7 Tips to Host a Tailgate on a Budget

by Corey Martinez

Football season is underway, which means tailgate season has also arrived. The tailgate party is one of my favorite traditions during football season. Attending a football game can get expensive between parking, food and more. One way I cut down on costs is to host a budget-friendly tailgate. Over the years, I’ve learned some lesson on throwing a fun tailgate party without breaking the bank.

Purchase frozen food:

The costs of fresh meat can quickly add up. I tend to buy frozen foods in bulk such as hamburger patties, wings, spare ribs and more. Also, consider buying less expensive cuts of meat such as flank steak or skirt steak. They may not be as tender as the better cuts of meat, but with a good marinade soaked over a long period of time and even the worst cuts of meat can be grilled up nice and tender.

Buy store brand products:

You can lower the cost of condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and relish by purchasing the store brand, which tends to be less expensive than name brands.

Get supplies at the dollar store:

You can purchase paper plates, napkins, utensils, cups, trash bags, freezer bags and more at your area dollar store. Most dollar stores tend to sell these items such as cups and plates in solid colors. So, there is a good chance that you’ll find the color of your favorite football team.

Freeze bottled water:

Do you drink bottled water? If so, don’t throw them away. Instead, re-use them, fill them with water, and then freeze them. At your tailgate, you can use them to keep your drinks and food cold. After the water has melted, you can drink the cold water.

Research the parking situation and arrive early:

The closer you get to the stadium, the higher the cost of parking will be. Before the day of the game, do your research and find out where the less expensive parking spots are. You should also arrive early on game day to get the best – and less expensive spots.

Cook at home:

I realize part of the appeal of a tailgate is firing up the grill the day of the game. But you can still cook some other meals at home to bring to the party. For instance, I cook a large quantify of chili on my crockpot at home. Chili is inexpensive to make and it can feed several people.

Divide and borrow:

Ask your friends and family who are attending the tailgate if they have lawn chairs, canopies, blankets, coolers and other tailgate gear. Have everybody assess what gear they have and assign people to bring certain items. Between everybody who is attending, you should have enough items so you don’t have to buy anything new.

I hope these tips help you score the perfect tailgate. And I hope your favorite team wins, except when they play my Cowboys!

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