The Eagles and Patriots square off in Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb. 4, and millions of Americans will gather around the big screen to watch the big game. Talk about "appointment television" -- 111 million people watched the Super Bowl in 2017.
That said, Super Bowl Sunday is not an official holiday, but it might as well be. According to LendEDU, Americans are preparing for the day as if it was Christmas or the Fourth of July; here's how it breaks down:
On average, Americans will spend a total of $207.16 on Super Bowl festivities:
- $72.10 for food & non-alcoholic beverages
- $57.92 for alcoholic beverages
- $27.60 for decorations
- $20.70 for fan gear
- $28.84 for miscellaneous expenses
That's a lot of cash just to see if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady can win their sixth Super Bowl. But whether you're a Patriots or Eagles fan, or just a Super Bowl aficionado, there are more cost-effective ways to celebrate Super Sunday, with just as much fun as if you paid top dollar to celebrate the big game.
To pull that off, try on these ideas for size:
Head to the Dollar Store and Head Home -- A big part of throwing a great party is the venue, says Sara Hollenbeck, a shopping and savings expert at Offers.com. "Hosting the party at your own house is the best way to save money," Hollenbeck advises. "Because while heading to the bar might sound fun, they tend to hike up the prices on food and drinks, costing you more money than if you had just watched the game at home."
To plug into that "sports bar" feel in your own house, Hollenbeck says to head over to your local Dollar Store to find party supplies, plates, napkins and other football-related decor. "You can deck out your house in your favorite team's colors or pick up some fun games to play during the commercials," she says. Hollenbeck says it shouldn't cost more than $15 to get the job done.
Use Coupons to Score Deals on Food -- Many restaurants and bars will be offering specials on Super Bowl weekend, to steer customers inside as well as encourage to-go and delivery orders. "But before you shell out $70 for pizza and wings for the whole gang, make sure to look for the best deals on whatever food you want to serve at your party," notes Hollenbeck.
"Restaurants such as Domino's, Hooters, Spaghetti Warehouse, Taco Cabana and many more are offering great dine-in and to-go specials to help you celebrate on a budget." Also, check out discount product and service sites like Groupon.com for additional Super Bowl specials. In doing so, Hollenbeck says you can knock down that $70 food cost to $30.
Make it a Potluck or BYOB -- Going the potluck/BYOB route is a fantastic way to minimize your Super Bowl party expenses, says Natasha Rachel Smith, a personal finance expert at TopCashback.com. "Encourage your guests to bring whatever they like to eat or drink," Smith advises. "Tell your guests beforehand so you can arrange what each person is bringing and avoid overlap."
Create an Appetizer Challenge -- Most Super Bowl party hosts don't like asking guests to bring food or snacks, says Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert at AndreaWoroch.com. "Change that equation and engage your guests with an appetizer challenge, where friends and family are encouraged to make their favorite dish then everyone votes on it after the party," says Woroch. "This helps reduce your cooking time and money spent on snacks and foods."
Borrow. Don't Buy -- A great way to underspend on Super Bowl Sunday is to stash the cash and borrow the entertainment tools you need. "One year my husband and I threw a Super Bowl party," says Woroch. "I came home to find a brand new 46-inch flat screen television in our living room. My husband decided that we needed two screens to impress his buddies." Woroch says the purchase was a complete waste of money. "So, before heading to the store to buy whatever you're lacking -- be it a television, fan gear, folding tables/chairs, an oversized cooler -- find out if you can borrow from friends, neighbors or coworkers."
There's really no need to overspend on Super Sunday, especially so soon after the Christmas credit card bills have arrived. Use the tips above to watch the Pats and the Eagles in style, and without breaking the bank.
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