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Super Bowl Sunday: Eats on the cheap

If you are like most people, you'll be glued to the television set this Sunday watching the annual American tradition that is the Super Bowl. And if you are gathered with friends and family to watch the game, it's a safe bet there will be lots of food as well.

According to NPR, the amount of food eaten on Super Bowl Sunday comes in second only to Thanksgiving. The National Chicken Council has estimated that people will eat a staggering 1.25 billion chicken wings, 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn. 

According to the experts, the average American will spend about $128 on Super Bowl fare. That's down from the average $144 consumers spent last year per party. Obviously, consumers want to party on the cheap.

If you're expecting a group of friends or family members to show up this Sunday wearing football jerseys and bibs, you may want to consider how to plan a menu that is both satisfying and frugal.

First of all, determine ahead of time what you can afford to spend. Make a list of must-have items, and stick to that list when you go to the store. Look for coupons, buy store brands, and don't be afraid to ask your friends and family to bring some items as well. 

When it comes to paper goods like plates, napkins and tablecloths, hit up your local dollar store. If you plan on spending a little on decorations, you can look for streamers and balloons in your team's colors while you're there. If you really want to slice into your budget, use your own dishes and utensils and make use of your dishwasher, instead of buying paper goods. 

If your guests want to drink something other than soda, let them know it's BYOB. This will save you a ton of money.  

When it comes to veggies and dip, save some money and cut your own veggies instead of buying the pre-cut ones, and mix your own dip. You'll also save money if you bake your own sweets instead of buying them in the local bakery or grocery store. 

Whatever you do and however much you spend, Super Bowl Sunday is about more than just the game – it's about good friends, family and good times. Make the most of it, whatever your situation.

Published Feb 02 2012, 10:49 AM by moneycoach
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