Kellye Fox | 

21 Essential Party Hacks to Help You Enjoy the Big Game, Feb. 11

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Are you ready for the Big Game? More importantly, are you ready for some useful and clever party hacks to make your event the one to attend? We have everything you need, from recipes and food hacks to games and how to save on booze.

Aside from the football and commercials, my focus at a party is always on the food. The Big Game is no different. Sure, you can plan to cook everything, but why not turn to food delivery apps? Just order, wait, and chow down. If you’re feeling fancy, assemble a charcuterie board so you and your guests can graze before the chicken wings arrive.

A bonus hack is to head to Dollar Tree to save on Game Day supplies like plates, napkins, and tablecloths. They’re in generic patterns with footballs but cheaper than grocery and big-box stores. Since it’s all $1.25, shop your team’s colors and decorate your space. Here are all the Big Game food freebies and restaurant specials, as well as where to find the cheapest Big Game snacks.

Keep the The Krazy Coupon Lady app handy for all things football, coupons for snacks, and any other money-saving tips and deals.

1. Use your Crock-Pot to cook two dips at once.

two dips in a crock pot

Grab some heavy duty foil to create a snug barrier that cuts across your slow cooker. Then use a slow cooker liner to keep two different dips separated.

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2. Buy alcohol at wholesale clubs without a membership.

a woman looking wine at costco

Alcohol sales without a membership are allowed in certain states.

According to Sam’s Club, liquor purchases don’t require an active membership. Just create an online guest account. Same for Costco! You can also purchase prescription drugs and take an eye exam without a membership card. To save even more money on Game Day, make it a BYOB party.

Learn more about wholesale buying at Costco and Sam’s Club without a membership card.

Related: Can You Shop at Costco Without a Membership?

3. Make cleaning up easy by lining your trash can with three or four bags.

a person adding a second trash bag to line a trash can

Parties with large groups of people mean lots of garbage. Use the tip that professional cleaners do and store a few extra garbage bags in the bottom of the can for easy clean up.

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4. Turn a chip bag into a chip bowl.

a child's hand grabbing a a chip from a bag of chips

Roll the top of an opened chip bag inwards for a cleaner looking edge. Then poke the bottom corners of the bag in so it stands on its own. As the chips are eaten, roll the bag up from the bottom. These are called Walking Tacos!

5. Make your own chip-and-dip set with a wine glass.

a hand dipping a chip into ranch dip from a wine glass filled with dip

No need to buy a fancy chip-and-dip set for the Big Game. Place a wine glass in the middle of a deep bowl. Add dip to the glass, then position your favorite chips around the glass, covering the stem. Refill the chips as it gets low so no one sees your hack.

6. Cook chicken wings in your air fryer or Crock-Pot.

Two images of chicken wings about to go into an air fryer

Chicken wings are mighty delicious, but I hate babysitting them on the stove and dread the smell of cooking oil. Say hello to the slow cooker on Game Day to get the wings done without the mess.

Throw thawed and seasoned chicken wings into an air fryer or Crock-Pot. Cook on high for one to two hours. Broil them in the oven for a few minutes for really tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken wings.

7. Use a salad spinner to evenly coat your wings.

wings inside a salad spinner used to coat bbq sauce

If you’re all out of bowls, use a salad spinner to get the perfect coating for your chicken wings. The spinner is also handy for shaking off excess breading from fish or chicken before frying.

8. Have a sticky fingers station if you’re serving messy wings.

a diy sticky finger station bucket with wet wipes, football, and paper towels, next to wings on a counter

Now that your chicken wings are done, stave off sticky fingers with a cleanup area. Keep wet wipes and paper towels in a designated place to avoid saucy messes. Of course, good old-fashioned soap and water work, too.

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9. Serve chili and create an inexpensive fixings bar.

Low Carb Turkey Chili recipe

The cheapest thing you can serve is chili. Brew up a pot, then create an inexpensive fixings bar so your guests can dress up their chili as they like. I’m also thinking of a baked potato or nachos bar with various shredded cheeses and toppings.

NOTE: Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself versus buying a bag of already shredded cheese. It cuts your cheese costs significantly.

10. Make cleaning up easy by covering your tables with kraft paper.

Make cleaning up easy by covering your tables with kraft paper.

Kraft paper is versatile for crafts, kids tables, and snacks. Use a permanent marker (like a Sharpie) directly on your paper tablecloth to label food. Cleaning up is easy because you can just toss in the garbage or recycling bin.

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11. Cut down on dishes by using food as serving containers.

a hand dipping a pretzel into dip from a bell pepper filled with dips on a veggie tray

Cleanup is the worst aspect of having a party. Make it easy by serving food on one platter or on the baking sheet or muffin pan that you used to cook it. Add your dips to halved bell peppers. Since you have to clean those anyway, you won’t need to break out another dish.

12. Use coupons on paper products to save 50%.


Find coupons and rebates for any item (napkins, plates, cups) or brands (Hefty, Chinet, Dixie) with The Krazy Coupon Lady app. Print coupons from your phone before heading to the store. Trust me, disposable everything is the way to go!

Download the free KCL app, which is available on Apple and Android phones.

13. Shop drugstores for cups and napkins.


We compared prices on paper goods like cups, napkins, and paper towels across supermarkets, wholesale clubs, and drugstores. But if you wait for a sale, drugstores actually beat out competitors on pricing. Don’t forget about dollar stores, too.

14. Cool drinks fast by wrapping a towel around a beverage and sticking it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Cool drinks fast by wrapping a towel around a beverage and sticking it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Iced beverages always seem to go perfectly with watching football. If they’ve been sitting on the counter and you need to get them cold fast, reach for a paper towel. Soak a paper towel with water, wrap it around the bottle, and place it in the freezer. In about 10 minutes, you’ll have a chilled drink.

How does it work? The water on the paper towel evaporates, drawing heat away from the bottle. Thus, cooling it quicker.

15. Or just store beverage glasses and cups in the freezer.

Store beverage glasses and cups in the freezer

If you’re skeptical about the paper towel method (and if you have room in the freezer), just stick a few of your favorite glasses or cups in the freezer. Be careful when drinking out of it. You don’t want to replay the Christmas Story scene!

16. Freeze water balloons and use them to keep drinks cold.

A person's hand picking up a can of soda from a cooler filled with drinks and frozen water balloons.

Yet another method to keep drinks cold is using old-fashioned water balloons. Fill up five to 10 balloons with water and freeze them. Situate them around your cans and bottles to cool them. Of course, a bag of ice from your local supermarket or gas station works, too.

17. Making pulled pork or buffalo chicken dip? Use your KitchenAid to shred the meat.

Making pulled pork or buffalo chicken dip? Use your KitchenAid to shred the meat.

Save time shredding meat with forks and break out a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Use the paddle attachment (or beaters) to get the job done. Add the cooked meat to the bowl and turn on the mixer to low in 30 second increments.

18. Print football photo props for free.


The Big Game is a big party after all, so use our free football Photo Props to get the festivities started. Post them to social media or simply create memories with your guests.

19. Get rolls and baguettes from the clearance bakery rack and save 50%.

A woman shops for bread in the clearance section.

Big-box stores like Walmart usually have a clearance bakery rack near the dairy section with deep discounts. I’ve seen muffins, rolls, pastries, loaves of bread, and pies. Warm them in the oven or serve toasted, and you’ll never know they weren’t baked that day.

20. Section off dips in a serving tray to make an edible football stadium.

a tray of dips made into a football field

Not all of us want to make a huge snack stadium for the Big Game. For a smaller scale, section off three to four different dips in a foil tray to resemble a football field. Use sour cream for the yard lines and add extras like shredded cheese and black olives. Place the pan on a baking sheet or serving tray surrounded by salty snacks and veggies for dipping.

21. Tailgating? Keep food warm in a cooler.

Tailgating? Keep food warm in a cooler.

Insulated coolers are useful year-round whether it’s the beach, a picnic, or tailgating. Pack your warm food in foil trays or towels until you reach your destination. Despite its name, the “cooler” will trap the heat so your favorite dish won’t be cold.

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