Even if your favorite team isn’t playing in the Super Bowl this year, chances are you are either going to be attending or hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday, February 7th, when the Indianapolis Colts meet the New Orleans Saints in Miami. A recent VISA survey showed that six out of 10 Americans will be at a party on this date. That same survey determined that the average American spends about $175 on a Super Bowl party.
Think you can’t have a Super Bowl party on the cheap? Think again. Here are my five frugal Super Bowl party suggestions:
1. Make it a potluck party. Why not spread the spending around by asking your guests to bring a little something to share with everyone else. Everyone loves a potluck because it makes the menu more interesting and, especially for the host, it takes a lot of the prepping pressure off. Best of all the entire price tag for the party doesn’t fall on your shoulders.
2. Do away with disposables. Sure clean up is a snap when you can just throw out all the cups, plates and napkins. But how much money will you be throwing in the trash in the process? Instead, plan to set out reusable plates that you can put in the dishwasher at the end of the night. Don’t have enough place settings to go around? Ask family and friends to bring their dishes along, or head to your nearest thrift store and pick up a few extra plates for pennies a piece. Since most Super Bowl parties are buffet style, no one is going to care that your dishes aren’t a matched set.
3. Limit your menu to save cash. Instead of grilling burgers and dogs and serving chili and having side salads, try limiting your menu to one or two affordable options. Chili in a Crock-Pot will make most people happy. Plus, the only sides you’ll need are sour cream, shredded cheese and some bread. You can even have two slow cookers going–one with a meat chili and the other with a vegetarian version. Slow cookers use the least amount of energy of all of your appliances so you’ll save this way, too.
4. When shopping for your party, choose store brands over name-brand products. According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association, you can save about $40 per grocery trip if you choose the store’s brand products over the name brands. When it comes to your Super Bowl party, you can probably find everything on your shopping list and not pay brand-name prices for them–from hunks of cheese to sprinkle on your chili to the spices you’ll use to give your chili some kick.
5. Don’t waste money on decorations. Who’s really going to notice if you’ve hung streamers in the favored team’s colors so why spend the money on something you’re just going to throw away at the end of the night? Instead, borrow footballs, helmets and other gridiron paraphernalia from your family, friends and neighbors and use those freebies to dress up your space.
What kind of Super Bowl party (frugal or not) are you having or attending this year?