Eating brats and potato chips. Cheering with thousands of like-minded fans when your team hits the gridiron. Being a football fan involves way more than merely watching the game—and all of those traditions and festivities can be costly.
During the regular season, the average tailgater spends $198 per game on food, drinks and supplies, and that’s not counting ticket prices, parking or souvenirs, according to a 2016 source.1 And everything will be more expensive for the Big Game. Looking to save money on game day? Score a savings touchdown with these six tips.
1. Be patient
Check for last-minute resale tickets online, or hit up social media networks to see if your friends or family are offloading tickets. Resale tickets usually drop in price the closer it gets to game time.
If you’re driving to the event and have room to spare in your vehicle, post about it on social media to see if you know anyone going to the game who wants to share a ride to save on gas—and the parking fee.
3. Buy tailgate supplies in bulk
Hit up the bulk section of your grocery store for snacks, drinks and utensils. True parking lot warriors who plan to keep tailgating next season should invest in a reusable set of plates, napkins, cups and utensils instead of relying on disposable paper goods.
4. Co-host your tailgate
Is your vehicle the one that everyone is actually using to tailgate? If so, that doesn’t make you the host! Consider everyone in your group a co-host and ask each person to bring a dish to share. That way you’re not stuck with one big grocery store bill.
5. Read the FAQs
It pays to check the stadium’s website before you go. You might be surprised by what you can or can’t bring inside—and rules are likely to be even more strict for the Big Game. You’ll have to adhere to a strict clear-bag policy, so avoid having to toss things out when entering. The venue’s website may also list discounts available for certain groups, such as members of the military or educators.
6. Save ahead of time
The easiest way to leave the stadium without a spending hangover is to budget in advance. Create a separate savings account so you can transfer some money each month into your “football fun fund”—and having cash earmarked for the game means you can cheer on your team with confidence.
1 “NFL Tailgate Spending 2016,” Sept. 19, 2016, Offers.com
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