If you've opted for the "in this economy" excuse for going out for Super Bowl, you're not alone. Dozens of restaurants and bars can require upward of $100 upfront to reserve a spot for one of their all-you-can-eat-and-drink specials. Really, who's got the cash?
Although some folks opt out of doing the work for a Super Bowl party at home, it may be easier (and more cost-efficient) than you think. West Palm Beach resident Robert Williams says he holds them every year. The only thing holding him back this year is that his house is being remodeled.
"[In years past] we had a bounce house for the kids, two big screens, and a $500 football pool," Williams says. "It's work, but it's always fun."
Although your opinions of bounce houses and extensive kid-friendly options vary, one thing that is always present: the food.
Plan A: Get it catered
Williams admits he got food brought in, which, depending on your taste, could get expensive.
Plenty of local restaurants can cater for the game, depending on your taste. My personal favorite, LaSpada's, advertises catering options and are inexpensive. Hoagies are simple, delicious finger food. The less work you have to do, the better.
Plan B: Cook it yourself
After seeing fellow Clean Plate Charlie blogger John Linn's post on chicken wings last week, I almost considered hosting a party myself just to make the wings. If you've got the time, pulling out all the stops for a Super Bowl food coma are strongly encouraged.
I go to a party every year where my friend Vikki spends days before the big game cooking herself into oblivion, but she considers it more valuable to invest time in cooking and cleaning than to go out and risk the roads with drunk drivers.
Plan C: Pot luck
If you think pot luck should come out only for the holidays, you may want to add Super Bowl Sunday to the list. People prepare for it days -- even weeks -- in advance, and for many, it's one giant celebration that comes only once a year. It's as much of a holiday in my book as, say, Independence Day.
If you're playing host to the Super Bowl party, pulling the pot luck card is one of the easiest, most convenient, and most fiscally responsible option on this entire list. You have all of your guests bring a dish and/or drinks to the party for everyone. Your responsibility is merely holding the party and cleaning up afterward. No picking up food, and no hours on end spent cooking for the masses.
At the end of the day, it's all about your dedication to the cause and your willingness to contribute to it. Enjoy!