Regular season NFL games start in three weeks. There are touchdowns to be had. Blocks to be made. Victories to be celebrated. Those victories are celebrated partially in stadiums, but overwhelmingly they are celebrated in living rooms across the country. If you’re hosting a Sunday football party in your living room, or find yourself hosting them regularly, here are some budget-friendly tips to throw a festive get-together without spending an arm and leg.
Nothing unites people from the same city quite as much as football. If you’re hosting a viewing party for a group of people living far away from the place they grew up, consider the NFL Game Pass as an affordable option to be able to watch the game, as it likely won’t be available on broadcast television.
Alcohol can be a budget buster, especially if you’re providing it for the masses week after week. If you’re consuming in bulk, buy in bulk. The price per unit is going to be cheaper. Most cities also have their own, local, cheap beer brand. While it might not be your favorite brew, typically football fans rally around anything local to your team. In this case, it’s okay to scrimp on beer if the cheapy brand is a unifying force.
When you’re done drinking, gather up all the glass bottles. If you live in the great states of Maine, Connecticut, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Iowa, Oregon, or Vermont, you can get five to ten cents back per bottle when you recycle them. Use this money to offset the beer budget next time you go to the grocery store. (Similarly, we’ve experimented with scrapping aluminum cans. It doesn’t pay enough to be worth the effort. They should still be recycled, though.)
Serving food for an entire Sunday football crowd is another notable expense. To cut costs, cut coupons. Shop sales. If possible, buy in bulk. A great place to look for your frozen pizza, pigs-in-a-blanket, and pretzel rod needs is Costco, where you can buy higher quantities for lower prices.
You don’t have to deck out your entire house for a football game, but small touches do add to the atmosphere. Pull out any jerseys or t-shirts that you may have to support your team. Dress everyone in your house in team colors. If you have any jerseys leftover, you can leave them out for guests who may not. Let them wear them to show their pride during game time, and then return them before they go home.
To get things like Mardi Gras beads, garlands, and other knick knacks in team colors, head to your local dollar store. They’re likely to be stocked during football season. If you don’t live in the same town as the team your party-goers support, check out sites like Rally House. Used in combination with promo codes, they are a great place to score team-themed gear at a reasonable price.
You all may be far from home, but it won’t feel that way in your living room every Sunday, surrounded by friends, food, beer, and hometown football.