending on which state you live in, decide what store (or stores) are the best and most economical for you to head to for pre-party prep.
In terms of decorations, this will depend on how big of a fan you are. Just remember that everyone at your party will be focused on the TV, so if you can eliminate unnecessary things, it’ll save you some extra cash for the essentials. However, you’ll most likely need all the other little plastic plates, cups, cutlery, and napkins. In this case, after leaving the grocery store, you should make a pit stop at your local Dollar Store. A lot of people forget that Dollar Stores are the best place to pick up all the disposable junk. So, unless you want to deal with washing all the plates, glasses, and cutlery you own, a Dollar Store run is a must. They may even have cheap snacks like chips and pretzels, saving you a couple of bucks here and there.
Food by The Ton
There are also cheaper alternatives to the finger food portion of the bill. The majority of Super Bowl parties, seeing as there can be a bunch of people there at any given time, rely on piles of bite-sized munchies to quell the hunger that comes with a belly full of beer. It can be too complicated and take too long to deal with ordering a surplus of pizza after all. If you’ve got too many guests to consider, making a gigantic pot of something hot and easy is a good, cheaper alternative to waiting for the pizza guy, seeing as a lot of delivery places are going to be swamped on Super Bowl Sunday as it is.
The first page you look at on Google is going to have a ton of recipes specifically catered to Superbowl parties. Some of the easier recipes that will provide you with the most food for your money are going to be for hearty things like pulled pork, chili, and chicken wings. Everything you’ll need to see that your guests don’t go hungry. Keep in mind that a lot of these recipes can also be made in a crock-pot. This way you can invest in a cheap one, throw in a bunch of meat, sauce, and spices, then turn it on and wait. As long as you keep an eye on it, and stir the mixture from time to time, you’ll have a bunch of food ready by kickoff.
Timing is Key
Once you’ve got all the food planned and ready, keep in mind that you’re trying to save, not waste. This means figuring out when the best time to prepare and serve your food and snacks. Kickoff is at 6:30 PM, but it’s likely that some of your guests will arrive late. A good rule of thumb would be to have snacks out for when people start to arrive and then have the main meal ready but keeping warm in the oven. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the kick-off and then serve the food after the first quarter and eliminating the risk of food getting cold and unappetizing. When half-time rolls around, use the pause before the show to clear away all the empty dishes. This is also a good time to put out any dessert or extra snacks, then you can simply sit back and enjoy the rest of the game.
Rely on The Kindness of Others
With you being the host of the event, any good friends and family will be sympathetic to your cause. Assuming you’re planning a few days in advance, if you’re tight on cash, but want a sweet bash, make the party a potluck. Some people might not even like the beer or food that you’ll have, and want to bring their own. Heck, cut them a deal; you’ll supply the food if a few of them will pool their resources and pick up a couple cases of beer.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, with everyone bringing a six-pack and one small food item, just a bag of chips and dip, or a platter of cold cuts, you’ll all have yourselves a good Super Bowl LI.
For more information on how to Maintain an Effective Budget, click here.