Football season has arrived with tailgate parties in tow, and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union has some advice to keep your wallet out of the red zone while getting your tailgate on.
First, plan ahead. Scout out your parking spot early, and know what it costs to park there. (Pro tip: parking closer to the stadium usually costs more!) Be sure to take a head count of expected guests so you can buy food accordingly, and then make a list of essentials to avoid last-minute expenses.
When you do buy food, keep it simple. There are hundreds of tailgate recipes available online to make sides, dips and treats for less than $1 a serving. Avoid pre-made platters; the convenience will cost you!
Providing plenty of sides will reduce the amount of meat you have to grill, which is likely the most expensive item on your menu. To be really money-savvy, turn the tailgate meal into a potluck by asking guests to bring a dish. (Pro tip: avoid the hassle of grilling with a crockpot of pulled pork for sandwiches.)
Use alternatives to the university-sold versions of tents and decorations. Using solid prints in your team’s colors can be just as spirited without the logo. If you can borrow the more expensive additions, like the tent or a fold-up table—even better!
Have your friends pitch in on gas, food and décor. The more people that chip in, the less expensive it becomes for you! Plus, the more the merrier when it comes to celebrating your team spirit. Bring a ball, a Frisbee and battery-operated speakers for entertainment, and you’ll be set for a tailgate that scores points with both your friends and your budget spreadsheet.
Keep in touch with IHMVCU for more easy ways to stay budget-savvy!