If any of your friends have a bigger TV screen than yours, go to their place instead. If I were to host, sorry, but you gotta have to live with what I already have at home.
It’s that time of year again. Are you ready for the Big Game? Wait, are you hesitating because you’re a little tight on cash this year? No need to worry because hosting a Super Bowl party doesn’t have to be a budget buster. Here are 10 tips that will help you save money on your Super Bowl party.
1. Lose The Decorations
Have you ever gone to a Super Bowl party to look at the decor? Of course not! Most people will be wearing their team’s colors, or something football related, so why stress about decorating the mailbox, entry way, and living room? People are there for the food, fun and friendship, so skip decorating this year and save some money.
2. Skip The Invitations
Let’s face it: Super Bowl party invitations can be fun to create, but do they really add to the party? The answer is no. So skip buying special invites. This isn’t a wedding or baby shower. Send emails and make phone calls instead. People aren’t going to remember whether they received a colorful invitation. All they’re going to recall is if they had a good time.
3. Simple Foods Score A Touchdown
People show up for Super Bowl parties ready to eat. However, they don’t expect an elaborate spread, fancy dip, and Champagne. Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, pulled pork in crock pot, award winning chili, and fresh homemade salsa are all cheap, yet delicious ways to feed your friends. Buy in bulk or tell your guests to bring a dish to pass and you’ll be off the hook.
4. Beverages: Choose Wisely
For soda, buying 2 liter store brand cola will be cheaper than buying name-brand soda in a 12 or 24 case. A 24 case of store brand water will also save you money. As for adult beverages, stock only the most popular beer and perhaps one or two popular spirits, such as vodka and rum for easy mixed drinks. Unless you are having an upscale dinner party, pass on the wine. Another great option is to make your own beer at home.
5. Have A BYOB Party
If you don’t think alcohol will be in your budget this year, you can host a bring your own beer party. This will eliminate the problem of someone not finding their favorite alcoholic beverage on hand. It also tends to cut down on the amount of alcohol consumed since people generally only drink what they bring.
6. Forget a New Big Screen
Some folks decide to spend their tax return on a big screen television for game day. For obvious reasons, this is not the best use of money. Most of us aren’t watching television on a 12 inch black and white set these days, so why spend your hard-earned cash on something you really don’t need, especially rushing out to buy one for the big game? Your friends are going to remember the good times they had over your house, not how big your television was.
7. Not All Out At Once
If you put all the food out at once, prepare to have hungry guests at halftime and you may end up buying more food to compensate. Hold back and put the food out at designated times. Most people will want something to drink and some chips when they first arrive, so it’s fine to have the snacks out first. Keep the chips coming and save the more substantial food for a little later.
8. Do Your Shopping Ahead Of Time
Don’t wait until Saturday to hit the stores for all your needs. Stores know about the Super Bowl run-up, and not only is it possible to find the shelves empty, you might also find some mark-ups. Start clipping coupons and seeking out deals now for everything you think you’ll need, and start buying and storing food and beverages this week.
9. Hit the Dollar Store For Plates
If you don’t have enough plates and silverware, buy plastic wear at the dollar store and save. There are plastic plates that are washable, or you can get the old-fashioned cardboard ones that are even cheaper. Don’t forget to buy plastic cups and utensils while you’re there. Having disposable dishware will also make cleanup after the game a breeze.
10. Make Your Own Desserts
Cookies, cupcakes, and pudding are all inexpensive ways to offer delicious desserts. You can also make a simple sheet cake and decorate it with your favorite team’s colors. All of this adds up to much less than what you’d spend at your local bakery. So get the apron out and have fun making football shaped cookies and colorful cupcakes.
Don’t spend money like the advertisers do on Super Bowl Sunday. Use the above tips to have a great time with friends and family while not breaking the budget to do so.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.
We had so much fun last SuperBowl. Yes, there were no fancy decorations or invites. Just phone calls and words were passed over. We saved more because not only did the guys bring their own beer, they also brought some food. We're gonna go with potluck again next year.
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! I am not a crafty person by any stretch, but when I checked out this site for party ideas, I found lots of themed foods that look AND (hopefully) taste great!
When I go to someones place to watch football I do so expecting chips and beer and that's about it. You really can't go wrong with that combination.