Super Bowl parties are all about four things: booze, chicken wings, dip and the size of the TV screen. Before New England and Seattle face off at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona Sunday at Super Bowl XLIX, make sure your home is ready for the big game day party. Below are six tips on how to throw a cheap, fun bash with snacks, drinks and other party essentials.
1. Make a memorable dip: Nobody is excited about eating that same tomato salsa you serve at every gathering. Instead, prepare an original dish that will impress your friends. Beer bacon dip, white pizza dip or sausage jalapeno dip are all good ideas for game day.
2. Throw up some festive decorations: We get it. You aren't Martha Stewart and who has time to make homemade bunting flags? But it only takes a few more minutes to show your friends you put in some effort. Even hanging a simple banner or putting out some footballs on your buffet table can create a better party atmosphere.
3. Make sure you have enough ice: Buy some ice. Then buy some more ice because you always need more ice than you think you do. To save some cash, start making ice a few days before the game using your regular ice trays. Set aside the stash of ice in a plastic, freezer-safe bowl.
4. Plan ahead: How many people are coming? How much beer do you need? Did you remember to buy napkins and toilet paper? The best way to stay organized and avoid overbuying supplies or forgetting items at the store is to create a list of everything you need. You can then create another list of everything that must be done before the party starts. Figure out how long each activity will take you so that you aren't running around in your underwear with a bunch of food still in the freezer when your guests arrive on game day.
5. Arrange enough seating in front of the TV: Ask friends to bring over folding chairs if you need more seats, or use throw rugs, blankets and large pillows scattered around the flood to ensure your guests are comfortable.
6. Come up with a good menu. Your guests aren't going to get full on chips and dip alone. Don't forget other options, including meatballs, tacos, chicken wings, salads, pasta, ribs or whatever else your friends like. Ask your guests ahead of time if they have any special dietary needs to avoid serving a hamburger to your vegan friend.