When you think of the 2014 Super Bowl, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Football? Commercials? Wings? Friends? Family? Drinks? Painted faces & team jerseys? Snacks?

No matter what popped into your head, all of the above can be found only in one place . . . A Super Bowl Party!

For most Americans, The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated days of the year; however, if you are the host or hostess  it does not need to be a stressful one! My advice: plan in advance, make a budget and enjoy the game!

1. Plan in advance – How many party guests do you expect to attend? Getting those invitations out early will help gauge the number of party-goers. No, I don’t mean handwritten paper invitations sent snail mail; those cost money. Think of utilizing a free e-vite websites (such as evite.com) or creating an event on Facebook! You will be able to create a themed party invite and track your RSVPs … all at no cost! Take a look at a free e-vite I created to send to my list of invitees – we are getting ready for some Football!!

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2. The Decor – Before you go out to the store to purchase decorations, take a look at what you already have. Do you have holiday or NYE decorations that you may be able to recycle? How creative can you get with colored wrapping paper, garland, lights? Get inspired on websites such a Pinterest.com!

Now don’t grab your car keys yet! I have found a really cool website that provides you with free, downloadable printables for all of your party snacks! Print them on a few sheets of stock paper and you have quite the display! Click on the image below to access the entire collection!

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Still looking for additional decorations? Dollar stores are the place to shop for your Football themed items at, yes, a dollar! The dollar store is also a great place to purchase party plates, cups, & napkins; however, if you don’t mind a little dish-washing, you can save money by using items you already have in your cabinets.

And voila! You have scored a Decorating Touchdown!

3. The Kiddos – While the Super Bowl may be an American holiday, if you have kids you know one thing . . . kids that party hard with you will not be so delightful in the morning when the school bus arrives! Have a room set up, in advance, for your guests’ kiddos to hang out; you can set up themed games, have a DVD player available, and a comfortable space to lounge. What will this do for you? First, with the kids in their own oasis, you will not miss a play, commercial or the coveted halftime show! Second, if the kids get tired, they will have a space where they can fall asleep!

4. Drinks – I suggest that you ask your guests to bring their own beverages. The cost of spirits and cocktails can get pricey; however, you can provide bottles of soda, water, juice and coolers filled with ice for your guests’ beverage of choice!

5. The Food – How could I have almost forgotten one of the fan-favorites … the food!

Why not go potluck? Do not be afraid to ask your guests to bring one of their favorite treats or dishes! You will have a table filled with food in no time!

Of course, I know you will want to prepare or purchase something of your own but, let me forewarn you, when you walk into a local grocery store you will see big displays of snacks in between two goal posts The store is having a sale and putting all of the best deals right in the front so you don’t have to walk around! That would be false. The store is most likely simply trying to draw you to the items that you would be most likely to purchase without really offering a discount. Yes, you may need to do a bit more walking, but walk away!

Before you go on any shopping trip be sure to pick up a copy of the Sunday paper (this one is for last minute shoppers only) or visit an online coupon site and plan your shopping trip in advance making sure you are getting the best deals! Sites such as coupons.com offer free, printable coupons! Clip away!

Finally, be aware of deals that restaurants in your area may be having specifically for the Super Bowl! Chain restaurants such as Papa Johns, Domino’s, and KFC are all offering discounts on orders big and small!

6. Number six is to grab a soda, claim your favorite seat on the couch, and enjoy the game!

Who will you be rooting for this year?

Written By: Amanda Finn Keefe