This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.
I am not sure what is better: watching a football game or hanging out with your friends. Enjoying sports, spending time with your friends and eating your favorite foods is always a winning combination. That's why I love tailgating and homegating.
Throwing a Homegating Football Party can be a big expense. Football party food, beverages, party supplies + decorations quickly add up. This post is full of ideas, tips + recipes on how to have a great time on game day without going broke.
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How to Host a Football Party on a Budget
I am a huge football fan. It is ridiculous how much I obsess over all things football.
Our family and friends love tailgating at the game. Plus, when we can't make the game or the road trip, we like to have a football party at home. Homegating is the next best thing to being at the game. Some people actually like it better.
Think about it... no traffic, softer seats, and all of the comforts of home.
Throwing a football party can be expensive and they can eat into your household budget quickly. We are going to talk about the three major expense areas: food, drinks, and decor. (Most importantly...the food.)
Football Party Food
One of our go-to party foods? Tyson® Any'tizers® and Tyson® crispy chicken strips. These products are great for homegating and bringing friends and families together on game days. Plus, they taste super yummy with minimal effort.
Seriously, just pop them in the oven and you have a spread of tasty football party food that everyone loves. Our favorites are Any'tizers® hot wings buffalo style, Any'tizers® boneless chicken WYNGZ*, and Tyson crispy chicken strips.
These game day must-haves are available at Kroger and Kroger division stores. Plus everyone can feel good about serving all specially marked Tyson chicken no antibiotics ever products to their family and friends. Just look for specially marked Tyson chicken packages with the "no antibiotics ever" label. No antibiotics, no added hormones or steroids.
Any'tizers are available in a variety of sauces and are made with white meat chicken. Crispy chicken strips are made with 100% all-natural white meat chicken. They are fully cooked and fully crispy.
How do they help you stick to your budget? Feeding your family is one thing, but trying to feed a football lovin' crowd is another. Serving Tyson® Any'tizers and Tyson® crispy chicken strips keeps your shopping list short and easy.
And they save you time. You know... time = money.
Here are more money-saving tips on football party food:
- Ask everyone that is coming to your party to bring an item. Make it mandatory. Being a nice host is one thing, but your guests can pitch in, too. Make it simple and give everyone a small item (1 bag of chips, 1 bag of ice, 1 of something.). Or, go all out and make it a contest. Have everyone bring a dish and the crowd gets to vote for the MVP of the party. Give the winner a prize like an inexpensive item from your favorite team (coozie, pom pom, etc.)
- Make an inexpensive veggie tray using affordable produce. Think celery + carrots.
- Create your own vegetable, meat and cheese trays. Seriously. It can be done cheaper than the pre-fab versions. Just stick to the basics.
- Don't buy serving platters. Use a mix and match combination of your current platters and plates. For this game day we used vintage pie plates for a rustic touch.
- Stir together your own quick & delicious dip recipes using kitchen basics. Check out our trio of dip ideas. (Recipes available at the bottom of this post.)
Football Party Drinks
What's a few beers, right? Wrong. Drinks for your homegating party don't stop there. We are talking about soft drinks, beer, juice, liquor and mixers. Plus loads of ice to keep everything cool.
You can stick to your football party beverage budget by following these tips:
- Live, breathe and die by BYOB. Seriously, let everyone bring their own alcohol.
- If you want to do something, make an inexpensive punch with fruit juice and carbonated soft drink. (One of my favorite easy combinations is a kid's fruit punch + lemon lime soda.)
- Ask a guest to bring ice, another to bring solo cups, another to bring a mixer, etc.
- Take advantage of Kroger deals on canned soft drinks and frozen juice to stretch your entertaining budget.
- Serve chilled bottled water (bargain brand) or filtered tap water to supplement your drinks. This also helps guests from over-indulging in adult beverages.
Football Party Decor
I have a very strong suspicion that guys don't worry about this part. But ladies, we do. I know we do. We want to have fun with decor. We want our homes to be cute when people come over. Plus, if you are a creative-type, it is fun.
If you think you can get carried away with your food and drink budget, woah, Nelly...decorating can be pricey. Especially when you try to team color coordinate everything. (I am so guilty of this. Seriously. Where I come from it is Orange on Saturday and Two-Toned Blue on Sunday.)
But you don't have to break the bank to have a great time on game day.
Stay budget conscious and game day cute with these money-saving decorating ideas:
- Use items you already have in your home. See our picture? We took a metal mini tub and turned it upside down and used it as a tray to hold chicken wings.
- Seasonal items are cute and you've already got them. October games? Decorate with pumpkins. November? Bring in natural elements. Christmas? Now that's when it really gets fun with lights and ribbon.
- Add items from your game day collection. Footballs, beads, pom poms, helmets, and other team gear you already own fits in great.
- Sharpie Pen DIY. You've seen the cute magic marker mugs, right? Go to your local budget store and grab inexpensive dishes for serving. Create football drawings, X's and O's, or anything that relates to your football party fun. You can find the How-To on line to make it permanent by a baking technique (google it), or be like me and remove the marker with rubbing alcohol when you are done. (That way you can use them for another day.)
- Instead of trying to use team colors for EVERYTHING, stick with neutral items you already own. Think burlap, brown craft paper, even the sports section of your local paper are fair game when it comes to budget decor.
- Make this virtually FREE football banner. Seriously, you probably have everything you need already in your house to throw together this sweet little rustic football party banner. (Especially if you have kids.) All we did is use construction paper, chalk, and twine.
What are your game day party secrets? We would love to hear your ideas of how you throw a football party and save money. Feel free to comment at the end of this post about your favorite Tyson® game day foods from Kroger.
Three Delicious Dip Recipes for your Football Party
Hoisin Honey Mustard Dip
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- pinch of cayenne pepper
Zesty Blue Cheese Dip
- 4 oz blue cheese crumbles
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 TBSP pickled jalapeno pepper juice
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- Pinch or two of a salt-free herb seasoning blend
- Black pepper to taste
Sriracha Ranch Dip
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayo
- 2 TBSP Sriracha sauce
- 1 TBSP dry ranch seasoning mix
- ½ tsp salt-free all purpose herb seasoning blend
- Splash of milk or buttermilk
- For each dip, stir all ingredients together under each Dip Recipe section.
- Refrigerate until time to serve with your favorite football party foods like chicken wings, chicken strips, vegetables and more.