Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Host an Affordably Fabulous Super Bowl Party
Pointers to keeping it cheap and family friendly

by Carrie Bishop

January 01, 2012

Just when December is packed away in the closet another party crops up on your calendar. Ah, but this is a good one. Itís the Super Bowl. No highfalutin chit chat. No wondering what to wear. No need to break the bank. Itís time to relax and watch a little football. A few pointers on how to keep it cheap and family friendly.

Finger food. Thatís it.

Food is key, but no oneís not talking Thanksgiving feast here. Guests want grub. They want food they can eat with their hands. Hamburgers and hot dogs maybe, but only for the fearless grillers unafraid to grill in the February chill. Pizza is an obvious option. No need to knead either. This game calls for delivery. Be sure to place your order on Fri., Feb. 3, in case your favorite pizzeria has a run on pizzas the day of the big game. Be sure to ask if they are running any Super Bowl specials.

Like the main entree, keep snacks simple. Do, however, keep snacks in abundance. Mindless noshing is almost a sport unto itself during Super Bowl. Fortunately you can stick to a modest budget while feeding the frenzied by stashing bowls of popcorn around the main quarters like the kitchen and game watching rooms. Chips and dip are also good. Think no-fuss salsas straight from a jar, black bean dip and guacamole. Not only is this an affordable path, itís a healthy one you can feel good serving to your friends and family.

Obviously staying hydrated is important. Whether hosting an alcohol-free watch party or one that welcomes beer and spirits, let the guests bring them. You can supply water. They are happy with the selection and you are happy with the cost.

Use TVs to full advantage.

Clever TV placement is as important as the dip. At some parties, even more so.

Ideally two or more TVs will be in use. The largest or clearest TV should be the one in the main party room. Make sure it is tuned in to the big game before start. The second TV is for the kiddos. Stock up on the latest movies and have hours of your kidsí favorites on hand so the little fans can be as enthusiastic as they like out of earshot of the adults trying to watch the commercials, er, game.

Decorate with a little fanfare.

Look, from October to the first of January you likely put a good deal of energy into decorating the house. Fortunately those days are in the past. Super Bowl is a time to get together and relax and mean it. Keep decor low-cost and casual. Use disposable tablecloths, plates, flatware, cups and napkins from the dollar store. It may be fun to use the colors of the competing teams or pay homage to our own Colts by going blue for the big day. To spruce up your home a bit more, visit the flower department at the nearest grocery and pick up colorful Gerbera daisies. These beautiful flowers are relatively affordable, last longer than other varieties, and can color coordinate with your chosen team. Want more? Then ask your guests to dress in their favorite players jersey and call it decorated.

A digital goodbye is a good buy.

Show your guests you had a good time and appreciate their spending Super Bowl XLVI with you. Snap a few digital pictures throughout the party so you can text each guest a meaningful picture with a brief note of thanks.

Throwing an affordable Super Bowl party is not rocket science. Itís just plain affordable fun. Go team!