The Browns or the Bears? The Chargers or the Cowboys? College or Professional? Football is about to kick off in full swing, and that means… so is tailgating season! One of the best parts about a sporting showdown is coming together with friends and family to get pumped up for the main event. If you have lots of hungry people to feed and entertain, thriftiness is the name of the game. Keep your fans happy, and your budget in check with some creativity and planning. Everybody wins!
Gearing up for Game Day
Cut costs by preparing and planning before the big day. Get equipment essentials economically by borrowing from friends and family. Soliciting big items like chairs, folding tables, portable grills, canopies, and coolers can add up to some seriously saved cash. Even if you can borrow smaller items such as grilling basics (spatula, tongs, BBQ sauce brush) or miscellaneous items (blankets, team flag, cozies) you can intercept those dollar bills!
Tackle your Transportation Tactic
Let’s face it, parking at the stadium is expensive! Employ teamwork to overcome those transportation woes. Consider carpooling to spread the cost of parking across a group of friends. If you are up to walking a little bit, hosting the tailgate a little further away can help you avoid the high cost of stadium parking. If you are planning on tailgating several times throughout the year, a season pass at the stadium can provide a significant discount as well. Saving on driving and parking can make you and your friends feel like budget champions!
Replay your Food Menu
Hand in hand with large gatherings usually comes large meals, and the result? Lots of leftovers! Use this to your advantage by planning your weekly menu around what fanfare will be served up for the day. Repurpose sandwiches into breakfast items by chopping up the meat and cheese and using in omelets or egg muffins. Roast the carrots from your veggie tray for a dinner side. Reuse fruits in a smoothie. Turn leftover chips or crackers into breadcrumbs.
Stretching cuisine throughout the week (or longer) will ease the cost of buying food for one day.
Teamwork for the Win
Spreading out the responsibilities (and costs) among a group of friends can be a thrifty minded individuals’ best bet. Delegate tasks from food to drinks to decorations. If you are in charge of food or refreshments, use coupons and buy generic. If you are tasked with decking out the space with decorations, check out your local dollar store for ideas from pom-poms to football lights. If you want to save even more, skip the drive. You can find tons of inspiration online, from inexpensive banners to printable appetizer labels.
From meal planning, to space considerations, to decorations there is a lot of work involved in throwing a tailgate party. By employing a few easy tips and tricks, you and your wallet can be a game day great! Plus, keeping your tailgating expenses at a minimum allows you to save your money for celebrating a big win – Score!