Throwing a Tailgate on a Budget

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It’s officially Football Season! Whether you’re watching the game from the 50th yard line at the stadium or from the comfort of your own couch, football is something that brings people together (well, as long as everyone is rooting for the same team #govols). One of the best parts of football season is the tailgates! For those of you reading this who have not been to a tailgate, you are seriously missing out. Call your friends now and get yourself to their tailgate this weekend. While attending a tailgate is always fun, hosting one can be difficult if you are on a budget. Here are some tips that will help you keep that tailgate stocked with food and fun, while also keeping some money in your wallet:

  1. Get inspired by Pinterest- For those of you who are not yet on Pinterest, go and make an account ASAP. Pinterest is full of thrifty ideas for tailgates. Whether you are looking for cheap ways to decorate your space or looking for recipes that seem to be straight out of a cookbook, Pinterest has it all. Start your research by searching for “tailgate recipes” or “tailgate ideas” and let the fun begin! Warning: Set aside plenty of time, you can spend hours looking at pictures of football shaped guacamole and learning how to make mini stadiums out of charcuterie. One particularly popular Pinterest post is 44 recipes that will feed a crowd on a budget. This article by My Heavenly Recipes gives you tons of food options that will make your tailgate one of a kind. Pro tip: Opt for frozen when it comes to your meats. These frozen meats are going to cost less compared to the fresh counterparts but will taste just the same once they are cooked (& covered in cheese hopefully). One other article on Pinterest that can be rather helpful is 5 Easy Game Day Party Ideas on a Budget by Jillian Leslie. This article gives you some great information on how to really spice up that tailgate!
  1. Buy smart: Whole Sale vs. The Grocery Stores– When party planning, many people believe that buying in bulk is the answer. This is not always true, so be sure to do your research! Stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club have plenty of great deals on large items such as water, meats, or snack food but things like condiments and paper goods are not going to be your best bet. Many condiments go bad in a few months, so unless you’re thinking that your mayo or ketchup is going to be the hit of the party, skip out on it and purchase it at your local grocery. Paper goods are another thing that can be found for a cheaper price at regular grocery stores. Look for coupons for all of the items you are buying to see where you can get the best price, and do not forget to look at the price per unit on the tag. This is the true indicator of whether buying in bulk is saving you money!
  1. Find Frugal Finger Foods- Who doesn’t love them? At most parties these are the foods that tend to go the fastest. There is something about getting to try a small amount of a lot of things that makes tailgating food even more delicious. In addition, it’s easy for people to snack on apps while they are mingling or playing cornhole. A solid spread of appetizers can keep the party going and help everyone avoid the dreaded food coma. One even more important reason that you want to focus on appetizers is that they are generally the cheapest option for large groups of people. Not to mention, you can find really cheap/easy recipes for appetizers that are so tasty your guests will think that your food was catered. Below is my favorite cheap tailgate appetizer recipe from Share yours in the comments!

Recipe for that Perfect Game Day Finger Food: Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip Southern Plate

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