6 Tips for Throwing a Super Bowl Party on a Budget


More than 108 million people watched last year’s Super Bowl. It’s likely that many, if not more, will be watching Super Bowl 2020 on Sunday, February 2, between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Geographic details aside, chances are that there may be a Super Bowl party in your future. And if you’re hosting, you’re probably wondering how you can create a Super Bowl party on a budget. Well, I can help.

Having written the book on frugal living, literally (my book Suddenly Frugal came out in 2010, and the audiobook version was just released.), I know a thing or two about saving money on a party, be it Super Bowl or otherwise. That’s why I’ve put together these 6 tips on how to have a Super Bowl party on a budget.

  • Use coupons and buy on sale. I know this seems like “no duh” advice, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t take the time to combine coupons with items on sale to save the most money. And even though the Sunday paper has come and gone, there are still plenty of places you can go to find coupons online that you can print out and take with you to the supermarket. (I have a whole section on my Suddenly Frugal blog for coupons.) Here are two items on a Super Bowl menu where there are coupons available to help you save: Wholly Guacamole to go with your chips, and Tabasco sauce for chicken wings.
  • Buy in bulk to save the most. If you have a warehouse club membership and can buy what you need for the party cheaper because you’re buying bigger quantities, go for it. You’ll recall my recent story on the best items to buy in bulk.
  • Make your party menu with next week’s dinners in mind.Sure, you want to serve your guests delicious food that didn’t cost you an arm and a leg. But keep in mind that if you plan a party menu with leftovers that you can use for next week’s dinners, then you’ll have saved the most while still feeding your guests and your family. Also, think about stocking up when you find staples on sale. So, for example, if ground beef is at a great price, buy enough to make chili or burgers for your party plus more so that you have the meat ready for meatballs or lettuce wraps you might want to make for dinner in the coming days.
  • Avoid convenience to keep costs down. Going for a healthy menu? Well, when it comes to crudité, buy carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, and any other raw vegetables in bulk that can be cut up for dipping. “They are cheaper if you buy them in their whole forms and not already pre-cut,” says Laura Manning, registered dietitian, Department of Gastroenterology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Take the same approach with fruit.
  • Go with one-dish wonders. Brewing up a crock of chili could be the cheapest item you could have on a frugal Super Bowl menu. Then create an inexpensive fixings bar so your guests can dress up their chili, as they like. I’m thinking baking potatoes (buy by the bag to save the most) and various shredded cheeses. (Note: buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself versus buying a bag of already shredded cheese cuts your cheese costs significantly.) Macaroni and cheese (even the kind out of the box) in a Crock Pot can serve a crowd on the cheap. A rice cooker and a George Foreman grill can also help make cooking easier. (See a great recipe using a George Foreman grill below.) “By limiting the number of dishes you make, you can cut your food budget significantly,” adds Jessica Cox, registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist at eMeals.
  • Think potluck. “Make your party a potluck party, and ask everyone to bring a dish,” suggests Andrea Correale, president and founder of Elegant Affairs, a celebrity catering and event planning company. Obviously, when others are helping supply the party fare, this will keep your food costs very low.
Article by Leah Ingram