At long last, it’s football season. Many of you have been counting the days since January. With the season in full swing, it’s time to gather all your gear and get to the stadium. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a shabby tailgating setup, so here are some tips to make sure you are prepared!
Bring cash! Parking spots are not cheap. You could be shelling out more than $60 for a patch of gravel to set up shop. The industrious college students peddling these coveted sites don’t have a card reader handy.
Don’t get swindled into paying too much for a spot. If you’re willing to walk a few extra blocks, you could save yourself $20-$40. It may not even be that far. Some parking lot salesmen think too highly of their real estate.
Protect yourself from the sun. Tailgating is a marathon not a sprint. You will be standing outside. All day. Even with a tent, there is a chance you will get a sun burn. Pack your SPF and avoid that rosy-red lobster look. It doesn’t matter what team you support, early fall in Alabama is still warmer than a stove top on high heat. You will sweat. Shove a few bottles of water in that cooler with your adult beverages. The threat of dehydration is very real.
Speaking of coolers, they can get expensive. Owning the latest and greatest cooler like a Yeti will cost you a pretty penny. The biggest of these coolers can cost up to $550 while the smallest rings up at a whopping $300. A 38 quart cooler with wheels will only set you back $20 at Wal-mart. Not only will it save you a big chunk of change, it will save you some muscle aches from carrying a cooler around all day.
Don’t be stingy. Tailgating is about spending time with fans like yourself and enjoying good company. Nobody likes a mooch but sparing a beverage or a snack to a fellow fan isn’t going to empty your cooler. Everyone is trying to have fun and enjoy the game day experience. Show some of that southern hospitality and share.
What about the snacks? Finger food is essential. Sloppy plates of baked beans almost always end up spilled on someone’s shirt. There are numerous trays of wings, sandwiches and roll ups that can be purchased from local restaurants or grocery stores, but you’ll save yourself some dough by cooking these things at home. A crowd favorite at any tailgate is this quick and easy recipe for firehouse crackers. The options are endless! A quick Google Search for tailgate foods yields plenty of wallet-friendly snack ideas.
The best thing about tailgating is that there are not strict rules. The whole point of the tradition is to spend time with your friends and family and enjoy yourself before cheering on your favorite team. Make it your own! Enjoy your college football Saturdays and pro football Sundays. The season will be over before you know it.