Whether it’s the Superbowl or the NBA Finals, each week people step up to host game day get-togethers in their homes. Along with the cheers and jeers, no game day is complete without a big screen and a healthy helping of food and drinks.

For guests, game day is the perfect opportunity to support teams and have a good time without any hassle. For the hosts however, staying on top of everything involves time, energy, and most notably money.

More often than not, inviting friends and family over to view the game is more expensive than most people expect. The good news is that there are ways to cut out unnecessary expenses that help make your job of hosting easier and cheaper.

Make A List

Before you step out of your house for the store, be sure to start formulating a list of the things you will need. Often when we shop without any direction, we are susceptible to being influenced by sales and our impulses.

As a result, we are more likely to purchase things we have no need for. To eliminate that unnecessary expense, put pen to paper and list out all of the essentials. Figuring out what you need ahead of time also allows you to consult your local circular to see if there are any deals or sales on your desired goods that you can take advantage of.  

Use The Grill

In the event you’re hosting and it is warm enough to get outside, consider using your grill for preparing some of your game day food. The grill has a number of game day benefits as it can prepare everything from wings and burgers to vegetables. This will prevent any traffic from building up in the kitchen as people go to grab snacks and drinks.

Grilling also requires less energy than using the oven, meaning you’ll be saving a bit on electricity. It’s perfect for ensuring saving in the summer too as it helps to ensure a cheap electricity expense too. Above all else, doing your cooking outside instead of in your home helps to prevent heat from entering your space. This, coupled with the body heat from engaged guests, can make for a hot event that will result in even more energy use in the form of turning on the air conditioning. Avoid that charge by opting for the grill. 

Buy In Bulk

When it comes to feeding a number of people, buying in bulk is helpful for ensuring you enough food while also reducing the price of hosting. Wholesale clubs offer a wide variety of goods from chips and pretzels to appetizers and desserts. Especially in the event you are planning on providing the entree, buying in bulk is helpful for reducing the cost of what could otherwise be an expensive purchase. The likes of meat and alcohol can be particularly pricey but buying in bulk will help to reduce some of that cost. It is easy to go overboard with bulk purchases though, so be wary of overpurchasing.

Assign Things To Bring

Sometimes switching things up and assigning your guests the task of bringing certain items with them is the best way to go when it comes to game day. This will take some of the stress of hosting away as it eliminates a large source of the expense. It also gives you back some time, which can be redirected towards other things that will help the event to run smoothly.

You could even make the event a potluck encouraging everyone to bring their favorite game day dish, which will ensure some diversity and acts as a conversation starter. This is perfect for guests who may not know each other as they can inquire upon what others brought. And food is not the only thing you can assign as having cups, plates, utensils and even drinks provided by someone else will aid in making the event cheaper.

Lots of Sides

One good thing about game day food is that often it is heavily made up of sides. More often than not, simple sides like chips and pretzels can be purchased inexpensively and feed a lot of people. Other crowd pleasers, like dips, can either be bought or made for a relatively insignificant amount.

When it comes to game day, there is typically a lot of standing up, high-fives, and frustrated pacing, so allowing people to snack instead of meal will largely improve the standard viewing experience by not forcing guests to constantly put down and pick up full plates and cups.

As with most large events, people are also likely to grab a little bit more than they can eat and will throw some things away. Providing lots of snacks helps to reduce waste and its cost. And if there is anything leftover, you can always pack it in with your lunch or use it as a side for another meal. 

Lots of Veggies

Supplying your spread with a hearty amount of veggies is a great way to cut out some of your hosting costs. Not only do vegetables provide your event with a hint of healthiness, they are also extremely versatile and affordable.

Whether in the form of a colorful salad, thrown on a grill for a nice smoky flavor, or left raw to be dipped in ranch dressing, vegetables pack some unique flavors and pair nicely with other dishes. Especially if you are responsible for providing the bulk of the meal, substituting dessert or wings for veggie options will go a long way in keeping down your prices.   


Douglas Keller has been a financial expert for 20 years, helping people reach financial
stability. He now provides personal finance tips on his blog Peak Personal Finance, where he
helps people save money on their bills every month.

Published by MoizRaza Khatri