Whether you’re ride or die for your favorite team, or just here for the snacks and the halftime show, watching the Big Game is a great way to bring family and friends together. When you plan ahead, you can keep costs low and still be the watch party MVP. Here are six ways to save money when you host the Big Game:
1. Make Your Own Snacks
The most important ingredient for any party? The food, obviously. There are plenty of cost-efficient recipes for party snacks that make your veggie friends and guests with food allergies feel welcome. We’ve rounded up 12 Tasty Snacks for the Big Game, but the options are almost endless. For extra points, bake up a batch of these frosted peanut butter football cookies or go with foods that match your favorite team’s colors.
Save more: When you’re ready to hit the grocery store, remember to add offers from your shopping list in the Ibotta mobile app and earn cash back after you upload your receipt – or, link your favorite grocery loyalty account to Ibotta to earn receipt-free.
2. Host a Potluck
You can still host a fantastic football party even if you’re not an all-star in the kitchen. That is, after all, why delivery was invented. Remember to order ahead, since game day is sure to be a busy one for your favorite take-out places. Or, you can go with the classic potluck party and encourage your guests to bring their favorite dishes and desserts. Just don’t forget the drinks, plates, and utensils, and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect soiree.
Save more: Order pizza online from Domino’s or let everyone choose the cuisine of their choice from DoorDash, Grubhub, or Seamless. Start your order on the Ibotta app and you’ll earn cash back on your delivery!
3. Create a signature cocktail
Inviting fans from both teams? Help break the tension with some game day drinks. The easiest way to save on beverages is to make the party BYOB. But if you’d like to stock up just in case, we’ve got a few ideas. Beer is always a crowd-pleaser, and you’ll score extra points if you can find local brews. Or, mix up some signature cocktails or sangria. Don’t forget the sodas and seltzers for non-drinkers!
Save more: All that alcohol can add up, so be sure to add offers in the Ibotta mobile app (you’ll find them in the “Beer, Wine & Spirits” category) before you visit the grocery or liquor store to earn cash back.
4. Get crafty with decorations
No party is complete without festive decor. Shop your favorite party suppliers for team swag and football decorations, from flags and pennants to beer koozies and cocktail napkins. If you’re feeling crafty, make your own party favors tailored to your favorite team! Let Pinterest be your guide.
5. Play Free Party Games
Football is exciting … until it’s not. Whether it’s a lull in the game or a lackluster halftime show, you may want to have a few ideas on hand to keep the party going, even if the teams aren’t so evenly matched. Here are a few (nearly) free games and activities:
- Mascot Matchup: Print out pages with football team names on one side and mascot names on the other. The first person (or group) to correctly match the mascots to their correct teams wins! Not a computer whiz? Search “football mascot matching game” online for some pre-made printables.
- Commercial BINGO: “The commercials are the best part!” If this sounds like any of your guests, give them something to look forward to between plays. Print out BINGO cards with major advertiser names in each square. (You may want to do a little online research to see which companies advertised during the Big Game last year.) You can create your own with a blank BINGO card template or use these pre-made cards.
- Coloring Pages: Keep the kids (and kids at heart) busy with football-themed coloring sheets. You can print them out for free online — you just have to supply the crayons!
6. Bring the group to a restaurant or bar
Not into hosting? Take a knee and organize a viewing party at a local restaurant or sports bar instead. Plenty of venues offer game day deals on food and drinks, so you’ll spend less than usual even though you’re eating out, and you’ll have even more people to cheer along with. Bonus: No dishes to wash!
Save more: Head to one of Ibotta’s restaurant partners like Yard House, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Dave & Buster’s, Applebee’s, or Chili’s to save money on your bill when you use a gift card you purchased with Ibotta. Don’t forget to make a reservation!