“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times
Home » blog

Football on a Budget

Posted on 8/28/2013 13:20 EST

It's kickoff time and what better way to celebrate football season than to be frugally festive? Tailgate parties, fan gear, and even game-day tickets don't need to deflate your wallet. We discovered bargain techniques to help fill your football-on-a-budget needs without any costly penalty flags.

Photo by flickr.com/imsohood

Cheap Tailgating.

Tailgating is essential to any game-day gathering. By definition, tailgating is cheap. But you can still shave prices and do so in style.

One strategy is to host bigger bashes and save on bulk meats from a club store, such as Sam's Club or Costco. A cheap grill comes in handy for those tailgating bashes and September happens to be the right month to find good deals on grills. Finger foods are customary on game day, which means utensil costs are almost nonexistent. But you'll still need paper products like napkins, paper plates, and cups, so check out the local dollar store or club store if you're hosting a crowd.

Football on a budget also demands versatile and filling snacks. Make sure fans' appetites are well sated before the game begins to avoid reaching for pricey temptations while the clock is ticking. Deviled eggs, a variety of dips, caramel popcorn and peanuts, trail mix, and even fried chicken can be made for less than $1 following the tailgate recipes found on MyRecipes.com. Even better, you can prepare these snacks at home before heading out to tailgate -- literally no muss, no fuss and plenty of time for socializing and the big game.

There's certainly no need to buy, or even bring, folding chairs and storage containers if you host a football-on-a-budget tailgate. Use the car -- the seats, the trunk, the roof, the hood are all efficient, no-cost substitutes -- and turn a trash can into a cooler.

And finally, a true frugal tailgating host will always park in a free, but legal, location.

Photo by flickr.com/12gagirl

Cheap Football Tickets.

Football tends to attract diehard season ticket holders but there's ample opportunity to snag football tickets on a budget. Online ticket sites are a good place to start. Access to pre-sales via fan clubs and other promotions can also help you catch a long football ticket pass. Check reseller sites such as eBay and Craigslist, too.

Let us not forget the scalpers. Timing is everything here because ticket prices drop substantially after kickoff. Moreover, it's customary to bargain for an even better deal. If you're really entrepreneurial you could purchase discounted tickets ahead of time and then scalp them at a higher price on game day. Reserve one for yourself and after tallying up your profits, you might have turned the game into a freebie.

College teams have a certain appeal for dedicated fans of football on a budget. The tickets, in-stadium food prices, and fan gear are all cheaper at this level compared with the major league. Ticket Liquidator is the right address for cheap college game tickets.

If none of these tips pan out, you can savor the action by watching the game at a neighborhood bar or even from the comfort of your own couch -- just move the tailgate to your house for game time action.

Cheap Fan Gear.

Even if you're committed to football on a budget, you can still get into the spirit with fan gear. Styles are relatively consistent from year to year, and items left over from last season are always bargain buys. Amazon stocks a large selection of accessories and men's and women's team apparel at half off. Your local Target and Walmart both likely offer cheap NFL and college attire for men, women, and children. Local thrift stores are likely sources for cheap fan gear, as are online sites selling second-hand goods. Alternatively, learn to create your own fan gear through social media sites such as Pinterest.

by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)

Cheapism.com on Facebook