The cooler weather of fall brings one certainty back into our lives: tailgate parties. Hosting a tailgate party can be a ton of fun whether you are attending a professional football game or a college game at your alma mater. You get to enjoy good food with your friends without any of the pesky cleanup of a traditional dinner party. The thrill of cheering on your favorite team isn’t half bad, either.
If you’re on a budget, though, you already know how tough it can be to plan a party on a tight budget. Tailgate parties can be especially trying since they tend to require a lot of meat and high-priced snacks. How will you ever plan your tailgating bash without putting a huge dent into your grocery budget?
Just Stay Home
One way to save on your tailgate party is to save on the cost of those expensive game tickets. Although nothing beats the excitement of seeing a game in person, you don’t have to miss out on all the fun if there isn’t room in your entertainment budget for tickets. You could always invite all of your friends for a tailgating party in your own backyard. Use the same paper plates and napkins you would use in the stadium’s parking lot. You’ll have the same easy cleanup without the hassle of moving your grill.
Downsize the Meat
Another way to keep your tailgate party under budget is to refrain from including steaks or pork chops. Instead, why not offer bratwursts, hot dogs or hamburgers. You can find these meaty options at a much more reasonable price. Hearty stews or chili are other sturdy, but budget-friendly options for tailgate party fare.
DIY the Side Dishes
You can save on side dishes, too. Skip high-priced potato chips and offer potato salad (potatoes are very cheap). Chopped vegetables offer a more health-conscious option. If you do the work to chop and wash the vegetables yourself, you can keep the cost of your veggie spread pretty low.
Hit the Sales
Don’t forget to include drinks in your tailgate party plans. Purchasing beer on sale can keep the cost of alcoholic drinks down. You may also want to keep some warm beverages on hand, though. Those winter games can get pretty chilly. Hot tea and coffee cost almost nothing and will take the chill off your guests as they wait for the big game to start.