I love football, and I am very saddened that the season is coming to an end. I am, however, looking forward to the upcoming Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a more than just a game, it’s quite literally an event. Fans and non-fans alike gather for the game, much like the non-Irish that party away the day and night on St. Patty’s Day. With an estimated 111 milliion people watching the game this year, Super Bowl parties abound will be filled with enough food and drink to cure the world of hunger, for a day at least. It’s also estimated that $1.25 billion chicken wings, 14,500 tons of chips, and 4,000 tons of popcorn will be consumed during the game. Furthermore, the average party host will spend somewhere between $50 – $100 on food alone, with 12% spending over $100. Don’t fret, as I will provide you with a few tips on throwing a more cost effective Super Bowl party this year!
Make It a Potluck
A potluck is a great way to share in the party costs. Have each of the attendees bring a dish of their own. After all, you are already generously hosting the party and you are going to be responsible for a lot more than just the food. Consider the cleaning up before and after, preparations, and drink! It is the 21st century, utilize Facebook to maintain who is coming and what they are bringing. Perhaps you could even make a contest out of the whole thing, like a chili cook-off with the guests as the judges. That being said, I am all for people bringing a dish if they offer, but I am not usually the type to ask. So let me provide a few more options.
There may be other similar companies, but Houseparty.com is the first one that comes to mind. They provide a useful little service that matches companies with the consumers. Stop by their site and fill out the application and they may be able to find you a suitable company willing to send free samples to aid in hosting your party. You get free stuff, they get promotional advertising, it’s a win-win situation.
Buy House Brands
People place too much emphasis on name brand products, they always, and sadly they probably always will. It’s amazing how much one can save by buying generic brands. If you have a Costco membership then use it, buy their house brand and do it in wholesale. If you have Gordon Foods near you then stop by and find out how much money you can save. A 10lb. bag of chicken wings is virtually the same taste regardless of the brand, but the cost per wing is cheaper!
Do-it-yourself is always cheaper than HODIFY (yea you guessed it…have others do-it-for-you). I personally subscribe to the HODIFY method more often than not, but there are times when the task is just too easy to do, saves you too much money, and your only excuse for not DIY’ing it is that you are too lazy. Supermarkets love selling you pre-made meals, and pre-packaged party trays. After all, you are busy and they get to charge you a premium for the service. So here’s a thought, make your own food and build your own snack and veggie trays.
Skip the Decorations
This isn’t a Halloween or Christmas party you are throwing. No need for strobe lights or streamers. A Super Bowl party may be about more than just the game, but the game (or the commercials) is still the highlight of the evening. You don’t need tiny little paper mache footballs throughout the living room, but rather you could just bake some football shaped cookies (Ace Ventura scene comes to mind…). Food and drink are expensive enough, you needn’t worry about event-specific decorations as well.