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Summer is coming to an end, and we’re putting the swimsuits in the back of our closets and digging out our second most favorite attire: Football jerseys! Time to dust off the old team sweatshirts, party beads, face tattoos, cheerleader outfits, and costumes.

While some of us prefer to watch the games in the cool shelter of a bar with a hi-def TV, there’s nothing quite like a tailgate party. It’s considered the ultimate outdoor party, and for some sports fans, is what they look forward to all year long. Yet, what began as a budget-friendly alternative to expensive concession stand food and drinks has itself turned into a wallet-draining activity that one person could easily spend thousands of dollars on annually.

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Crushed because you can’t make it down to the big game this year? Tailgating doesn’t only have to happen in the stadium parking lot. Oh yes, there is another option; do as any serious tailgater does, and host one at home! Tailgating at home is a good alternative to get neighbors or the whole block involved.

Just because some tailgates have a reputation of being a booze-fueled grill fest doesn’t mean you can’t add a little style to your tailgate party, if you shop wisely. Nor does a memorable tailgate have to happen when the weather is warm and sunny, either. Just think of those bitter cold Thanksgiving Day games with the wind blowing 10 degrees and snowflakes coming down. You’ve got the music blasting, kids throwing snowballs, and a roaring fire going.

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Variations to the Same Old Party:

Italian, Pirate Party, Chili cook-off, beach party, etc. You don’t have to go with BBQ or typical tailgate food every weekend.

Multi-food: For example, chili works for a variety of different foods… chili pie, tacos, hot dogs, nachos, and more. You can host a chili cook-off where everyone brings their favorite recipe.  Add a condiment bar so everyone can add their favorite toppings.


  • When it is still hot outside, make sure to take an extra cooler filled with ice so you can keep drinks and food items cold and have plenty of clean ice for drinks.
  •  Use multi-purpose glasses like the insulated glasses – they keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. No condensation rings and no broken glass.
  •  A great way to keep hot food hot is to wrap and store them in a cheap styrofoam cooler and pack it with newspaper. This will keep it hot until you are ready to serve.
  • Do most of the prep at early so you just have simple assembly or grilling when you get to the stadium.
  • Pre-cook what you can. You can even pre-cook ribs and finish them on the grill. Just make sure to keep them well chilled.
  • Crock-Pot: Plug it in before you go to bed the night before and you’ve got a good start on lunch when you get there.
  • Buy special football items or tableware-
  • Fire up the grill: It’s tailgating season!
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