It’s a classic trap: You love to host, but every time you do your fluid budget takes a big hit. Super Bowl parties can be a surprisingly big expense when you have eight people (or more) over to your place at once. Food both from the grocery store and the pizza place, drinks, decorations, chairs, toilet paper, paper towels, and many other factors come into play (pun intended).
The classic solution to the classic trap is the ability to spend a little more of your time, rather than your money, to put together a party that will dazzle your friends while also keeping the rainy day fund intact.
This year’s Super Bowl marks the beginning of the second month of the year. If you made financial new year’s resolutions and you are already abandoning them, take a quick refresher on the goals you set and how to stay within them through this group friend event. If you feel like you are just spinning your wheels and staying in perpetual debt with your personal finances, make sure to stop by another of our blogs covering signs you need help with debt.
With that out of the way, here are ten ideas for balling on a budget with your friends for Super Bowl Sunday.
Consider the pot-luck format
How well do you know these friends? Do they come from a similar neighborhood? Job class? Income? If these are friends you have known for years, they should be very familiar with your work life and your general income. The stigma here is to avoid embarrassment by trying to front all the money for the party, but the reality is your friends don’t care about how much money you make. Ask them to bring their own favorite foods and drinks, enough to share with everyone that might enjoy it. Even an $8 pre-cut turkey or 5-layer dip and chips is enough to feed everyone, and won’t break the bank for any of your friends.
In the era of Facebook Events and other apps, LivingontheCheap.com also lends a very valid point to this: “If you send your invitations electronically, you can ask people to reply to the list with what they’ll bring to avoid duplication (although you really can’t have too many hot wings, can you?).”
Invite a few close friends to help with setup
How does this save you money? If you discover you forgot something, you can send a friend out to get it. Minor costs for things like extra toilet paper, paper towels, cups, or relish trays and bowls can be avoided with the help of friends.
US News adds: “It’s usually just an excuse to hang out with a few friends before more people arrive, and those close friends are usually happy to do whatever is needed to help set up, like move tables and chairs.”
Water-based paint and tape can make many everyday items suddenly football-themed
Adding in brown construction paper, you can take mason jars, or your normal cups, wrap them in brown construction paper, and paint white football laces on them, or simply use white tape.
Rolls of green turf can be purchased as most home and garden or hardware stores for as little as $10 per roll, and you can cut this turf into several pieces to cover tables and countertops. Many dollar stores will have cheap table cloths, and may even sell green ones. You Can draw on these, or paint on them to make them look like a football field.
This board on Pinterest has over a dozen other DIY ideas that are cheap and effective.
Cheap but fun games
Choose the level of sophistication you want to put out here, but BINGO is one of the easiest games to set up. Cardboard game boards either with green construction paper glued on, or green paint used can be given to each guest, with handwritten numbers or number stickers applied. Game pieces to mark squares can be something as simple as green and brown M&Ms, or something fancier like plastic football toys. Instead of numbers, you can use elements of the football game like penalties, incomplete passes, fumbles, touchdowns, and more.
Other easy games are ones you may have done as kids: Fold a piece of paper into a triangle, and make a goal post out of pencils and tape, or simply use your fingers. A tournament round-robin can be done on a whiteboard to keep track of the leaders. The winners get take-home items that include any leftover drinks, food, or a pooled cash prize.
Super Bowl-themed foods
How about a Super Bowl “Sundae” bar? Vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, fudge, nuts, and bananas are all food items that won’t break the bank, and a quick run through the Dollar Store for football-themed bowls and scoops make this one super easy.
Celebrationsathomeblog.com shares tons of ideas for a gameday at home bar for you and your guests.
Use your own plates and skip single-use plastics
This one can be scary for those that fear for the lives of their good silverware and dishes. However, it’s cheaper to put your existing dishes in the dishwasher than it is to go out to the store and buy plates, cups, and flatware for a single event (it’s also better for the environment!).
The price of paper products seems to have taken off vigorously over the past several years. But if you don’t feel like you have enough silverware, plates, glasses, and cups for everyone, consider simply ordering a pizza, and asking friends to chip in. The cost of the pizza wouldn’t be much more than the sum of all new single-use plastics anyway, and clean-up is much easier with regular plates than it is with paper plates and multiple trash dump trips. Just make sure the dishwasher is empty beforehand, and keep loading it throughout the evening.
If you are seriously struggling with debt, and struggling to fund a party is a good sign of this, consider taking a look at ways the pros use to cut debt fast.
If you found our blog looking for financial advice or assistance with credit card debt relief or debt consolidation, call Golden Financial Services today at (866)-376-9846 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out the rest of our blog here, and do your research on our services here. Let’s talk soon!