Football season has officially returned. Between Saturday morning’s College Game day and Monday Night NFL, football has taken over.
If you’re a diehard fan, you’re probably familiar with the time-honored tradition of tailgating. Hosting a tailgate is a fun way to show your team pride and a great way to gather your friends in one place. However, there’s a lot that goes into a proper tailgate and unfortunately, it isn’t always cheap.
Thankfully there are ways to throw a crowd-pleasing pregame tailgate while sticking to you budget. Here are four essentials for a cheap fall tailgate.
Consider Your Location
The location of your tailgate can have a big impact on how much you spend. Having a front-row spot, feet away from the stadium entry is obviously every game-goers dream; unfortunately, that prime spot is going to cost you. Take a good look at the venue and find a spot more reasonably priced. It may mean being farther away from the stadium, but you’ll have a great time no matter where you are and some stadiums even offer shuttles to the entry come game time.
Consider Your Food Options
When you think of tailgating you probably imagine burgers, brats, chicken breasts, wings and ribs. While these are great game options, they also tend to be expensive; in any dinner or food gathering, meat tends to be the costly item. Instead, consider home-cooked food that can go a longer ways. Try opting for chili or slow-cooker pulled pork for main dishes and stick to larger side dishes, drinks and desserts for the rest. Not only can you save on grills and charcoal in that you cook these dishes at home, but one batch usually goes a long way, which will ultimately save you money.
Whoever decided name brand was better, clearly didn’t have a budget. When it comes to condiments, snacks like chips, cookies and crackers, or utensils, there’s no reason to spend extra on name brand products. Unless you’re shopping for something special, most people won’t ever know the difference; everyone will still enjoy the food and your wallet will be happier for it.
Like any large gathering, the easiest way to stay on budget is to make your event a potluck. If you plan on inviting a group, opt to cook the main dish and have everyone else chip in by bringing sides and desserts or have everyone donate a certain amount of money that you put towards your tailgate fare. Furthermore, save on party accessories like tables and chairs or coolers by having various guests bring what they already have.
Don’t let the cost of materials keep you from your pregame celebration. There are lots of ways to stay on budget and show your team spirit. If the stadium cost ultimately ends up being too much, you can always create a game day atmosphere in the comfort of your own home. After all, what really matters is whether or not your favorite team wins!
What are some of your tailgate tips?- Kayla