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Throw a Frugal Super Bowl Party

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Super Bowl PartyWe love having people over to watch “the big game.” Granted, it was more fun last year when my husband’s beloved Giants won (again), and we cared about the outcome. But, even though we don’t have strong feelings for either team in the Super Bowl this year, we still like having a little party to watch the game.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great Super Bowl party. Here are some ideas for keeping the costs under control as you plan for the big game:

  • Potluck: One way to keep costs down, and cut back on the work for you, is to make it potluck. Have everyone bring drinks to share, or chips to share. A fun twist is to have everyone bring a different type of dip. Or just make assignments so that everything is covered.
  • Use coupons: Look for coupons on food items you plan to use for Super Bowl Sunday. You can look online for specific coupons, or you can check your Sunday paper for coupons (just make sure you check the Sunday before the Super Bowl).
  • Buy in bulk: If you know that you will have a lot of guests, consider buying in bulk. Often, bulk packages cost less per ounce than buying in smaller amounts. In some cases, you can also buy in bulk even if you won’t have a lot of guests. If appropriate, freeze the excess for your own use later.
  • Hit the sales: Many grocery stores have Super Bowl sales on popular food items. Bring your coupons and boost your savings. Check to see which stores offer the best sales, and allow you to combine those prices with the coupons.
  • Avoid decorations with team logos: You might pay more for decorations with team logos. Instead of going with logos, just buy decor in team colors. You can get colored napkins, streamers, and other items in solid colors that match with the teams. It’s a great way to decorate without paying a premium.
  • Stay away from prepared foods: If you are willing to do more of the prep on your own, you could save a great deal. Don’t buy pre-cubed cheese; cut it yourself. Prepare your own fruit and vegetable trays as well. It costs much less that way.
  • Cut it into bite-sized pieces: Take bigger items and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Instead of doling out whole slices of pizza, get inexpensive frozen pizzas and cut them into small sizes. You can do the same thing with many other foods, including desserts. Cookies and cinnamon rolls are perfect for cutting into smaller pieces.

Remember that it’s the company that makes your Super Bowl party fun. If you have lots of good friends, you can plan a frugal Super Bowl party and you’ll still have a great time. Plan ahead so that you have plenty of time to prepare, and you can have a great fete without breaking the bank.

What are your favorite Super Bowl party tips?

(Photo: roger_mommaerts)

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7 Responses to “Throw a Frugal Super Bowl Party”

  1. Sassy says:

    Friends of ours used to throw a major, full house (with lots of TVs) Super Bowl party and what we all discovered was that rooting for our local team was great but the party was better when we didn’t care who won — more talking and laughing that way. So it will be a great party!

  2. Christian L. says:

    Miranda,
    When I shop for food for the Super Bowl, I buy substitute goods to save money. For instance, salsa prices are likely to increase, but tomatoes, onion, lime and cilantro probably won’t. That’s all you need for a pico de gallo. Instead of chicken wings, I’ll buy chicken breasts and cut my own tender-sized slices out of them.

    Potlucks are the best for sporting events.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  3. NickJMU says:

    Depending on your group, you might be able to utilize a shared Google document to coordinate what everyone is bringing.

  4. One of my friends has lots of football parties. Her husband is a techie and they have installed a projection screen which gives remarkably good pictures on their basement wall.

    She makes chili, they provide pop and water. We all bring different foods, beer and liquor (depending on what you want to drink). It is very convivial and man!is the food yummy.

  5. admiral58 says:

    I use the squares where everyone throws in money, then there are winners at the end of each quarter, but I just keep some as a fee to pay for all the food, so someone does win money, but also throw in for food.

  6. Shirley says:

    I provide a big pot of homemade chili, snack crackers and chips. Guests bring drinks, appetizers and dips to share. We have a houseful, there is always plenty to eat and everyone has a great time without spending a lot of money.

  7. Potluck is definitely the way to go. Also, my friend hosts a party every year and plays a game called “Commercial Madness” – before every commercial break everyone has to choose what they think the next commercial will be (he looks up a list of all the advertisers beforehand). Whoever wins gets a silly prize from the dollar store, and by the end of the football game pretty much everyone has won a prize. It’s a fun, cheap way to keep the crowd entertained.


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