Fall is a great time to gather with family and friends for a fun tailgating party. While tailgate parties may be informal events, they require a bit of thinking and planning to make sure everything comes together smoothly –and inexpensively.
Here are some tailgating ideas to help you plan the best tailgate party your money can buy:
1. Location, Location, Location
The first thing you want to do when planning your party is to decide on your event location. It can be the parking lot of the football stadium or even back at your own home. Chances are very good that the location will not add very much to your expenses. But some of the things you want to keep in mind is making sure it’s easy for your guests to find, convenient and it will facilitate a football party theme.
2. List the Party Essentials
One of the most important things you can do in order to save money on your tailgating party is to plan ahead and to make sure you bring everything you need to avoid the last minute run to the store. This requires making a complete list of essentials you will need like: drinks, tailgating food, party utensils/plates, garbage bags, a grill or gas burner for cooking, tables, chairs, and coolers to keep food cold or containers to keep food warm. Every little thing that you remember to bring to the party translates into one less last minute expense you have to make once you are at your tailgating spot.
3. Shop Smart
Perhaps where you have most potential for saving money is in the food area. The food that lends itself very well for tailgate parties include: burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, chili, potato salad, home made salsa or dips. Foods like potato salad, chili, dips and salsa can be prepared in advance and for less, if you make them yourself. Save money when you buy ground meat for burgers and hot dogs by buying them in bulk at your area wholesale clubs.
4. Show Your Team Pride
Just because you may be having a tailgate party in a parking lot doesn’t mean you don’t get to decorate the area. Make sure to ask friends and family to decorate their cars, bring their team flags and other items to decorate the area, and of course to make sure to wear their favorite team colors. You can also go to your local Dollar store and pick up the Team’s colors in streamers, balloons, paper plates and more! And if this is a family friendly event, the kids will love taking home a balloon as a souvenir, or use it as a game for the kids. Let them decorate the balloons with faces.
5. Easy Clean Up
As the start of the game draws near make sure to wrap up the party and clean up the area to restore it to the way it was before you got there. In addition to bringing your own garbage bags, don’t forget to bring some food storage containers for any left over tailgating food you may still have to take home for family leftovers!
Have fun cheering for your favorite team!