It’s that time of year where football lovers are gearing up for the big game. It’s time to start planning your home bowl party. The only problem is that hosting can be expensive, especially if you like to buy a lot of decorations. You don’t have to fret over the cost of a big party. I promise you can celebrate the big game on a little budget!
I don’t follow sports, in fact I have no clue what teams will be playing this year. I do, however, live for party prep on a budget. A home bowl party is the ultimate party prep in my book. Which means when the big game is on at our house, a big party spread is on too. You don’t have to have a big budget for the big game. I put together this party for less than $200, including decor. Here are my favorite tips for throwing a big party for the big game on a little budget.
Tips for celebrating the big game on a budget
1. Buy all your party goods at one store
I doubt you’ll be surprised to hear that I bought most of my party goods at Target. I don’t know how Target does it, but my whole family loves it. Even my toddler enjoys it. After our trip to buy all of this stuff he told me, “I had fun at Target with you, Mommy”. Me too, son. Me too.
2. Pick one dish to be the star of the big game
There are so many game day favorites to choose from. Since my husband just got a new grill, we decided to stick with easy Coca-Cola ribs. Check out my husband’s ridiculously easy recipe at the end of this post.
Limiting yourself to only one big dish will help keep your costs way down.
3. Keep appetizers and sides simple
Since we decided to focus our time, energy and money on the ribs, we kept the sides and appetizers simple. We stuck to tortilla chips + salsa, carrots + hummus, and cheese + crackers for the appetizers.
Then we had salad and beans for side dishes. Since the game occurs near dinner time we like to serve a full dinner, but you can keep costs even lower by making the ribs an appetizer instead of a main dish, just make sure to add in a couple other hearty apps.
4. Add some excitement with an ice cream bar
By half time, most people are stuffed from all the delicious party food. Keep desserts simple by offering an ice cream bar with fun toppings like REESE’s miniatures and footballs, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.
We even set up a station for Coca-Cola floats. Here in South Florida it is always appropriate to offer an ice cream bar. No snowstorms here!
5. Use disposable products sparingly and wisely
I can’t stress this advice enough: put your money towards food and drinks, not disposable utensils and cups. I draw the line at plates. As much as I’d love to be eco-friendly and use all reusable products, I don’t like being left to do the dishes after a big party. I can handle tossing cups and silverware into the dishwasher. I love these green cups that I got on clearance at Target. They are the perfect size for anything from sodas to ice cream.
I always try to buy paper plates and napkins that are not theme specific. If I have extra, I don’t want to wait a whole year to use them again. I thought the black and white stripes and green plates would go well for other parties throughout the year. I’m thinking award shows for the stripes, and St. Patrick’s Day for the green.
6. Buy multipurpose decorations
I always buy decor that can be used over and over again. While it’s tempting to buy decorations with game day decor, it’s more budget friendly to buy something that can be used multiple times. I’m so in love with chalkboard decor right now. I can even use this chalkboard banner from Target multiple times!
7. Keep decor simple and decorate using household items
You don’t have to buy all of your decoration. Try using mason jars, glasses and storage containers of all sizes to hold food and utensils. I’m loving how these old silver cups look with the clear mason jars. I love putting my budget towards food and drinks instead of pricey decorations.
Get the Coca Cola Ribs Recipe
The most important step is to let the ribs sit in Coca-Cola for at least 12 hours.
- 2 slabs of baby back ribs
- 2 liters of Coca-Cola
- 2 bottles of barbecue sauce
- Place ribs in a large roasting pan and cover with Coca-Cola. Refrigerate overnight (at least 12 hours)
- Preheat a grill to medium-high. Also preheat oven to 325. Grill ribs for about 30-35 minutes, periodically turning.
- Coat ribs in barbecue sauce, transfer to a new roasting pan, and bake for one hour or until meat is falling off the bone.
Isn’t that the easiest recipe ever? I might only think that since my husband did all the cooking for this party. Maybe we should team up more often!
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