Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
With football season right around the corner, now’s the time to plan your tailgating party. Before you head to that next big game with your squad, pick your faves from this list of tailgating ideas and hacks in order to seriously step up your pre-game.
Tailgate Set Up
A small slip-up like forgetting a bottle opener can put a huge damper on your day of tailgating. So make sure you’re always ready to go by stocking a toolbox with tailgate essentials. Fill the individual components of your toolbox with basics like the bottle opener, tongs and utensils, as well as the items you’ll need for cooking, from aluminum foil to a lighter. Once your toolbox is packed, stow it in your trunk so that you always have it on hand.
Also, make sure that you pack your cooler properly to make the most of the space and keep everything cold for longer. For starters, freeze water bottles and use these in place of ice — when they do eventually melt, you’ll have extra beverages! Create the base with frozen water bottles and add canned or bottled drinks to the bottom of the cooler, then layer any perishables on top in watertight containers or bags. Fill up as much of the space as possible.
When you think of tailgating cuisine, burgers and hot dogs probably come to mind right away. But don’t be afraid to get creative with your menu. Offset the carbs by packing a few mason jar salads layered with dressing and hardy vegetables on the bottom, such as carrots and celery, and more perishable plants on top, like lettuce and tomatoes. This will keep your salad from getting soggy before game time.
Another way to impress your fellow tailgating foodies? Prep a batch of unique sliders, perhaps buffalo chicken sliders, and then divide them up into the compartments of a muffin tin. Stow them in the cooler until you arrive and toss the whole tin on top of the grill to warm up the components of your mini-sammies. Then dish out the bite-sized noshes to your eagerly awaiting friends.
Now you only have one thing left to worry about: providing some pre-game entertainment. Instead of blasting music from your car and killing the battery, bring along a Bluetooth speaker to pump out the tunes. Don’t forget to pack your favorite tailgating games, too, like cornhole and giant Jenga. After all, no tailgate is complete without a dose of friendly competition.
Find more brilliant tailgating tips in this graphic created by PSECU.
Now that you know how to tailgate like a pro, start planning your next pre-game outing. Gather all the components you need for your tailgating toolbox, start to pin recipes for mason jar salads and gourmet sliders, and pop those water bottles in the freezer. Then you’ll be all ready to go by the time the day of the big game actually rolls around.