7 Tips for Tailgating on a Students Budget

School sports are often a huge part of the college experience. However, students may not be expecting the additional costs that sporting events will bring each season. Learn how to be a fan without breaking the bank.

Keep these budget savers in mind when grilling out in the shadow of the stadium or cheering on your team from the couch at home.

1. Invest in a cooler and durable tailgating chairs, but skip the outdoor flat-screen TV. Spending a little extra now on quality outdoor chairs means they will last you all four years and you won’t waste money replacing them. With these essentials, you can set up camp pretty much anywhere.

2. Check to see if your school hosts free viewing parties for professional or school sporting events.

3. When considering ticket options, know how to balance your excitement with your budget. You may want to attend every home game, but be realistic about how many weekends you think you will be in town each semester. Some schools offer packages that allow students to buy tickets to fewer, more prominent games versus more, less popular matchups. Identify your priorities: Do you want to see the biggest rivalry or just go to as many games as possible?

4. Headed to any away games? Plan to carpool with friends or see if your school offers shuttle or bus services at a student rate.

5. Avoid buying expensive team merchandise at kiosks and stores near the stadium on game day. Shop online or check out the campus bookstore for the best deals on apparel and other fan gear.

6. Hosting a tailgating or game-day party? Ask friends to each bring a different dish to contribute to the spread. Whether you’re hosting or not, shop smart: This is where a bulk warehouse membership pays off. Also, it never hurts to keep an eye out for coupons.

7. Is one of the big games being broadcast only via pay-per-view TV this season? Coordinate with your friends and have one person order it, then split the cost. Enjoy some extra cheesy nachos with the money left in your budget.

Whether you’re looking forward to football, basketball or all of the above, there are ways to cheer on your team without emptying your bank account.


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