5 Fun and Frugal Super Bowl Party Ideas

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Super Bowl Party Ideas

Ok, I’ll admit it. I LOVE the Super Bowl and am always looking for Super Bowl party ideas. I love the Super Bowl so much that it is my second favorite day of the year behind Thanksgiving. While I don’t think it’ll become a national holiday like some have suggested, it’s clear that many people love the Super Bowl. With it being less than two weeks away now, I know many are starting to look for Super Bowl party ideas.

Whether they’re watching it for the game, the half time show, or the commercials, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who at some level does not like to watch the Super Bowl. Even if they don’t, who would not like to go to a Super Bowl party?

Super bowl parties are usually rife with nice and greasy junk food, football gear, fun and friends. I know, not the best combination to strive for, but hey, life is meant to be fun at times too. The great thing about some of these Super Bowl party ideas, is that they work for party ideas in general, as some are food-related (MMM…food!) and some of the games could possibly be applied to other sporting events.

Pizza Can Go With All of Your Super Bowl Party Ideas


I don’t know how much is spent on pizza during the Super Bowl, but it’s bound to be a lot. We love pizza, and it often seems to go hand in hand with watching football on a big-screen TV so why not have it while watching the Super Bowl. You can always order pizza in and split the cost amongst your friends (if you do, make sure to allow PLENTY of time to have it delivered), but there are other options available if you want to go another route.

One of my favorite Super Bowl party ideas that I have seen is to make your own pizza party. The host can provide the dough, sauce and cheese and everyone else attending can bring their own toppings. This can help bring down the cost, plus you might get to enjoy something new. As we’re deep dish pizza fans, we’ve used the Chicago Metallic Non Stick Pizza Pan for years and love it for making a good deep dish pizza. Towards that end, check out my favorite healthy pizza recipe if you’re looking to save a few calories on your indulgence. 🙂

Rate the Commercial


Who does not enjoy watching Super Bowl commercials? It seems as many people watch for the Super Bowl commercials as they do the actual game itself. True, not all of them are good, and some are just an absolute waste of money. However, there are some that stick out as memorable and are great from an advertiser’s perspective.

If you’re looking for Super Bowl party ideas that keep the non-football fan entertained, you can have friends rate the commercials to see what everyone likes the best. This can be done either informally, or have them write down their favorite ones and vote on it at the end of the night. This is fun, free and can involve even those who could care less about the game and are only watching so they can see the Super Bowl commercials.

Pick a Player


Ok, this might not be the most frugal of Super Bowl party ideas, but it’s fun nonetheless. Your part in this fun game is to write down all of the key players’ names and put them in a hat. Each person who is at the Super Bowl party will put in a certain dollar amount into the pot. It can be as much or as little as you want, the point really is not the amount of money, but it’s making the Super Bowl a little more engaging while also adding a little competition into it.

Each person who puts into the pot will draw one of those names and at the end of the Super Bowl, the winner who drew the winning MVP will get the pot. I’ve played this at a number of Super Bowl parties and it’s cash that can go straight in to your savings account at the end of the night.

Pass the cup


Similar to the “pick a player” game, “pass the cup” is not the most frugal of Super Bowl party ideas, but is still fun and can still be done on the cheap.

How this game works is that you start with an empty cup and the first person will put a dollar in it. Again, the amount you choose to work with is insignificant. That person has to name some sort of football play, like safety, for example. The cup gets passed around with each person putting in the said amount until a safety occurs. The person who is holding the cup when the safety occurs wins the money in the cup and they then name another play and the game starts over again.

Super Bowl Potluck!


I know, I am a PF blogger and this is a post about spending money and eating junk food! It’s all in moderation, right?! Who has gone to a super Bowl party and NOT had food? If you have, then I guess I need to be looking for other Super Bowl party ideas.

One thing to keep in mind for a Super Bowl potluck is that a Super Bowl party is all about finger foods. You don’t want to bring something extravagant and not have it be eaten. The great thing about a potluck is that you can divide up the food in order to keep cost per person down and each person can bring a specific finger food. This will bring variety and a little fun to the event as you can try numerous finger foods and possibly get good finger food ideas for your next party. My go-to for getting something for a potluck is usually Target or, if I have more time, is Amazon as they’re both usually good for pricing.


What are some of your favorite Super Bowl party ideas? Do you watch the Super Bowl for the game itself, or solely for the commercials? Who’re you wanting to make it there this year?


Photo courtesy of: Pixlboom


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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

Latest posts by John Schmoll (see all)


  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Sounds like some great ideas! My wife has a post related to the Super Bowl going up tomorrow as well. We had a super bowl party last year and they can be fun, but honestly the most fun is Viking’s playoffs games (or “near” playoff games like our last game of the season where it was win and in). We hosted people at our place for that last game of the season and it was a ton of fun, especially because we won πŸ˜‰

    • John says:

      That was a pretty good game at the end of the season, I am still surprised that they benched Ponder though for the playoff game…he must’ve been really hurt not to play.

  • Money Bulldog says:

    I’m looking forward to it already! I was watching the Pro Bowl last night when I saw an advert for USAA, couldn’t help but think of your comment on one of my recent posts. Funny how that happens, I’ve never heard of them before and then I hear them mentioned 3 or 4 times in a week!

  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I don’t normally watch the super bowl, but I have seen heap of the half time ads. I just can’t believe how much money companies pay to put their ads on at half time, it is obscene.

    • John says:

      It’s actually for the entire game…$3.7 – $3.8 million for a 30 second ad this year. It is a crazy number. But, speaking as an advertiser, you’re getting over 100 million people to see it at once. If you run a good ad it can be great for business. Then again, it could be a terrible one that no one likes.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Great post, John! I love the “Rate the Commercial” game – we’ll be doing that one for sure! We do like football, but food, family and the commercials are definitely our most prominent reasons for gathering on Superbowl Sunday. We’ll be saving money on Superbowl food this year by making lots of homemade dishes (get great recipes at our website) and picking up the many on-sale items this week. Go, Ravens! (or 49ers. Or whoever. Doesn’t really matter to us πŸ™‚ )

    • John says:

      Thanks Laurie! I love the game, but that is second to all the fun you can have during the game. It’s one of those few days that calories don’t count, right?! πŸ˜‰

  • Michelle says:

    Great ideas! I hardly ever watch the Superbowl though, I’m a baseball person! πŸ™‚

  • Eddie (@Finance_Fox) says:

    I LOVE the Superbowl. Thankfully I’ll be in Vegas for this year’s Superbowl, and there’s no place better to party for Superbowl…well maybe New Orleans. Have fun!!

    • John says:

      As do I Eddie! I have to admit that I am just a little jealous that you get to see it in Vegas. I imagine that would be quite fun. I am looking forward to our trip to Vegas next year, so I guess you’ll just have to have fun there for me this week. πŸ™‚

  • Pauline says:

    I’ve never seen the super bowl but somehow have seen the commercials! Make your own pizza sounds like a great idea, especially if you have an open kitchen where the person cooking can also enjoy the party.

    • John says:

      I think a lot of people have seen the commercials. Often times they’re better than the actual game. That’s a great point about having an open kitchen so those cooking can see the game as well.

  • AverageJoe says:

    The Superbowl is a blast. Everyone generally hits the bathroom and food while the game is on so they can be in the room during the commercials. I actually went to school with Jim and John’s sister. She’s now married to the Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach. I may not be famous, but I know someone who knows someone who is….

    • John says:

      I am the same way Joe. I’ll miss out on a play or two to be able to see some of the commercials. Lol at your connection! My Mom actually went to High School with Hillary Clinton, just one year behind her.

  • Jason @ WSL says:

    I think both of the Harboughs are pretty arrogant, so I’m not sure that I can root for either of them. If I had to pick though I think I’ll pull for John (Ravens).

    I love the idea about putting money into a hat and everybody drawing names; I’ve never thought of anything like that before! I just focus on the game and make sure to take in all of the commercials. I’ve found that being with a bunch of people distracts me too much and I’d rather be able to pay attention. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      I’ve heard that about Jim, but not John. I’ll probably be pulling for the Ravens as well. Being a life long Cowboys fan I can not, in good conscience, cheer for the 49er’s.

      I normally like being able to pay attention when watching a football game on TV. I hate watching them with other people, however the Super Bowl is like a big party to me. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that my ‘Boys have not been there in what seems like forever.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I hate football so I am going to save money by avoiding the super bowl altogether =/

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    The super bowl is the only day of the year that my family gets to eat nachos for dinner. I bake them in the oven with all kinds of stuff. They are wonderful, but not very healthy,When football season started this year, our daughter asked if we were having nachos that night for dinner. No, you gotta wait till the END of the season! Chili in the crock pot is another thing I’ve seen done well at Super bow parties.

    • John says:

      Mmmm….Nachos! πŸ™‚ Chili is always a good one as well. I think there are two days in the year where calories don’t exist…Thanksgiving & Super Bowl Sunday. πŸ˜‰

  • Tackling Our Debt says:

    Not a super bowl fan, but I do love pizza. Hope you enjoy your second favorite day of the year πŸ™‚

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    I love football and enjoy the super bowl parties. This year we are just going to a party instead of throwing one. I just enjoy going and eating.

    • John says:

      I have to admit that going to one is usually better as I hate to deal with all of the clean up. If you go to one you can help out, but it’s much different being in your own house.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Very excited for the Superbowl!!! GO NINERS!!!! πŸ™‚

  • Sean @ One Smart Dollar says:

    I hate hosting Super Bowl parties because my wife always goes way over board, this year if we host it’s going to be downsized and frugal.

  • Shannon Ryan @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Ha, I love it! Thanksgiving and Super Bowl are your two favorite days of the year! I always look forward to the commercials and which ones will be viral hits. And the food isn’t bad either. Enjoy your second favorite day and I hope your team wins!

    • John says:

      Thanks Shannon! I look forward to the commercials as well, especially being in advertising myself and seeing how well put together some of the ads are.

  • Thad says:

    You mean they play a football game during the Super Bowl? I watch it mostly for the commercials!

  • Lance at Money Life and More says:

    We wont be having a party but I will be watching the game and commercials. It is rare the 49ers make it to the Superbowl these days but I am so ready to finally see them in one! Go 49ers!

  • John @ Fearless Men says:

    I love the Super Bowl too! It’s always tough when my Bears don’t make it their so I think the additional 2 weeks between conference championship and SB helps me recover. They might have even made this gap for me. haha!

    I like the pass the hat game ideas. I might suggest it for this Sunday. Potluck is always win!

    • John says:

      Lol! I was thinking the same thing about me & the Cowboys! I’ve always hated the years that they only have one week in between the two, it makes it end all too quickly for me.

  • Justin@TheFrugalPath says:

    A potluck is a great idea. I always feel bad when someone throws a party like this and has to cover all of the costs. It should be more like squares where the person in charge gets a cut of the action. Enjoy the game!

  • Boris says:

    Great party ideas. Not a fan of football but I do remember being in a super bowl party once and one of the wives cried at the end of the football game cuz her team lost. Wow. People really do go crazy over the Super Bowl.

  • Canadianbudgetbinder says:

    NO idea, don’t even know how the game is played lol.. but I like the potluck idea and pizza is always a sure win!

  • Brian @ Luke1428 says:

    I think the parties in Atlanta will be smaller this year seeing that the Falcons fell short in the NFC Championship. So that should help save some money on parties here. I can’t root for either team, but especially Baltimore, as I – a born and raised Buckeye – am still annoyed at Art Modell for moving them from Cleveland. The “new Browns” have not been the same since.

    • John says:

      I would agree Brian, it’s a shame they did not make it…though having the brothers face off is a neat story line. I really don’t care, but being a Cowboys fan, I can’t in good conscience pull for the Niners.

  • Edward Antrobus says:

    I’ve never actually gone to or hosted a superbowl party. I usually just cook up some appetizers for dinner and watch the game by myself.

    • John says:

      It’s been a few years ourselves with having the little ones it makes it a bit more difficult. We have done the same thing as you the last few years.

  • Chis @ Stumble Forward says:

    Commercials are probably the only thing I find interesting about the super bowl but I like your idea of rating the commercials and picking the best ones.

    • John says:

      The commercials can definitely make for a good Super Bowl. I just hope they live up to the cost they’re spending on them.

  • Budget & the Beach says:

    It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a super bowl party but I’m actually hoping to get invited to one. I need to get out of the freakin house and have a little more of a social life. πŸ™‚ Pizzza…mmmm!

  • Midlife Finance says:

    Making your own pizza is a great idea. It will warm up the house and let everyone pick their own favorite toppings. You’ll have to make a ton of dough in advance though. Other than that, it should be easy and fun.

    • John says:

      Thanks! That’s exactly what I was thinking. Making all of the dough could be a hassle if you have a lot of people. One other option would be to use the Boboli pizza crusts ad they’re pretty reasonable in price and fairly decent in taste.

  • jefferson @SeeDebtRun says:

    Great ideas, my friend… I don’t think we actually have plans this year, but we typically head to a friend’s house (or have someone over) and have a pot-luck of sorts.. I am a big football guy, so it is usually a good time.

    • John says:

      Thanks! I don’t think we have any plans either this year as chance would have it. We just usually end up making a few snacky foods and enjoy…after all the calories don’t count on Super Bowl Sunday…right?! πŸ˜‰

  • Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin says:

    Unfortunately I will be working early the next morning so I have to go to bed pretty early. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch the first half. These are great ideas and I would definitely implement them if we were going to watch it. One thing that my wife does plan on doing is DVR’ing the entire superbowl only to fast forward to the commercials!

    • John says:

      That stinks! I always hate when that is the case for me. At least with your wife DVR’ing it you can watch all the commercials too later if you wish.

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor says:

    I have no real interest in the football, or even the commercials, but anytime I get a whole afternoon to eat nachos and pizza, I’ll take it.

  • CF says:

    Making wings can be pretty frugal. I buy a giant bag of frozen wings, season them in a big bucket and just bake them in batches. It’s cheaper than buying the pre-seasoned wings and not really that much more work.

  • Kyle James | says:

    I like the Pick the Player game, that sounds like fun! Totally going to do that this year. Enjoy the game. Go Niners!!

  • MonicaOnMoney says:

    I love the superbowl too! I need to start planning out the party, thanks for sharing some fun ideas πŸ™‚

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