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Super bowl party savings

Super Bowl isn't an official holiday, but it gets the same special treatment. On the day of the big game, roads clear and stores empty as millions crowd around TVs to watch the perennial battle for this sporting prize. The game is free to watch but the cost of hosting a party can add up. When you're working on a shoestring college budget, this can feel like a major obstacle to hosting a mega Super Bowl shindig. While you probably won't be able to afford the coveted nacho-cheese fountain (Tightwad note: yum!), there are still plenty of low-cost ways to set your party apart. Here are some tips:

Custom centerpiece If you weren't able to sell your parents on a 42-inch plasma TV as an essential school supply, work with what you've got. Get your friends to assemble easily portable TVs and spare coaxial cables a day in advance. Pick up a splitter and connect multiple televisions for room-to-room, sports-bar-like coverage. Woot woot!

Bring your own It doesn't take college-level calculus to know you can cut costs by having everyone chip (get it?) in on expenses. If you're willing to have your place occupied by rowdy football fans, it's not unreasonable to ask them to contribute something like chips and dip.

Get sneaky with savings If you're the host with the most and don't like your guests lifting a finger (or don't trust their culinary aptitude), at least do what you can to cut your own expenses. If the college coupon book is lacking in practical savings at supermarkets, check out discount savings cards.

Find something to bet on A college budget means cash is usually in short supply so, clearly, no one will be betting big. Compensate for your lack for dollar bills by making a wager where you or your friend has to perform some strange, semi-embarrassing act. Even if you're not into the on-the-field action, try the over/under on beer commercials or how often announcers swoon over Tom Brady.

Get free delivery Every now and then, it's important to take a departure from your Ramen-noodle rations, and Super Sunday is the perfect opportunity. Pizza is standard college cuisine that requires no cooking and is quite affordable when everyone chips in.

Play your own game The extravagant entertainment that is the half-time show is the perfect opportunity for a quick pick-up game, so keeping a football on hand is essential. Make things a little more interesting by having the losing team take clean-up duties at the end of the day.

Play nice Word of mouth works fine when you're trying to cram as many people and kegs as possible into a two-bedroom apartment, but a Super Bowl party tends to have a more restricted guest list. Know your limit and play within it!


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