Following our last post on why we are very excited for this month, as we enter the second week of September, football season is now also in full swing. It is the time to celebrate your favorite team with family and friends – and saving without skimming the fun will be the cherry on top! Here are some tips for your next tailgate:
- Pool a tailgate
Invite your friends not just to your tailgate, but to help put it together. By delegating dishes and sharing cooking resources and ingredients, you can help each other lessen the work load as well as budget burden. Most people will be happy to be part of the tailgate simply by bringing one dish or contributing some equipment. Pooling a tailgate together also extends to carpooling with as many people as possible to save gas and parking fee for everyone. The more the merrier – and the cheaper!
- Plan in advance
Much like what we have stressed in other posts, saving usually comes with some extra planning ahead. Buy ingredients early and save them in the freezer until you need them. This way you can look for sales, compare prices at different stores and have more time in the end to double check that you have everything needed for the tailgate. Also figure all the details while you are planning to make sure everything is ready. Even little things such as forgetting napkins or not having enough utensils can potentially affect the tailgate experience for your family and friends.
- Buy in bulk or at dollar stores
Since you will be cooking for many people, buying from discount clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco can help you save on meats. For utensils, plates, decorations, drinks or even cooking equipment, browse first at the dollar stores (after asking around if your friends can help out, of course). It can be surprising how many things you can find for cheap at these stores!
- Cook some dishes in advance
While grilling is one of the greatest things about tailgating, you don’t have to cook everything on the grill. Instead, save cooking time and fuel by preparing some of the dishes in advance at home. Dishes like salad, chili or dips can be easily made in advance for cheap and will nicely compliment your grilled food.
- Consider your menu
Going along with cooking beforehand, you can save on what you decide to cook for your tailgate. For some inspirations, myrecipes.com compiled a list of tailgating dishes under $1 for each serving. Also, to avoid paying more for concession food during the game, make sure everyone is full from the tailgate by serving up several filling dishes, like potato salad or baked beans.
With these tips, we hope you are ready to enjoy sports without hurting your budget these coming weekends! How else have you saved while tailgating?