Game Day on a Budget

Tailgating on the quad is quintessential Bama. Crimson and white as far as the eye can see. Folks being neighborly, offering up their hot dogs and ice-cold beverages to fellow fans even if they don’t know them from Adam. Enthusiastic “Roll Tides” hollered among every man, woman, and child. Game Day in Tuscaloosa is next-level, but if you’ve got a budget to adhere to, it can be tempting to miss the shenanigans in lieu of a low-key view from your tv at home. Before you decide to miss the tailgate festivities, know that you can cut those football-centric celebratory costs down with these simple steps.

  • Don’t be a hero!

Even Tua had help from the rest of the Crimson Tide during the National Title game! Rather than trying to take everything on by yourself—round up your home team and delegate. Assign duties to each person: someone takes care of the napkins, cups, plates; someone else is in charge of the drinks; and someone else handles the food. Divide, conquer, and get ready to cheer on the Tide!

  • Get back to basics

The term “tailgating” comes from the age-old tradition of having a parking lot party from the back of a truck. The old-school way included a truck, a cooler full of thirst-quenching beverages, and easy-to-transport snacks. While you can’t exactly roll a truck up onto the quad, you can take strides to simplify your tailgate setup. Rather than doing a Kardashian tailgate effort with bells, whistles, and big screen TVs, get back to basics with a trusty shade-giving tent, a few chairs, and a table to lay out those tasty treats. And don’t worry about catered food—homemade snacks like your mom’s awesome pimento cheese or your Aunt Pam’s trail mix are great options for quelling a snack attack. Not a cook? Go with the ultimate affordable fan favorite: Publix Fried Chicken.

  • Work your legs

Parking on Game Day can take your wallet to new lows. $20, $30, and even $40 may get you a little closer to the stadium, but it won’t do your cashflow any favors! Consider parking further away and then rolling with the Crimson Tide shuttle to get you right up to all the action. Or, turn those football Saturdays into a great way to get your steps up! Park a little further out, save your hard-earned dollars, and maybe even get a little cardio going on Game Day!

  • Strategize your entertainment

If your tailgate tent is the epicenter for pregame entertainment but you’re looking to save a few bucks, go with simplified, inexpensive options for fun. A deck of cards and/or a package of Solo Cups are cheap, multi-purpose fun facilitators. And before you go rushing out to purchase cornhole boards, ASK AROUND your friend group to see if you can borrow them from a member of your squad. You’re almost guaranteed to know someone who has the beanbag classic, and you can always offer access to your awesome array of snack and drinks in exchange for letting you use the game. After all, Crimson Tide fans ought to stick together!