Fun and Frugal Football Party Ideas

football player running

Football fans love to watch a game with other fans. Hosting friends and family at your home to watch a game is fun! However, it can also be expensive. Luckily, a football party is actually straightforward to host on the cheap. Remember, people are coming over to watch the game and enjoy camaraderie with other fans, not to be dazzled by fancy decorations or restaurant-quality meals. Simple tweaks can help bring down the cost of hosting. These include asking people to bring drinks, especially of the alcoholic variety. The cost of beer and liquor adds up fast, especially if you’re serving a large group of people. When people bring their own drinks, they’ll bring what they like, and you won’t be left with a huge bill! On a related note, it’s also totally acceptable to host a potluck-style party. Let people contribute food, paper products, and soda. Everyone will get a wider variety of treats, and you won’t end up with a blown budget.


football player

The goal of the party should be that everyone has a good time, not for the decorations to go viral on Instagram. That said, many of us really enjoy decorating for parties, and a well-decorated space assists in creating a great party vibe. So what’s a budget-conscious host to do?

  • Go through party supplies you already own. Using platters and plates already in your cabinets is a fast way to save some bucks. The same goes for tablecloths and serving ware.
  • Many football fans already have some football stuff around their homes. A ball can be used as a centerpiece, jerseys can be hung on walls, and a blanket emblazoned with the team name can serve as a tablecloth.
  • Hit up the dollar store. The price might have risen to a dollar and a quarter per item, but it’s still a great place to score decorations and paper goods for parties.

Here are some other money-saving ideas:

  • $2 Lombardi Trophy DIY: The dollar store is a great place to pick up some of the stuff needed for this easy craft project that produces a replica of the Lombardi trophy.
  • Football Party Decoration Ideas: Using a striped sheet and setting up your dining table as a concession stand are some easy-to-replicate (and frugal!) ideas for spending little money but making a big impact when decorating for your football party.
  • Football Frenzy Themed Birthday Party: Although this post is written for a birthday party, the inexpensive decor ideas can easily be applied to a viewing party.


charcuterie board

A potluck event is a good idea, but most party hosts are still going to want to provide some food for their guests. Ordering pizzas and wings can drain a bank account fast, but luckily, there are a lot of more frugal options for an impressive party spread that won’t break the bank. Most of these dishes also are relatively quick to whip up and are party classics you and your guests will love! So buy (or ask guests to bring) big bags of chips, make a few dips, pick out a couple of heartier dishes, and get ready to enjoy a good nosh while you cheer on your favorite team with your favorite people!

  • Five-Ingredient White Queso: Cheese dip is always a crowd-pleaser. Making it is cheaper than picking it up from your local Mexican restaurant, and the low number of ingredients needed for this creamy dip also helps keep the grocery bill low.
  • Seven-Layer Dip: This party staple is made of inexpensive ingredients and is easy to assemble. It’s a winning dish!
  • Ten-Minute Homemade Salsa: Ten minutes is all it takes to whip up this restaurant-style salsa. Making it at home means that you can adjust the heat to your liking!
  • Cowboy Caviar: Lots of football party food can be heavy, but this recipe (which can work as a dip or a salad) is light and bright. And it’s based on canned beans, making it cheap and very easy to throw together.
  • Air Fryer Chicken Wings: Chicken wings are a game-day classic. Making them in an air fryer is simple and costs less than buying them ready-made.
  • Grazing Table: Grazing tables (which is a fancy way of saying a large meat and cheese tray) are very trendy these days. The trick to making them affordable is to load up your spread with inexpensive carbs like bread, crackers, and cheaper vegetables.
  • Pizza Rolls: Skip pizza delivery but indulge your desire for cheesy goodness with this simple-to-make appetizer, which only needs refrigerated crescent rolls, cheese, pepperoni, and tomato sauce for dipping.
  • Super-Easy Margherita Pizza: Buying frozen pizza dough makes this simple recipe even easier!
  • Candied Bacon Crackers: Thin bacon is the secret to making these savory-sweet snacks.
  • Italian Sandwich Roll-Ups: Meat, cheese, and vegetables combine in each bite of these attractive sandwiches.
  • Sticky Barbecue Slow-Cooker Meatballs: Slow-cookers have long been the secret weapon of frugal cooks, and they can help hosts and hostesses turn out easy, inexpensive party dishes like this meatball recipe.
  • Pulled Chicken Sliders for a Quick, Easy Supper: These sliders are designed to be simple to make and use ingredients that are easy to find at discount grocers like Aldi.
  • Cheeseburger Sliders: A half-hour is all takes to make these delicious cheeseburger sliders.
  • Football Cookies: This dessert fits with the theme of the party while also providing a sweet treat to end the meal!
  • Shortcut Oatmeal Cream Football Pies: If you hate baking but still want to provide your guests with a themed dessert, there’s no need to spend money at the bakery. Use this hack to turn boxed oatmeal cream pies into adorable football-shaped treats ready to adorn your game-day spread!

How to Watch

girl watching tv eating popcorn

It can be complicated to figure out how to watch football these days, especially in an era when more and more people are saving money by canceling cable. Although 65% of American households have cable, the number is projected to fall by about 28% each year. One of the hardest things about cutting the cord is figuring out how to watch sports. Football is especially complicated because it actually airs on multiple networks and different cities get different games. Cable substitutes like Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV have the most robust replacement options for watching football, but there are other options available, too, some for significantly less money.

  • An antenna allows viewers to watch local games broadcast on CBS, Fox, and NBC. It’s by far the most inexpensive option, since an HDTV antenna can be purchased for around $30.
  • If you want to watch your favorite team on your phone, NFL+ has you covered. It only includes in-market and prime-time games, but you’ll be able to watch all local games on your mobile device as well as the Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games. Plans start at $5 per month or $50 per year, which includes live streams; if you want to be able to replay games later, you’ll need to upgrade your plan.
  • Thursday night games will be streamed on Amazon Prime, so if you’re already a Prime member, you’ll be able to watch for free.
  • If you’re a hardcore fan, you might also take a look at NFL Sunday Ticket, which includes live streams of all Sunday afternoon out-of-market games. However, this is pretty pricey, starting at almost $300 per season.

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