It’s probably the most informal party of the year you will plan, so there’s no reason a great Super Bowl party has to cost as much as a ticket to the big game. I let you know some of my favorite tips last year. This year I’m keeping it even simpler to help you stay in budget with three easy steps.
1. Skip The Decorations Or Use What You Have
Buying streamers, balloons and football themed stuff can really add up, so use what you’ve got. Dig out the old sporting gear. If you have helmets or footballs, now is the time to use them! What do you have in the teams’ colors? This year the colors are: dark green, gold and white (for the Packers) and black, gold and white (for the Steelers). Think about common items pulling double duty. If you’ve got a sheet in your team’s color use it as a table cloth. Leftover balloons from a birthday party? Pick the colors you want then group them together in one area to make a bigger impact. If you have beads or Christmas lights in your team’s color, it’s time to bring them out again for game day.
Food can also pull double-duty as decorations. Decorating cupcakes and treats with footballs, team logos or even green sprinkles to simulate football turf can give you more bang for your buck! Who wouldn’t want to eat a football shaped cheeseball?
When it comes down to it, your party guest will be spending more time staring at your TV then your party streamers. So relax and they will too!
2. Buy Generic
This is a good rule of thumb when it comes to saving money on most things. Buying generic or the store brand will probably cut your grocery bill in half. Try it and you’ll see that getting generic cereal and baking ingredients to make cereal bars will still be just as big of a crowd-pleaser and taste the same as the full-price counterpart. Try Oaty Cereal Bars or other cereal bar recipes. Just remember to substitute generic ingredients in the recipes.
Cheese and produce are other areas where no one will ever know if you go generic. Just because your banana has the sticker with the logo on it, doesn’t mean it’s a better piece of fruit.
Soda is another area where you can save big money, but some people are very particular to their favorite cola taste (Pepsi or Coke?). I suggest buying generic for at least the cola alternatives (Dr. Pepper, Sprite or 7-Up, Mountain Dew) because people seem to care less about brand-loyalty with those.
3. Potluck And B.Y.O.B.
If you’re letting your house be the rowdy playground for all your football-loving friends, then don’t feel bad about asking them bring their own beer or bring a dish to share. A potluck party is a way to cut down on the stress and costs of cooking for a big group of people. It’s also a way to test out everyone’s favorite game-day dish.
My rule of thumb when hosting a potluck party: I supply a salty, a sweet and the filler food. That means, as the host of the party, I have all my bases covered with chips (salty), cookies (sweet) and chili (the food that fills you up) or with popcorn, fruit cups and homemade pizza. The combos are endless! And if anyone forgets a dish, you’ll still have a lot of great options.
Of course make sure to have plenty of ice cold water, coffee and Kool-aid to keep people hydrated.
Most important, have fun and check ‘The Good Life For Less’ blog later this week for some easy-to-make recipes that will feed a group for under $10 each.
-Alison Lorge is a web producer and consumer blogger at WCCO. Text WCCODEALS to 84816 for deals of the week.