The Big Game doesn’t have to equal big spending. A little food, some libations, a few decorations and a TV, and you’ve got the makings for a great Super Bowl party. If you’re having friends over to watch the game, here are some Super Bowl party ideas that can help you keep the price tag under control.
1. Consider a potluck.
Every Super Bowl party needs food, but you don’t have to do it all on your own. Prepare a few dishes and snacks yourself, then ask everyone to bring their favorite football food. It you send your invitations electronically, you can ask people to reply to the list with what they’ll bring to avoid duplication (although you really can’t have too many hot wings, can you?).
2. Enlist a party co-host.
Having a friend help with the party will not only save you money, but will also save you time before and during game day. Choose the house with the most seating and divvy up the costs for food and other party essentials. You can also divide the chores so you’re only doing half the work.
3. Use cheap recipes for Super Bowl party food and snacks.
All-time favorite football foods — chili, nachos and potato skins — are all cheap to make. Instead of buying fancy cupcakes topped with footballs, make and decorate your own football-themed treats. And, of course, look for supermarket sales and coupons for Game Day recipe staples, such as chips and soda.
Need inspiration? See our favorite cheap Super Bowl party food ideas (with recipes!).
4. Ask guests to BYOB.
Beer and other alcoholic drinks are the most expensive part of any Super Bowl party, so ask guests to bring their own. You supply the ice and a cooler. Not only will you save, but you can have fun trying out the different brews everyone contributes.
5. Order pizza.
If your friends don’t cook, or you’re just looking to keep things simple, you might want to order pizza. A lot of pizza places run Super Bowl deals, so you can sometimes get multiple pies without spending a fortune. If you belong to Costco, their pizzas are always a great deal, and you can get them to go. Check Living on the Cheap’s “Dining” page for the latest deals before making any final decisions on where to order.
6. Skip fancy party decorations.
Although it may be fun to have paper plates/bowls/cups with your team logo, they can be a bit pricey. You’ll save money if you instead buy those items in solid colors at a discount party store or dollar store. Alternate colors when you set them out, so when you look around the room, you’ll see your team’s colors in full force.
7. Don’t waste money on entertainment.
Between the game, the halftime show and the commercials, you should have all the entertainment you need. If you want a little extra, play some Super Bowl trivia. You can get cheap miniature trophies or ribbons for the winners at most party stores. Frugal hosts could use food gifts as prizes; make some tasty treats to give away or put together a fun themed gift basket filled with popcorn, chips, spray cheese or football-shaped treats.
8. Use real dishes.
The price of paper products seems to have skyrocketed over the past several years, so if you have enough glasses and plates to use real ones, you can save yourself some money that way. Make sure the dishwasher is empty beforehand, and keep loading it throughout the evening.
9. Visit the dollar store.
The dollar store is a great place to pick up inexpensive party decorations. You don’t need to spend a great deal of money decorating, but you might want to pick up a few items (think pompoms and streamers) in both team’s colors. You might also be able to get some supplies that you can use to make your own decorations, and some cheap snacks like pretzels and nuts.
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