Football season will come to a close this weekend, and no matter if your team made it to the Super Bowl, most of you will celebrate the event with friends, beers or other beverages and lots of snacks.
If you've been dubbed the party planner, don't panic. Super Bowl parties are casual and can be relatively inexpensive to put together. Follow these tips and you'll save money on everything you'll need from kickoff to cleanup.
Compare drink prices
Harris Teeter has some of the best prices on cases of beer this week. Brews by Budweiser, Miller, Coors and Yuengling are $13.99 per 24-pack of cans.
For craft beer aficionados, check out Total Wine. They carry six-packs of high quality brews for as low as $6.99.
You may want to opt for a keg if you're planning to buy more than six cases. Safeway on Reid Street is a favorite spot for many because they have some of the best deals on keg brews, with Keystone priced at $61 per keg, Miller High Life at $74 and Pabst Blue Ribbon at $76.
You'll also want to include nonalcoholic beverages, and soft drinks tend to be easiest for big groups. At Harris Teeter, you can get three 12-packs of Coca-Cola can drinks for free when you buy two 12-packs. Pepsi can drinks are $4.99 per 18-pack at Piggly Wiggly.
Buy practical food
The first way to save money on party food is to know what your guests will eat. Don't buy pre-packaged veggie or fruit and cheese trays. They're expensive and you'll end up throwing most of it away. Instead, aim for creative dips and finger foods.
Guacamole is popular and super easy to make. You'll need lots of avocados, which you can find for 50 cents each at Food Lion this week.
Pretzel crisps and hummus are one of my favorite combinations, and Publix has both items for buy one, get one free this week.
Tostitos chips and salsa also are buy one, get one free at Harris Teeter.
Wings and pizza are typical go-to foods for football fans, so you can find good deals on both this weekend. The 25-piece wing sampler is $21.49 at Kickin' Chicken, so if you buy two, that's about $4 cheaper than a 50-piece platter we saw at another major wings player.
Local pizzeria Andolini's is offering a “49ers Special” on Sunday, which means they're taking $4.90 off the price of any pizza, and there are no limits on the amount of toppings you can order.
“Pizza is one of the biggest Super Bowl foods, and we want to be included because we offer the best pizza in town,” owner David Odle said.
D'Allesandro's Pizza is another local restaurant offering a Super Bowl special. When ordering online at www.dalspizza.com, use the coupon code “SUPERBOWL” to get $1 off your order.
Medium pizzas with up to 2 toppings are $5.99 each when you buy two or more at Dominoes. You can visit www.dominos.com to print out coupons to the store nearest you.
You could win a free large pizza from Papa John's by calling the outcome of the Super Bowl coin toss by midnight Saturday. Visit www.papajohns.com for more information.
Use paper products
Part of me wants to discourage using disposable tableware because I think it can be wasteful. At the same time, if you supply dishes to all your guests, you'll end up using quite a bit of water and time on cleanup. The best solution to this dilemma is to go for biodegradable and paper items instead of Styrofoam products, which can't be recycled.
Check The Dollar Tree first. They typically carry paper plates, napkins and utensils for $1 per package.
At coupons.com, you can print out coupons for $1 off Sparkle paper towels and Glad trash bags, so cleanup won't cost you as much.
Get group involved
If you're getting together with just your close friends, consider having a pot luck-style party. Ask your guests to bring a dish and a six-pack of beer or other drinks. If most of your friends have kids, plan to hire one or two baby-sitters and set up a supervised kids' area. It's a cheaper alternative to hiring individual sitters.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy the game and kick back with your friends. Some party hosts get so wrapped up in the planning process they end up checking the ice and rearranging the snack table the entire time.
Plan ahead and you'll be less likely to stress during the big game.
Email Abigail Darlington at Charlestonsavvyshopper@postandcourier.com. Find more ways to save by liking our Facebook page and visiting the blog at charlestonsavvyshopper.com.