Show Your Team Spirit and Save Money :: Tailgating on a Budget

Show Your Team Spirit and Save Money:: Tailgating on a Budget | Houston Moms Blog

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!  Tailgating season is officially here and it’s time to gather your friends to cheer on our favorite team {the Texans of course}!  Feeding a crowd can be a arduous task, but with the right game plan, you too can enjoy tailgating without breaking the bank. Here’s how you can set up a team-spirit filled table spread that will feed 6-10 people this football season on a $50 budget ::

The Line of Scrimmage ::

This is where the game begins, and in our case, it’s our table spread. You want to have it in the same vicinity where the action is. Utilize the coffee table or set up a fold out table and cover with a cheap plastic cover. People feast with their eyes first so make your table inviting. I found a roll of green butcher paper in my house and added white lines and numbers to mimic the football field. Search your house for crates and old boxes {cover it in wrapping paper} to help create different levels on your tablescape.  A friend loaned me her son’s football helmet and football for me to dress up the table. Homemade bunting or streamers will add a festive vibe to your display. Brown paper lunch bags make great vessels to display your snacks, and using thin masking/electrical tape to look like football laces are a super cute idea. Keep in mind that you do not have to have matching serving platters, the more mix matched the more it will look effortless.   

The Game Plan:: 

Show Your Team Spirit and Save Money:: Tailgating on a Budget | Houston Moms Blog

Plan for one main dish, a dip, a healthy snack choice, dessert, and some no fuss snack choices. For my  “Touchdown,” I chose to make Italian Sliders because it’s filling and not messy to eat.  You can load up on the meats to make them more substantial. I prepped everything the night before and tossed it in the oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes covered in foil, and an additional ten minutes uncovered. You can also garnish with a baby pickle to make them cute.  I was able to make 12 sliders for approximately $8.

For the “Kick off,” I made a delicious Spinach Artichoke Dip.  What I love about this recipe is that you can prep ahead of time, it was chock full of fresh spinach and you can throw it in the crock pot or bake it in the oven. However you chose to cook it, the outcome will always be amazing!  The leftovers {if you have any} will make a fantastic pizza topping for the kids. Use ready made pizza dough, layer the leftover spinach artichoke dip, add some roasted chicken, more cheese and salt/pepper to taste.  This huge serving of dip cost me roughly $11.

To make sure that my guests had plenty to eat, I brought in a “Safety” to the game play.  I threw a small pack of smokies, 4 oz. of a sweet barbecue sauce, and 4 oz. of grape jelly into a small crock pot and let it simmer and get glazed in the sauce. I like to make sure that my sauces are equal parts and you can definitely add chopped sausages and/or frozen meatballs to it as well. I set the crock pot on high for 2 hours and this appetizer cost me around $5.

I put the remaining $26 towards other snack and drinks.  Have you ever had Firecracker Cheez Its? These will surely give you an “Extra Point” with your tailgating buddies. They are so simple to make and so addicting!  I also made chocolate dipped pretzels rolled in chopped nuts and some with sprinkles for the little ones. Football shaped boxed brownies with the laces piped on was the “Icing” on the cake.  Mixed veggie sticks with individual ranch dressing cups make for a healthier snack option. I also had roasted peanuts with the shell on and cheese popcorn for grazing on.  

Tailgating is a fun way to share your team spirit and hang with your friends. I love entertaining guests and it’s a sure win when I can do it on a budget. If your guests each bring something to share you can lower that cost even more, OR you can invite more friends over.  

Show Your Team Spirit and Save Money:: Tailgating on a Budget | Houston Moms Blog

Comment below with your must-have tailgating dish!


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