Are You Super Bowl Party Ready?


by Teri Gault, Founder and CEO of

I love football, but even as mother of a two time state champion 300 pound offensive lineman, I still don’t get it… He’s got two big rings, and never got to make a touchdown?

But I do love  to throw a party, and that I understand! We usually have about thirty to fortyBig Game Party fans, and as always, I’ll tackle the task with lots of easy “do-aheads”. My goal is to be able to enjoy my party all without the penalty of breaking the bank!
First of all, Super Bowl is a grazing party, not a sit down dinner party. So, your kitchen should always be open with food ready to grab and go!
To enjoy my own party, I prepare everything I can in advance. Cold platters are arranged, covered, and in the fridge. Anything for the oven will be prepped, covered, and ready to pop in. And you simply must have something simmering in a slow cooker for self-service anytime!
My money saving game plan is often temporarily intercepted by the idea of a theme. This year, for a moment I thought “Patriots vs. Giants”… a clam bake and NY pizza??? Pizza, maybe yes, but seafood would definitely foul the budget. Besides, no self-respecting football fan would exclaim, “How cute that you spent all this money on a clam bake in honor of the Patriots!” So, instead of MY ideas of what to have…
I always let the sales call the menu, which is especially good since local supermarkets will be offering Super Bowl party fare at deep discounts. Even drugstores get on the scoreboard with snacks and beverages. Here’s your goal… A good sale is usually about half off the regular price. Add coupons to sales to save about 67%.
Choose your main meat from one of the featured deals in the big picture on the front page of the circular. You’ll probably see ground beef at half off or better, so a big pot of chili with beans is perfect to leave simmering in a slow cooker with a stack of bowls, spoons and napkins nearby. Usually, the trimmings are on sale too, like grated cheese and corn chips!
A potato bar is always a good choice, as they’re cheap fillers any time of year, and potatoes often go on sale for Super Bowl! Let the sales dictate the toppings. You’ll find deals on canned chili, grated cheese, bacon (fry and crumble in advance), diced green onions, salsa, and all kinds of goodies to put on a baked potato! Scrub the potatoes, rub with oil, salt, poke a few holes, and place all on a rack on a baking sheet, ready to pop into a 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes. They come out crispy, and even better than wrapping in foil.
Pasta, pasta sauce, and frozen meatballs often go on sale too, but since it’s difficult to keep pasta constantly ready as a “self-serve” anytime dish, I like to fill a slow cooker with meatballs and BBQ sauce as a self-serve anytime hot appetizer! Borrow another slow cooker from a friend a few days before, and have chili and BBQ meatballs. Borrow a third one for hot cheese sauce for your baked potatoes or tortilla chips, a Super Bowl favorite! Use a one dollar coupon from the Jan. 22nd newspaper, and spring for slow cooker liners to save on dish washing. You’ll thank me later! Now with three slow cookers lined up, you’re a pro caterer!
For appetizers, you’ll find lots of chips, crackers and cheese on sale. Plus great frozen appetizer deals like hot wings, potato skins, and stuffed jalapenos. Celery and carrots are cheap year round and great with refrigerated dips also found on rock bottom sales to go with all things dipped!
While it’s not New York pizza, sales on frozen pizzas abound for Super Bowl every year. Some brands are amazingly good, and about half the cost of delivery. I like to keep a few in the freezer in case someone makes the game tying field goal, and we go into overtime. It does happen!
Look for sales on paper goods, like plastic bowls and paper plates, which are typically offered as part of the festivity of savings. For chili or soup, choose good quality cardboard bowls, as the plastic ones are hot to the hands, and flimsy. You don’t want to end up with a party foul, and may want to opt for real bowls, and paper for everything else.
Great sales on all beverages from beer to sodas abound at supermarkets and drugstores. I have two steel bins, but you can use big ice chests to keep cans and bottles cold on ice. Be sure to buy extra bags of ice as there’s often a run on ice on the big day. Keep the back up of beverages stacked right next to the ice chests for easy replenishing. Don’t forget a few cases of water bottles too. If conveniently close by, your guests may get the idea to do some replenishing for you! J
We gather all chairs from around the house and make rows in the TV room in theater style. All the food is in the kitchen, casual self-service grazing buffet style.
I have a bell by my stove that I ring whenever something hot comes out of the oven. It’s just a heads up, and you might think no-one heard it, but amazingly, some actually opt to miss the award winning commercials in favor of hot wings! The kitchen gets flooded with grabbing and mouth stuffing, and the only complaints are usually about a fumble or a missed field goal!