With a downward spiraling economy and holiday credit card bills to pay off, the last thing you need is a pricey Super Bowl party. Go the cheap and cheerful route without sacrificing the necessities. Use our handy guide to throwing a cheap Super Bowl party and save big without sacrificing on fun.
Money Saving Tip #1: Host a Potluck Super Bowl Party
In a time when every dollar counts, the best way to live large and keep the costs down is to host a potluck. Provide one or two main dishes for guests, and then ask that they bring one of their favorite Super Bowl foods to your party.
Set all the food out buffet-style, and use your regular dishes and silverware instead of spending money on the paper or plastic variety. It might take longer to clean up, but you will save cash AND the environment.
Money Saving Tip #2: Take a Trip to the 99-Cent Store
Hit up your local 99-cent store for game day decorations and party supplies. They are meccas for party supplies and decorating bargains, as long as you're willing to exercise a little creativity!
Wrapping paper: Find your team's colors and use it to cover hard surfaces like tables (tape it underneath to secure it and you have an instant tablecloth), flat serving platters, and drink coasters.
Ribbon: Pick up a spool or two of ribbon in your team's colors and use it to tie napkins together with the silverware inside so that guests can easily grab their utensils at meal time.
You can also tie a brightly colored bow onto your door knocker, around potted plants and vases, and just about anything you can think of for a dose of team spirit.
Fun Embellishments: You'll be surprised what a pair of ketchup and mustard dispensers can do for your buffet's look. They're fun and functional!
Money Saving Tip #3: Stick with Beer and Soda
Skip stocking your bar with hard alcohol and buy whatever selection of beer is on sale that week at your local grocer. Cans are always the cheapest, and buying in bulk is the best way to pinch pennies for your party.
Money Saving Tip #4: Buy Dessert in Bulk
Instead of picking up a special Super Bowl cake, buy classic American favorites in bulk. Head to your local Costco or Sam's Club and buy big packages of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies, cupcake mix, and sugar cookies (we like adding a homemade touch to ours like we did here with our margarita sugar cookies).
Also pick up a tub of frosting in your team's color. Decorating the sugar cookies and cupcakes on your own will save a bundle and they will be fresh and homemade, which is sure to please your guests.
Money Saving Tip #5: Stock Up on Cheap Appetizers
Guests will inevitably eat less of their main meal if they've been snacking for the past hour. Buy bulk bags of tortilla chips, large cans of beans, salsa, shredded cheese and cream cheese to mix up a dip, or opt to serve bacon mac and cheese as an appetizer everyone can take a scoop of.
Create a layered dip with the beans on the bottom, cream cheese in the middle and salsa on top. Sprinkle shredded cheese all over the tortilla chips and pop them in the oven or microwave to melt the cheese. Then transfer the chips into a large bowl and allow guests to munch away to their heart's content.
Note: When making the dip, skip guacamole--it may be a crowd-pleaser, but it's expensive to make for large groups of people.