Thinking of throwing a Super Bowl party, but don’t want to take on the hefty cost associated with this type of event? Here are our top tips for throwing a memorable Super Bowl party that won’t blow your budget.

Create a Party Budget

Simply put, write down what you can afford. Your overall budget for your Super Bowl party will dictate how many people you invite, and in addition, a spending plan will help guide your menu and shopping. A budget is a must if you want to avoid overspending.

Set Expectations in your Invite

Use the party invitation as your blueprint, let your guests know what to expect. Will your party include light apps or a full meal? This is also a great way to ask guests to bring a little something to the party; don’t be afraid to go potluck style. Most people have a favorite Super Bowl snack or appetizer, just ask them to bring a dish to share with other guests. Or make things even easier and ask your guests to bring their beverage of choice (see BYOB below).

Buy Cheap Snacks

There is no need to stick with name brand labels when it comes to hosting a party; cheap, sale-item snacks will do. Stick with chips and dips and skip the expensive meat and cheese platters. Invited half the town? Be especially smart about your purchases and buy things in bulk

, particularly high-priced items such as meat and alcohol.

Break out your Slower Cooker

Slow cooker recipes are almost always affordable, easy, and feed a ton of people. Slow cooker meals are perfect for a football party. For example, chili is a low-cost, hearty dish that will feed several guests at once. To really cut costs consider a vegetarian chili. Skipping the meat is not only a healthy option but also saves a fair amount of money when hosting.

BYOB

Having guests bring their own beverage will drastically cut down on your party costs. This is also a great way to make sure everyone has exactly what they want to drink. Don’t want a complete BYOB theme? Purchase simple straightforward beverages like wine, beer, and soda. No need to buy expensive wines or craft beer, stick with the basics and purchase whatever is on sale. Avoid stocking a full bar, as liquor adds up quickly.

Skip the Decorations

Decorations are an easy way to bust the budget; purchasing paper goods and decorations with team specific logos can be costly and wasteful. Plan on using re-useable plates and silverware, but if you do purchase paper goods go for a solid color so you can use any leftovers for your next party. If you must decorate, look for cost-effective options such as balloons that sport team colors, football inspired bowls or cutouts that can be used in the years ahead. When it comes to decorations and paper goods stick with items you can use year after year, not items with this year’s specific Super Bowl date and/or team names.

There is no need to blow your budget when hosting a Super Bowl party. A little research and planning will save you big, which means more money for all those snacks and beer!