8 Ways to Go Tailgating on a Budget

Fall means football season, and with that comes a series of tailgating parties and events.  Tailgating has already been a fall staple – it’s a great time to spend with family, friends and fellow football fans.  The only drawback is that it can get a little expensive.  Especially if you’re one of those who see football as not just a sport, but a religion (kind of).  Sure, as die-hard fans you can go all-out, but tailgating doesn’t have to break the bank.

To make sure you don’t blow your budget this year, here are my top tips to achieve a fun and memorable but cheap tailgating season.

1. Carpool with friends.

Bringing multiple cars will just increase your expenses – gas, parking.  To save on fees, coordinate with your family, friends or neighbors and just fit as many people and supplies into a vehicle or two.

2. Park farther from the stadium.

Parking fees depend by the spot.  If you want to go on a budget, just opt to park a little farther away and just walk or take the shuttle to the stadium before the game begins.  Make sure to do your parking research ahead of time, and get to the venue early.

3. Borrow gears, if possible.

Buying new chairs, grills, coolers, canopies, etc. is obviously expensive.  If you don’t have the must-have gears yet, pool resources with your friends and family members and just borrow the necessary equipment to cut down the costs.

4. Make your own food.

Buying pre-made food and snack platters is the easiest route but of course, with its convenience comes a hefty price tag.  So whip up some classic favorites at home and also ask your tailgating-mates to bring a dish or two.

5. Skip the meat.

If you really, really want to stay on a budget this year, you might want to consider skipping the meat… or check out your local butcher for a more affordable price range.

6. Buy in bulk.

From condiments to chips to disposable utensils and even beer, it’s best to buy them in bulk at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club.  Many of these stores also sell their own beer brands for a much cheaper price.  It’s good to explore other liquor brands like this one if you want to save more money.

7. DIY your banners and other gear.

Show off your team spirit without spending too much on shirts, banners, etc. because we all know that official team merchandise comes with a price.  Check online – Youtube or Pinterst for crafty ideas on how you can make your decorations, banners, shirts, etc.

8. Consider “home tailgating.”

Lastly, why not go for home tailgating instead?  Some of you may frown upon this idea but hey, it can still be fun and it’s way cheaper and less stressful than having to deal with the crowd at the stadium.


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