The Super Bowl is coming up and you know what that means: it’s time to start planning your party. Super Bowl parties are all about the excitement of the game, delicious food, and great company. You invite your closest friends and family over, whip up some delectable Super Bowl snacks, and just enjoy each other’s company while watching America’s favorite sport.
But as exciting as throwing a Super Bowl party is, it can also get expensive. With food costs and inflation on the rise, the cost of a Super Bowl party can make a serious dent in your paycheck. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices have increased 6.3% over the past year, and the annual inflation rate of the Consumer Price Index is up to 7% as of January 2022. So, stocking up on food for the Super Bowl is probably going to be more expensive than you’re used to this year.
That doesn’t mean you have to cancel your party and miss out on Los Angeles and Cincinnati facing off, you just need to figure out how to throw a Super Bowl party on a budget. And we have the perfect tool to help you do just that. With our Super Bowl party calculator, you can throw a memorable party and have fun without breaking your budget. Our free calculator can be used to estimate how much you’re going to spend on your Super Bowl party—from food and drinks to decorations—so that you can plan free of stress.
Keep reading or use the links below to get all the tips you need to throw a Super Bowl party on a budget.
Budgeting for a Super Bowl Party
If you want to throw a great Super Bowl party on a budget, it’s essential to plan ahead. Planning ahead will allow you to consider where you’d like to allocate most of your money and where you can cut costs. With a solid budget in place, you can avoid spending on unnecessary expenses and strategize to get the most bang for your buck.
For example, if food is going to cost you more this year, you may want to allocate more towards food and less towards decorations, so that you can stick within your budget and still have everyone’s favorite snacks.
Figure out what you want to prioritize and spend more money on those.
Using the Super Bowl Party Cost Calculator
To help you plan your Super Bowl party on a budget, you can use our free calculator. Our Super Bowl party cost calculator will help give you an estimate of how much your party might cost so that you can start planning now.
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How many people will attend the party?
Select the number of people you expect to attend your party.
How many guests will drink alcohol?
Select the number guests you think will be drinking alcohol so we can estimate how much you could be spending on alcohol.
How much do you plan to spend on decorations
and party supplies?
How much do you plan to spend on decorations and party supplies?
Enter an estimate of the dollar amount you plan to spend on decorations and party supplies. If you don’t expect to have any, leave at 0.
How much do you plan to spend on fan gear?
Enter an estimate of the dollar amount you plan to spend on fan gear. If you don’t expect to have any, leave at 0.
Any other miscellaneous expenses?
Enter an estimate of the dollar amount you expect to spend on miscellaneous expenses. If you don’t expect to have any, leave at 0.
Your estimated Super Bowl party will cost you:
This is the estimate for how much your Super Bowl party may cost based on the information provided above.
total super bowl party cost
Breakdown by category:
Alcoholic drink expenses30%
Food & non-alcoholic drink expenses35%
Fan gear expenses5%
Note: Calculation and information are provided as general guidance and may not be exact.
With the Super Bowl party cost calculator, you can estimate costs like food, drinks, decor, and party supplies.
To use the calculator, you’ll need to input information like:
- How many people are expected to attend
- How much food you’re planning on serving
- How many of the people are expected to drink alcohol
- How much you want to spend on decorations and fan gear
- Any other miscellaneous expenses you might have
We’ve made it easy to estimate your costs by laying everything out clearly for straightforward calculations. For example, the cost of food and alcohol will be based on how many servings of food you’re aiming to provide and how many people will drink. For decor, fan gear, and miscellaneous expenses, you’ll need to enter your own estimate of how much you predict you’re going to spend.
Here’s how it works.
- You input all the key information needed for calculations—like how many people you think are coming and how much you plan to spend on party supplies.
- The calculator will then add up all this information and provide you with an estimate for how much your party could end up costing based on the numbers you put in.
- Once you have this estimate, you can use it to decide how to move forward. For example, if the number is out of your budget, you’ll need to cut back on some costs. You can do this by inviting less people, cutting down on decor, or asking for help for supplying beverages or food.
Within just a few minutes you can have a cost estimate and start planning your Super Bowl party on a budget—it’s really as easy as that.
Providing Everything vs. Potluck Style Super Bowl Party
One way you might be able to save a substantial amount of money on your Super Bowl party is to make it potluck style. This essentially means that you will still provide some food, but guests will bring the majority of dishes. Having a potluck-style Super Bowl party is a major way to save money, because each guest takes on a small portion of the grocery costs.
There are pros and cons to each option, so you’ll want to consider what’s best for you and your friends.
Pros of a potluck-style party:
- Save on grocery expenses—which is likely to be your biggest cost.
- A good way to diversify the food options.
Pros of buying everything:
- You have full control over what is made.
- Treat your friends and family.
Cons of a potluck-style party:
- People might accidently bring multiples of the same thing if you don’t plan carefully.
Cons of buying everything:
- Providing everything also means it’s going to cost you a whole lot more.
So, if you do decide to throw a potluck-style party, have everyone tell you beforehand what they’re bringing so you can make sure there are no repeat dishes. A simple sign-up list might also be helpful so everyone can see what others are bringing. Either way, organization is key.
5 Tips for How to Throw a Super Bowl Party on a Budget
There are various ways for how you can throw a Super Bowl party on a budget that don’t require extensive planning or budgeting. All of our tips are easy ways to save money so you can throw a fun Super Bowl party without breaking the bank:
1. Purchase off-brand items
Everything you buy for your Super Bowl party doesn’t have to be top of the line. Buying off-brand food items is an easy way to save on groceries, while still achieving that same great taste. You can also find plenty of cheap Super Bowl food recipes online that are delicious and won’t cost you a ton of money to make.
Trust us, with the impact of inflation on groceries right now, you’ll be more than happy to make adjustments to your usual purchases in order to save a bit. Want to learn more about how inflation is impacting your spending power? You can also use our inflation calculator.
2. Make your own decor
A great way to take your Super Bowl party to the next level is with decor, but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. The best way to save on decor is to just make it yourself. Break out your construction paper and scissors and get creative! You can even enlist your kids to help out and make it a whole family affair. It’ll be fun and save you money!
If you don’t want to make the whole party potluck-style, you could at least make it B.Y.O.B. Having your guests bring their own beverages will cut your grocery bill significantly. This is also a fun way for everyone to try out different types of drinks.
If you want to ease some of the party planning responsibilities, consider enlisting a co-host to help you out. Not only will this make the party more affordable, it’ll also lessen the amount of stress on you. Plus, hosting a party with a friend can make the whole party planning experience a lot more enjoyable.
5. Plan ahead of time
The more ahead of time you plan, the more you can save, and the less you’ll have to stress about money. Figuring out details ahead of time will give you more peace of mind when it comes to game time and you actually have to start planning the party.
It’s also a good idea to be aware of financial tips so that you can save and get your finances in order prior to the party instead of scrambling at the checkout line. If you need help with budgeting, the Mint app is also a helpful tool.
Affordable Super Bowl Party FAQs
Can You Charge for a Super Bowl Party?
Throwing a Super Bowl party might be expensive, but the lawsuit you can get for charging for a Super Bowl party will be much more. While it’s perfectly legal to ask your friends and family to pitch in or bring food and drinks to the party, charging people an entrance fee to your party usually isn’t—specifically if you’re serving alcohol. This is because you don’t have a license to serve.
If you’re considering charging for your party, you should first look into your state’s laws.
What Supplies Do You Need to Throw a Super Bowl Party?
The basic supplies that you need to throw a Super Bowl party include:
- Beverages—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic
- Coolers and ice
- Serving platters and trays
- Plates, utensils, and cutlery
- Fan gear
Depending on what else you need or want, you might also have some other miscellaneous items to pick up.
How Do You Host a Small Super Bowl Party?
If you want to host a Super Bowl party this year, but don’t want all the added stress—and cost—of inviting a ton of people, just make it a small party. You can just have as much fun with your closest friends and family as you would with your entire neighborhood. To host a small Super Bowl party, just invite those closest to you and make it a very casual event with limited food and decor.
Host a Successful Super Bowl Party without Breaking the Bank
The Super Bowl should be a fun day where you get to watch Los Angeles and Cincinnati duke it out to become the next Super Bowl champions. It’s not time to stress about your finances. Throwing a Super Bowl party doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. You can throw an incredible Super Bowl party with some of your favorite football fans while keeping it simple. Use our free Super Bowl party cost calculator to help you plan and save so you can focus on having a good time.
How to Throw a Super Bowl Party on a Budget: Free Calculator is written by Mint for mint.intuit.com