The following is a sponsored post. While I was compensated for it, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and in no way were influenced by the company.
Guest post by Amy Goodman, zulily’s Senior Lifestyle Editor
Getting ready for a tailgating party? Here is a shortcut to successful event
DIY Your Food: Tailgating is about food that’s hearty, delicious and eaten, often, by hand. From a build-your-own burger station or pimp-your-own pup (hot dog bar) to customized guacamole or bean dip, have some fun with your menu to make your dishes customizable to your guests’ palette.
Game Gear: If one of the keys to tailgating is setting up shop early and claiming a good parking spot, then you need to be organized. Purchase all your tailgating gear and gadgets on websites like zulily.com, which offers quick and convenient shopping for fans who want a wide variety of grilling tools and gear at great prices. Consider keeping everything in a designated spot in your home to store all of the game-day gear you want to take with you like foam pointers, hats, seat cushions, etc. so that when it comes time to cheer, you have your gear.
Hydration Stations: Having different sized coolers for different drinks – a medium cooler for small water bottles and juice packs, a larger cooler for cans and a taller one for bottles – means guests won’t have to dig around endlessly in freezing, watery ice chips to find the beverage they want. Either label or put drink pictures on the outside of each cooler so they know what’s chillin’ on the inside.
Go Team…Décor: Sometimes going streamlined on décor means less stress. Think reusable tablecloths and party service ware in your team’s colors for instant impact, and consider decorating your own team party cups with simple printouts you can make using your computer, scissors, and a glue stick. Dot your set up with team flags, pom-poms, logos and mini-mascots where you can, but even just a few of these touches go a long way.
Wear Your Colors: Make sure you’re showing enough team spirit by wearing your team colors with pride. Purchase your game-day gear online on websites like zulily.com, where they have thousands of unique styles and products that debut every day. You can find everything your game day crew needs and discover styles you didn’t even know you needed!
Keep it Cool: A couple of days before the game, start taking ice from your own freezer and pack it in gallon-sized, freezer storage bags. (Make sure you get a head start so you can regenerate enough ice for daily use.) The benefit to these DIY “ice bags” is they do double duty, fitting nicely around your food in the cooler and then serving as clean ice for eating and beverages later, while reducing the weight of what you have to carry home.
Spices Kit: Similar to a traveler’s toiletry kit, for frequent tailgaters it makes sense to consolidate your favorite spices, condiments, and sauces in an organized carryall, where every hot sauce has its slot and space so it isn’t forgotten. For each game, all you need to do is check your levels to make sure you have enough of everything, and you’re off!