The ar t of tailgating

Thrif ty tailgating tips to enjoy football season on a budget

Fire up the grill and get ready for kickoff; we are deep in the hea rt of football season. What goes hand- in- hand with football sea son? Tailgati ng of course. Fans everywhere are honi ng sec ret recipes and stock ing up on suppl ie s to ma ke their part y dominate the park ing lot . It’s impor tant, however, to be mindfu l of spending, as the fest ivity ’s cost can quickly add up, from te am memorabilia to beer and food. Before you put the finishing touches on you r tailgate plans, try out a few of these thrift y tips. Tea m Up

The at mospher e at a major tailgate part y is al l ab out commun it y, but don’t be fooled; ther e are plent y of fre eloaders floati ng around. Avoid overspendi ng by getti ng some fr iends in on the ac tion. Assignacouple ofpeople to drin ks, sever al to snacks, and you take care of the grill and meat.

Consider it a sports- centric potluck that cuts costs for everyone. Need some cul inary inspiration? Tai has dozens of free, fan- submitte d recipe s per fect for game day. Carpool With fuel prices at an all- time high, it’s wise to carpo ol so you can split the costs of gas and park ing. Depending on how of ten your posse go es to games, devise a schedule and assign dr iving dutie s fai rly.

Other wise, search for ride share oppor tun itie s at sites like Ca rpoolConnect or Car pool-

You ca n also post a ride and charge a sm all fe e to cover gas and mileage for each seat. Fan Gear for Le ss

The sign s of a high- quality tailgate inc lude a team flag flying high and jer seys as far as the eye can see.

Even if you don’t have a jersey, there’s no excu se for not wear ing team colors.

If it seems like these items are too expensive, you can always use coupons to get free shipping at such store s as Finish Line from sites like FreeShipping. org. Sma rt Food Choic es

Pre- made salads, sa ndwich platters and cub ed meats may be easy choices, but they’re also much more ex pen sive, with mark- ups reaching nearly 100 perc ent.

You ca n save a lot on food by preparing your own before leaving home. Buy larger sl abs of meat from the butcher and cut them up yoursel f.

Depending on the number of people participating in the tailgate, consider buying some food items like cheese, chips, condiment s and hot dogs in bulk from stores like Costoco for savings up to 30 perc ent. Get Your Game On

There are on ly so many things to do in a parking lot, so it’s ke y to include a few simple ga mes in your plans, like a football to toss around .

Lawn games like Corn Hole and Washers are also entertai ning choices and can be found at reasonable prices among major retail chains li ke Spor ts Author - ity or Sea rs. For those withacraf tyhand, consider build ing a board game from scratch for a fraction of the cost. Other wise, dow nload the free NF L football trivia app on you r sma rtphone to test the football knowledge of your tai lgate buddies. Borrow Before Buy ing Tai lgating requires a lot of supplies, from over sized coolers and pop- up canopie s to folding tables and ch airs. Before heading to the store to buy whatever gea r you’re lacking, find out if you can borrow from friends, neighbor s or coworkers.

Other wise, scope out used good s on Craigslist or try trading items at Br ing the Tailgate Home

There’s nothing like attending the game among other screa ming fans, but when budgets are tig ht it’s time to bring the tailgate home.

You’l l save on gas, parking and game tickets. Don’t forget, sometimes it’s just more fu n

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2011-09-29 digital edition

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