Watching the Super Bowl with family and pals is a great way to spend an affordable Sunday afternoon — unless you're feeding everyone. Party food can cost you a pretty penny — especially when your guests munch and sip their way through four hours of action, halftime shows, and commercials (plus pre-gaming and post-gaming).
So, what do you serve if you're on a budget and are expecting a house full of ravenously hungry fans? You can impress your guests and serve cheap Super Bowl party foods if you plan ahead, look for supermarket sales and coupons, and shop wisely!
Cheap Super Bowl Party Dinner
Score a big touchdown (and save money) with fan favorites like chili, tacos, baked potatoes, pasta, and all the fixings. You could use heavy-duty paper plates, bowls, and sturdy plastic spoons and forks, but — hey!— you could save big (and save the environment) if you used real plates and bowls. Put out the main food, and then set all the toppings on one large table so your hungry guests can DIY the Super Bowl meal of their dreams.
Slow Cooker Chili Bar
Who doesn't love chili? It's food that can please anyone, from cowboys to Super Bowl fans. Plus, it's super easy to make chili in a slow cooker. And it only takes ground beef (although ground turkey is cheaper), onions, chili powder, cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies, and chili beans.
The great thing about chili is that it tastes best if it's made a few days beforehand to allow time for the flavors to mingle. If you want to feed a hungry crowd, chili is budget-friendly. And when you use a slow cooker, you can set it and forget it. Keep it hot in the pot (use the keep warm setting) and ready to eat or use it as a topping for something else throughout the party. Just set the slow cooker on the table with a ladle and surround it with containers of add-ins and toppings such as:
- Hot sauce
- Corn chips
- Canned corn
- Oyster crackers
- Savory buttermilk cornbread
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Chopped green onions
Baked Potato Bar
A baked potato bar is a warm, filling idea if you're on a budget. Potatoes are incredibly cheap and super easy to prepare in advance. Just wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them in a slow cooker. The beauty of this is you can keep them warm and serve them straight from the same pot. Set out a variety of toppings to choose from, such as:
- Crumbled bacon
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Bleu cheese crumbles
- Ranch dressing
- Sour cream
- Chopped green onion
Pro tip: The chili you made will taste yummy on the baked potatoes.
Shell out some smiles with a taco bar! Tacos are fun to eat, simple to make, and easy on the wallet. You can prepare most taco meats days before your Super Bowl party — cooked ground beef and shredded chicken, beef, or pork all freeze beautifully. Just thaw, heat, and add taco seasoning on Super Bowl Sunday. Make sure to have a variety of taco shells, including soft corn tortillas, crunchy corn shells, and small flour tortillas. Surround the shells with plenty of toppings, such as:
- Chopped green onions
- Several varieties of shredded cheese
- Pickled jalapeños
- Sour cream
- Chopped lettuce
- Black beans
- Mexican street corn
Pasta is budget-friendly and quick to fix. Cook and drain the pasta, then stir in a tablespoon or two of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Cook it ahead and store it in large zipper bags. Then, when you're ready to serve, heat the pasta in microwave-safe bowls, take it out of the microwave, cover each with aluminum foil, and place the bowls on warming trays. Voila! The pasta is ready. Prepare several large bowls of various types of pasta: fettuccine, spaghetti, macaroni, or rigatoni, and don't be afraid to use store-bought sauce (it cuts down on cost and time). Be sure to have some Italian bread and pasta toppings on the side, such as:
- Meat sauce
- Parmesan cheese
- Cream cheese sauces
- Flavored olive oil
- Seasonings such as chopped garlic or crushed red pepper
Even chili is yummy on pasta!
Bring out the kid in everyone with classic casseroles you adored during childhood and secretly miss as an adult. Most are made with thrift in mind, so they usually serve quite a few people and are easy on the pocketbook. They are also easy to make ahead and reheat the day of.
Soup is a great affordable food because it's easy to stretch, it always tastes great, and it fills bellies. Try a few of our hearty winter soups plus toppings like cheese, croutons, bacon bits, and crackers for a perfect cheap game-day meal.
Cheap and Easy Super Bowl Snacks
Super Bowl Sunday is about cheering on your team while you chat and snack. Check out these delicious Super Bowl snacks that are cheap, easy, and can satisfy any football party craving. Plus, cheap appetizers make for some perfect frugal Super Bowl snacking.
Always a crowd-pleaser, popcorn is a budget-friendly way to keep your Super Bowl guests crunching and munching through the game. You can set several large bowls of buttered popcorn on a table, each with a specialized topping, such as garlic salt, Cajun or lemon pepper seasoning, or a sweet-and-salty topping. Have some small brown paper bags or #4 cone coffee filters on the table to fill with popcorn so partiers don't have to keep dipping their fingers into the bowls.
Fish and Chips
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers are cheesy, crunchy, and everyone loves them. And who doesn't like potato chips? For this fun Super Bowl snack, mix the two together and place them in a large fish bowl with a cute note on top that says "Fish and Chips." It's a totally Insta-worthy snack, but also perfect for if it's just you and another friend or two.
Party Snack Mix
A party mix is simple to make, and you can do it ahead of time. Make a sweet mix, such as Nutella Puppy chow, or a savory mix using things like cereals, pretzels, little cheese crackers, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. Hey! this is a party snack where you can allow yourself to get super creative.
Try and have a few allergy friendly snacks on hand that skip the nuts. Bonus: these won't break the bank either!
Veggies and Dip
Veggies can be an inexpensive snack if you're willing to do some slicing and dicing or even some air frying. Wash and slice carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and colorful bell peppers. Arrange the veggies on a tray and accompany them with a pre-made or simple homemade dip, like hummus, baba ganoush, or guac. This is a tasty and bright combination everyone will go for.
Deviled eggs are virtually effortless. They're also the perfect party snack for your keto friends. Hard-boil eggs, slice them in half, and scoop the yolks into a small bowl. Add mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper to the yolks and smash it all together with a fork. Then, spoon the yolk mixture back into the sliced eggs. The devil in you can add a little fire by sprinkling on hot paprika, chili powder, or cayenne.
Related: 21 Easy and Cheap Super Bowl Drinks
Fried pickles? Yes, fried pickles (or frickles) are a unique Southern snack treat. A Few Shortcut's fried pickles are incredibly easy to make, and they're cheap. You'll need a deep-fat fryer or air fryer to do it. Drain a large jar of dill pickle chips, bread them with some flour with a few spices to amp up the flavor, and fry them. A simple mayo and ketchup-based dip with a bit of added hot sauce to liven it up makes the perfect accompaniment.
Crispy Roasted Potatoes
As we said before — potatoes are cheap! And all you need to make these crispy roasted treats are a few pounds of boiled potatoes, salt, olive oil, some seasonings, and a baking sheet. Crispy roasted potatoes are perfect for toppings and dipping! Top them with pico de gallo, hot sauce, or chili as you would nachos. Or top them with shredded cheese, bacon, and sour cream like you would potato skins. Better yet, set out bowls of cheese, crumbled bacon, sour cream, and salsa and let everyone DIY as they please!
Sometimes, you just have to wing it. Whether you're going for a classic Buffalo wing or our sweet and savory baked chicken wings, these small bites are big crowd-pleasers.
Cheesy Sausage Balls
Cheesy sausage balls from the Feathered Nester are certain to be a hit! Make them ahead of time and freeze until the big day. They only require three ingredients — ground pork sausage, Bisquick baking mix, and shredded cheddar cheese. To amp up the flavor, add some chopped green onions and serve dipping sauces alongside.
Mini Pigs in a Blanket
The Nut-Free Life's mini pigs in a blanket only need two ingredients: refrigerated crescent rolls and hot dogs cut into smaller pieces. They're easy to make and can be cooked before the party, cooled, stored in a sealed container in the fridge, and reheated. Set some containers of ketchup, chili sauce, mustard, and a creamy horseradish sauce alongside these cute little guys.
Super Bowl Desserts
Yep! Your football fans will want something sweet, but skip the store-bought fancy cakes and cookies. The cheaper way is to make your own Super Bowl desserts.
Dipping pretzels in chocolate is fast, easy, and cheap. They're a crunchy sweet treat that only requires a large bag of pretzels, a bag of milk chocolate kisses, and a cookie sheet. Easy peasy. Bonus points if you dip them in sprinkles that match team colors.
Frosted Peanut Butter Football Cookies
Buy some peanut butter refrigerated cookie dough or mix some up from a recipe, shape it into balls, place it on an ungreased cookie sheet, and press each ball into an oval. Buy a container of canned chocolate frosting and a tube of white ready-to-use icing. Blend some peanut butter into the chocolate frosting and spread it over the baked cookies. Use the tube of white icing to create some deliciously sweet zigzagged white football laces, then pass the tasty little footballs around.
Concession Stand Crackers
The Pioneer Woman's concession stand crackers are sweet and salty treats. They're made from inexpensive saltine or graham crackers dipped part way in chocolate and covered in crushed-up candy, such as M&Ms, Reese's pieces, or candy sprinkles in each Super Bowl team's colors.
Super Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake
What could be easier or cheaper than a chocolate sheet cake? All you'll need is a boxed chocolate cake mix, a can of chocolate frosting, and some M&Ms in each team's colors to sprinkle on the top.
Tips for Saving Money on Super Bowl Party Foods
Ready to start saving? Decide how much money you can spend, plan what you'll be serving, and list the things you need. Now comes the hard part: sticking to your budget and list.
The supermarket will be packed with Super Bowl goodies, so don't go shopping for your Super Bowl party foods when you're hungry.
- Plan and prepare foods ahead and freeze, which allows you to buy what you need when it's on sale.
- Check your cabinets, pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for what you already have on hand. Try to use that in your party foods so you don't have to buy as much.
- Keep your eyes peeled for coupons and supermarket sales ads, and compare prices.
- Buy store brands instead of name brands.
- Skip the convenient supermarket down the street and find the cheapest grocery store. Examples would be Aldi and Walmart or wholesale shopping clubs such as Sam's or Costco.
- Avoid weekends, especially Super Bowl weekend. Try to shop early on the Wednesday morning before the weekend. This is when most supermarkets will be heavily stocked with and pushing food for the big day, and you'll be able to find some of the best deals.
- Don't forget potlucks. Have your guests bring their favorite dish or snack, provide one of your own, and include some inexpensive drinks like soda, water, and affordable beer (or have friends BYOB). Everyone's bellies will be full, and your wallet won't be empty, so it's win-win.
Enjoy the Super Bowl Without Going Bust
Fortunately, the cheapest Super Bowl foods are often the easiest to make, and they can be prepared ahead of time. So, yes, you'll save money, but best of all, you won't be so busy or exhausted on Super Bowl Sunday that you can't enjoy watching the big game and partying with your friends! Now that's the best way to enjoy the Super Bowl.