The Big Game is quickly approaching on February 1st. Every year we host a big party, and with a bit of skill and planning, we do it for cheap. This will be our first year hosting since we cut the cord (bye-bye, Cable), and we’re going to tell you our game plan:

 

Our Big Game party has become bigger and bigger over the years. Given the size of our guest list, keeping the party affordable is quite the challenge. However we’ve had great luck with this game plan, but know that prices can fluctuate based on region and time of year.

 

The Game – How to Watch if You’ve Cut the Cord

To have a party, you need to have the game itself. Here are the two approaches to take:

  • Digital Reception Antenna (My Pick) - If you’ve cut the cord like I have, it’s the cord cutters’ favorite. The old-school, now new-school technology can be picked up on the cheap and used after just the big game. Protip: You’ll want to check to make sure that your area is within the broadcast radius of the local NBC affiliate. I get great signal, but check for your area.
  • Laptop, Display Connector/Adapters and Cables – The streamer’s best friend. You can watch for free online at nbcsports.com/liveextra/. Just make sure you have the appropriate cables and a display connector for your computer or tablet. 

If you’re watching on a smaller television, in the past we’ve used a furniture rental store to rent a larger television and then returned it. Don’t consider a retail store however, because I’ve found the restocking fee costs more than a rental fee in most cities.

 

The Food – Serve the Masses on the Cheap

Cheap party food can be hard to find if you need it in large quantities. Forget the party trays and take these ideas for supplying food for the masses:

  • Big Discount Clubs - If you’re a member to one of the big discount clubs (Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, etc.), consider purchasing your food frozen and in bulk. We buy most of our appetizers and snacks from there. It’s extremely cost-effective to buy fruits, cheeses, veggies, and dips in bulk from these stores and make your own party tray. You can save on average between $7-$13 this way!
  • Pizza – The tried and true favorite, many chains will be offering specials with deep discounts. However, I’ve found calling ahead for a bulk discount and placing an order in advance may get you the biggest win. I was able to score 8 mediums from our local chain for just under $5 per pie.
  • BYOF – For the last few years, we’ve done ours potluck-style and found that it is the cheapest option, but may offend some guests. So make some fun out of it and get the wives involved:
    • Food from the Cities – Challenge the attendees to find an amazing recipe from both cities, make it, and bring it. Then have a competition based on the food – which city’s food selection tastes the best?
    • Tailgating Favorites – Invite attendees to bring their best of the best, and award an MVC (Most Valuable Chef) at the end of the game. Protip: gauge your winner by both opinion, as well as whose dish is finished first.
    • Themed-Selections – Challenge the cooks to a theme, similar to Top Chef or Master Chef shows, and create a panel of judges to take place during the halftime of the Big Game. Just remember to keep the criticism fun and light.
  • Drinks – My rule of thumb is strictly BYOB unless you want the cheapest special they have at the store when I go Sunday morning.

For the Kids

Kids need attention during the game, especially if you have a number of younger ones. Here are a few quick ideas to keep them occupied:

  • Cookies – Invite the kids to make cookies in the shape of footballs or football helmets, and bake. Have icing and decorating tools on hand to extend time.
  • Pompoms – Use cheap dollar store streamers to make pompoms in the team colors.
  • Concession Stand Helpers – Keep the drinks at a station and allow for the kids to work in the concession stand. Protip: Make sure the station is on a solid, cleanable floor.
 

Follow these tips and you’ll be the MVP of your Big Game party!

 

Enjoy the Big Game in style and comfort, and for next to nothing. Share this article with the buttons on the bottom if you have friends that need help with their Big Game party, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get more articles like this posted directly to your timeline or newsfeed!