Q: I’m looking forward to hosting a big party on Super Bowl Sunday and possibly watching my favorite team celebrate their major victory, but I don’t want to blow my budget on this party. How can I save on hosting a Super Bowl party?
A: Super Bowl parties are always great fun to host, but they can cost a pretty penny. To help cut the costs, we’ve compiled some hosting hacks so you can pull off the party of a lifetime without breaking your budget.
Don’t fumble the decor
Setting the mood for your party doesn’t mean you need to drop a ton of cash on decor. Keep it simple with:
- Free printables of your team’s logo from sites like Pinterest.
- Choose party goods in your team colors instead of springing for branded items.
- Use any football gear you have at home (jerseys, helmets and actual balls) to give your home a festive feel.
If you’re still stuck for ideas or items, hit the dollar stores to score some fun football-themed party goods for just a few bucks.
Tackle the food together
Just because you’re the one offering your home for the party doesn’t mean you need to handle all the food provisions yourself. You can go potluck and have everyone bring one dish, order takeout and split the bill with all the guests or set up a spreadsheet with all the menu items and have each guest choose one to bring, filling in their job as they choose so everyone knows who’s bringing what and every job gets done.
Skip the Super Bowl platters
In general, the more niche a product is, the more it’s going to cost – and Super Bowl party food is no exception. Fast-food chains and grocery stores will aggressively advertise their “game day platters” ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, but these are rarely worth the cost. Instead, make your own for a fraction of the price and just a few minutes of work. You can slap together some extra-long hero sandwiches, cut them up and arrange them on a large plate for an easy sub platter. For your health-conscious guests, slice up everyone’s favorite veggies and add a dip or two for a fresh veggie platter at half the cost you’d pay at the grocery.
Choose the party cut
If you’re serving pizza , you can still save on costs by knowing what to ask for when placing your order. But first, consider going partially homemade by picking up some frozen pies. Stores like Costco or ALDI have a variety of good pizza at a reasonable price. Besides the savings, you’ll have your home smelling awesome just by popping some pies in the oven.
If you want it hot-from-the-pizza-store fresh, maximize the rewards and coupons that are available at chains like Papa John’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut. To get even more bang for your buck, use this hack: Ask for the “party cut” on your pizza instead of the traditional triangles. The smaller squares help guests choose portion sizes they’ll actually eat instead of leaving half-eaten slices on their plates.
Consider your lineup
Don’t just set your buffet with an eye toward what is most aesthetically pleasing. Also consider your budget and place the more affordable items at the head of the line. Items at the front of the line are typically grabbed first. By placing the pricier stuff in the back, you can avoid running out of any buffet item too quickly. This can also help prevent spending all your money on one pricey food item.
Let’s play … bingo!
Let’s face it; not everyone at a Super Bowl party is all that crazy about football. Some are just there as their more sports-inclined partner’s plus-one. Some might show up just because they consider you a friend, and you’re the host. Prepare some games to help keep the party fun for those who aren’t that interested in the game. You can download Super Bowl bingo cards here, or set up some old-fashioned board games in a quiet corner.
Super Bowl parties don’t have to defeat your budget. Use the tips outlined above to keep costs down while throwing a party that’s truly fit for champions.
How do you save on costs when hosting a Super Bowl party? Share your best tips and tricks in the comments.