If you’re planning to do some tailgating to celebrate the football season, you may not want to go whole hog with the spending. You can tailgate in style and save a few bucks while you do it. Check out these tips for some serious tailgating with a frugal flavor.
Ask Everybody to Help Out
When you tailgate, you’re not the only one partaking in the fun and food, right? Ask your buddies to sign up to help out with the expense. The best way to do this is to create a sign up sheet and ask everyone who is joining in to sign up for something. Whether they are contributing a dish, providing a vehicle and ride, pitching in on gas and parking, or contributing the use of a canopy or chairs, or something else, everyone can help. You don’t have to shoulder the expense and responsibility all by yourself.
Stock Up Ahead of Time
Give yourself plenty of time to plan your tailgate and get it all together. Stock up ahead of time so you can take advantage of great sales at local stores. Keep in mind that you can freeze a lot of the stuff you will be using. Chicken breasts, ribs, hot dogs, bratwursts, and plenty of other goodies can keep for a good amount of time in your freezer.
Save Money on Ice
Sure, it’s easy to go buy some large bags of ice for your tailgate fun, but that’s an expense you don’t really need to have. If you have an ice maker, start a couple of weeks ahead of time and bag up the ice in your ice maker. Put those bags in your freezer and save them for tailgate time. You can also throw several bottles of drinking water into your freezer and use them as dual-purpose ice packs: They will keep everything cold and as they melt, you’ve got cold water to drink!
Make It Yourself
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on ready-made dishes for the tailgate party. Take some time to make as much as possible yourself and save a bundle of money. You can create a veggie tray for a lot less by cutting and peeling veggies yourself. Instead of paying a lot for a meat tray, how about buying some packages of lunch meat and cheeses (on sale or with coupons) then spread it all out on a large serving platter. Make out a menu then figure out what you can make yourself to save money. Ask some of your buddies to provide a dish or two to help take the load — and the expense — off of you.
Don’t let the expense of tailgating dampen your fun. With some planning, you can cut your expenses down and save a chunk of change without sacrificing fun or flavor.
What other frugal tips for tailgating do you have?
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