How to Save Money Tailgating

by Sami

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Whether tailgating at your favorite game or hosting a group at home, I have your top tips for how to save money tailgating this fall!

how to save money tailgating the sami cone show

My Ultimate Tailgate Tips: How to Save Money Tailgating

Pick a Food Focal Point

Don’t try to cover everything under the sun. Go for one big wow moment (like the Lobster Roll Dip recipe we made on The Sami Cone Show) and then supplement with staples like chips. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring their favorite dish over too!

Stock Up on Sales

Let the sales dictate what you serve. Canned tomatoes on sale? Consider making homemade salsa or an easy crockpot marinara sauce for bite-size meatballs. 

And don’t just shop the grocery stores: consider drugstores and even gas stations like MAPCO for your game day necessities. 

mapco tailgating specials the sami cone show

Ask for Help & Have People Sign Up

It’s OK to ask guests to bring something. Use a free service like Evite to both let people know about your event and ask them to sign up. This way you know what you still need to provide and what’s being taken care of.

Pro tip: don’t put anything on the list you’re not OK having the party without; you never know who may back out at the last minute.

Decorate with Dollar Store Decor

Not every decoration has to have your team’s logo on it. To save money tailgating, pick one or two team items and then supplement with plates, tablecloths, streamers, etc in your team colors at the dollar store.

Take Advantage of Free Events at the Game

Whether college or professional, many teams offer free events for fans before their games.

This year, the Titans have a pre-game Happy Hour at the game on Sept. 12 from 10-11:30 where beer will be $2 in the Pinnacle TitanUp Tailgate area (South Plaza). The hope is to encourage people to arrive to the game early and avoid the rush at the gates!

Titans tailgate party

In the past, the Titans have offered some of the following free tailgate activities at Nissan Stadium:

  • Delta Dental Smile Zone: Open 2 hours before the game and located next to Lot D. Extremely kid-friendly – we have inflatables, slides, field goal kicking games and more
  • Black Tie Moving 40-yard dash for kids/adults alike (NE side of stadium)
  • Zipline experience south of the stadium
  • TitanUp Tailgate – Live Music Each Week, Titans Radio Pregame Broadcast, Food Trucks, Discounted Beer and Soft Drinks, Titans Tailgate Games – Cornhole, Jenga, Connect Four, Interactive Photo Opportunities, Face Painters and Balloon Artists

Tailgate at Home (or at Your Kids’ Home Game!)

Who says tailgating has to be at a stadium? While it’s fun to be there in person, don’t ignore the opportunity to create a party at home or, better yet, at one of your kids’ or friends’ games. Between all the football, soccer and baseball games going on right now, there is ample opportunity to open up your home, set up a tent, or throw open your hatchback to create community.

Borrow Gear

Speaking of setting up a tent, borrow whatever tailgating gear you can. If you’re new to tailgating, don’t go out and buy everything you need right away. Borrow what you can, see what you like and then invest in those pieces.

Keep Everyone Entertained

As important as food is, make sure you have ample viewing area to watch the game, plus activities for those who are just there to socialize. Plus consider creating a kids’ area with games and coloring. If the weather is nice, have a football and cornhole outside for everyone to make some plays of their own.

Free Titans Kids’ Activities

Most NFL teams have free kids’ activities on their websites, like free coloring pages, activity kits and more:

Tailgating Game Day Giveaway!

Finally, it’s important to look the part and support your team on game day.

We have a lot of options for team gear and fan apparel these days, but I also love to support some local favorites. Like decor, you can always pick one main focal point of your outfit and then build around it.

sami cone in project 615 1st and TN tshirt holding titan up flag

Two things I’m loving right now:

  1. Project 615’s Football Collection
  2. Kendra Scott’s Game Day Collection

To spread the game day love, I’m giving away a prize pack with a pair of Kendra Scott’s Threaded Elle Gold Drop Earrings in white and a selection of items from Project 615’s Football collection.

football game day 2021 giveaway items from project 615 and kendra scott

TO ENTER: head over to my Instagram page…it’s that simple! And if you don’t want to miss any of my show, follow The Sami Cone Show on Instagram too.


So there you have it, some of my top tips for how to save money tailgating. If you’re looking for more ways to tailgate on a budget, check out some of these posts:

Watch the past segment on The Sami Cone Show below:

What are your favorite tailgating tips?

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