Hosting a Super Bowl party? How to save on rising costs
With the cost of everything seemingly on the rise, a few staples of the routine Super Bowl party menu are actually on the decline compared to last year.
You don't have to break the bank to host a gathering for the big game — but it wouldn't hurt to implement a cover charge for your guests!
I visited a few shops and supermarkets in New Jersey to check out your options regarding prices. A couple simple moves could save you a large amount at checkout.
Prepared vs. non-prepared
It's a coin flip: do you deal with the headache of preparing food so you can save some money, or do you put out more cash in order to have everything ready for you and your guests?
One decision is much cheaper than the other.
At ShopRite, a tray of buffalo wings to feed a party of eight would run you about $60. That's also the price for a half-tray of wings, to feed 10, through a catering company based in East Hanover.
According to a Wells Fargo Super Bowl report, the price of chicken wings is down by about 22% compared to a year ago, thanks to a significant increase in supply.
But you could save even more money by opting for the bagged buffalo or BBQ wings in your supermarket's freezer aisle. You'd need to spend just $20 to $30 on this option to feed 10 people.
A deli platter or three-foot sub could cost you another $50 to $60. But it's much cheaper to grab the rolls, condiments, meat, and cheese separately, and let guests make their own sandwich for the Chiefs-Eagles matchup.
Also, you can typically grab two store-prepared pizzas for the same price as one pie from a pizzeria.
According to the Wells Fargo report, the price of sirloin steak, and avocados for guacamole, is down from a year ago. Beer and soft drinks cost more now compared to last year.
Year over year, the price of food and beverages is up 8.5% in the New York-New Jersey area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many shoppers are creatures of habit and refuse to stray from the brands they grew up with as a kid.
But if you're willing to make the sacrifice and skip the name brands on some routine menu items — like ketchup, dip, and soda — you'll save a significant amount of money.
At Walmart, a 12.5-ounce bag of Lay's barbecue chips is currently listed at $4.78. You'd spend $3.12 on the Great Value version (store brand) of the same chips.
Thirty ounces of store-brand mayo would run you $3.48. It's $4.88 for a Hellman's container.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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