This Is How You Nail A Tailgate Party
and Still Save Money
A tailgate party is a HUGE part of the NFL game day experience.
How huge? An estimated 50 million people tailgate each year in the U.S. alone.
And while it’s not bigger than the game itself, 35% of tailgaters never even enter the stadium.
I can’t help but wonder though why more people don’t tailgate. After all, 50 million is not even a third of the estimated 160 NFL fans in the United States. Is it possible that 69% of them simply don’t know what they’re missing?
Nope, I don’t think that’s it at all…
It's about the money
Recently, yours truly conducted a poll on the spending habits of NFL fans:
The poll results, of course, are not indicative of the NFL fan base as a whole, merely the readers of this site, most of who have limited disposable incomes.
So what I’m seeing from the responders is that tailgating is barely a consideration, presumably because after spending over $100 on tickets & parking, the last thing you need is to drop another $100 or more.
I’ve said many time that - when it comes to being an NFL football fan - you can have your cake & eat it, too, but not if you bite off a bigger chunk than you can handle.
For some people, tailgating is that chunk.
The good news is that while tailgate parties - like other related expenses - can be costly, it doesn’t have to be.
Throw a tailgate party on any budget
- Use your meat wisely. Everybody loves a good cut of steak, but that doesn't mean that you should serve filet mignon all the time. More on the best tailgate food.
- Tip #1: Dry brining. Despite what you may read, salting your steaks does not perform miracles, but done right, it will make a lesser cut taste more expensive.
- Tip #2: Use different grades of ground beef. Leaner may be healthier, but it’s also more expensive and not always necessary. Beef with a higher fat content may be optimal for certain recipes.
- Buy a tailgate grill. Well jeez, how else are you going to cook all that great food? Tip: Unless you're all that, save the top-of-the-line Weber for your backyard and base your selection more on portability than functionality. Find a grill that's perfect for you.
- Deregulate your games. Unless you play in professional tournaments, why shell out big bucks for a regulation-size cornhole board or beer pong table? At 3/4 scale, the smaller versions aren't that much smaller but they are that much cheaper. More on tailgate party games.
- Brew your own beer. Home brewed beer not only tastes better, it's cheaper and easier to make than you might think. Read all about it here.
- Do it yourself. Whether it’s brewing your own beer or building your own cornhole set or barbecue smoker, doing it yourself will not only save you money, it’s extremely satisfying. Get the 411 on DIY.
Next: The Best Tailgating Ideas Ever!