Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Super Bowl XLV in style. We checked in with experts who gave us seven cheap and easy dishes that are sure to win big with your guests.
“Don’t forget the vegetables,” says Teri Gault, CEO of The Grocery Game, a coupon and deal Web site. Veggies and ranch dip are Super Bowl favorites, and according to Gault, refrigerated dips are typically at rock- bottom sales this time of year. Baby carrots tend to also go on sale for the big game and celery stalks are cheap year round, making veggie trays a wholesome and frugal snack for game watchers.
Pizza is often a game day staple, but that doesn’t mean you have to call for delivery. For main courses, Gault says to look for sales on frozen pizzas, which can make an easy and cheap main course for around half the cost of delivery. Stop and Shop currently offers DiGiorno for $4.50 each, or their store brand for $2.50. To make sure everyone in the crowd leaves with a full belly, grab a few pies with different ingredients, or sick with plain cheese.
Even items like pasta typically go on sale for the Super Bowl, Gault says. At around $1 per box, pasta is a smart and thrifty choice for feeding bigger crowds. Sauces can cost less than $2 per jar, and serving is a snap if you allow people to plate themselves from the stove. As for the add-ins, frozen meatballs tend to be cheaper when bought in bulk, at grocer GFS Marketplace, meatballs cost $6.99 for a four pound bag, and they can also be used in others appetizers and sandwiches.
“Lots of supermarkets nationwide are offering killer deals on ground beef,” according to Gault. So take advantage and create a big batch of chili, which is not only easy on the wallet, but keeps guests full.
Toppings like cheese and sour cream tend to retail for under $5. According to Coupons.com, big pots of chili can easily feed a crowd for less than $20.
Potatoes are always one of the cheapest fillers, and can transform into a main course when you set up as a potato bar,” says Gault. For money savings on all the toppings like grated cheese, bacon, green onions and salsa, check the local grocery store circulars and newspapers for savings. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box--all manner of salsas, meats and cheeses can pair nicely with a baked potato.
Look for pre-cooked, pre-flavored chicken wings, to save time and money prepping. At GFS Marketplace a four-pound bag costs $8.99. “All you need to do is heat them up in an oven and they're terrific,” according to GFS spokesperson Mark Dempsey. “This is a fraction of the cost of buying take-out wings from your favorite sports bar and serving them at home,” Dempsey says.
Pulled pork is easy to make and very cost effective for a party, according to Dempsey. Pulled pork makes a great sandwich or topper for potatoes, and it’s an ideal choice for people who want to serve something that appears to be more expensive than it is, Dempsey says. The cost at GFS is $13.99 for a five-pound tray, which will feed a crowd of 10 or more.
Just as important as the big game this weekend are the snacks you'll serve to your guests. Here's how to fill up your guests without draining your wallet.