184 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl this year, with nearly 43 million viewers planning to host a party. Over 25 percent of those surveyed plan to attend a Super Bowl party, with total spending on food, decor and fan gear eclipsing $14 billion. This represents a 14-percent increase compared to last year and serves as a survey high for the National Retail Federation.
While it would be great to party like an athlete on Feb. 1, most consumers are still reeling from holiday spending and trying to catch up on credit card bills. Happily, even those on a tight budget can score big without penalizing their pocketbooks. Read on for tips to host a Super Bowl party on a budget.
Create a Game Plan
How many people are coming to your party? Are kids or pets included? Any dietary restrictions you should know about? Put together a game plan so there are no surprises during your event. If you haven’t already, send out e-vites or Facebook invitations to spread the word and get RSVPs before you head to the store. Punchbowl offers a great variety of free ecards for fans of both teams!
Coordinate a Handoff
Now that you have a plan in place, reach out to party attendants and ask for potluck contributions. Everyone has their favorite game-day dish and this is a great way to try something new while keeping costs down. If you prefer to provide all the provisions yourself, stick to finger foods and main courses that are easy to consume one-handed. Ask guests to bring a beverage to share so you can focus your efforts (and your budget) on food.
Strengthen Your Defense
Nearly 20 million fans will stock up on either Seahawks swag or Patriots gear to show their support. Avoid paying premium prices for team apparel and decor at specialty sports shops and hit up department stores instead. For example, you can find apparel for both teams at Kohl’s for less than $50, plus save an extra 15 percent with coupon codes from CouponSherpa.com.
Build Your Offense
Having a good offense is not only important during the big game, it's also essential to a smooth-running party. Take the necessary maneuvers to keep young kiddos entertained by getting a sitter or having crafts, activities and games at the ready when attention spans wane. If attendees are bringing their dogs, set out buckets of water and remind owners to bring food and pet beds to keep the canines happy!
Score Big on Supplies
Whether you're a Seahawks fan or rooting for Brady and his Patriots, party supplies are a must to show your support. Party City is a great outlet for inexpensive serving essentials. In fact, you can purchase a basic party set featuring cups, plastic forks, plates and napkins for 18 guests for less than $15. You can also find free printable templates of decor and party games online, including the classic Super Bowl squares game from Sports Illustrated.
Avoid Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Since you're likely enjoying a few adult beverages during your party, make sure your guests are drinking responsibly. DUI checkpoints abound on Super Bowl Sunday, and you don't want guests leaving your home under the influence. Make sure everyone has a designated driver and be prepared to host an overnight guest if necessary.
This post was written by Kendal Perez, the Savings Expert for CouponSherpa.com, a popular coupon website and mobile app managed in Colorado. Kendal is a regular contributor to local morning news programs on the topic of saving money, and has been an expert guest for HLN, FOX Business and a host of regional news stations across the country.