Tailgating has become a time-honored tradition, and for many fans, it’s just as essential as the game itself. It’s an opportunity to gather with friends, enjoy delicious food, and celebrate the love of the sport. If you’re planning to tailgate this season, follow these tried-and-true tips from The Frugal Girls to ensure you make the most of your pre-game festivities.
Pack Your Tailgating Must-Haves The Night Before
Game day is supposed to be a fun day. Avoid it becoming more of a hassle with proactive preparations. Prep the night before to ensure you bring everything you need. Make a checklist: think chairs, grilling tools, games, and all your fan gear. By packing essentials in advance, you give yourself ample time to double- and triple-check so you don’t arrive at the tailgate empty-handed or without that critical BBQ sauce.
Find the Best Tailgating Spot
Location is everything. Prioritize shade; it’ll keep you cool and protect your perishables. Also, while those port-a-potties might seem convenient initially, the aroma can quickly become overwhelming. Keep a healthy distance. But most importantly, ensure you’re not too crowded by other groups. Space ensures comfort and ease when you’re flipping burgers or throwing a ball around. Once you’ve secured your ideal location, let your friends in on it. Text them with specifics, but also, drop a pin. Sometimes words aren’t enough, and a map can guide your squad directly to you without the “Where are you?” calls.
To fully immerse in the tailgating experience, arrive at least 4 hours before kickoff. This allows time to set up, cook, eat, and socialize without feeling rushed. Plus, the early bird gets the best spots! By arriving ahead of time, you get first dibs on prime locations and have a moment to take in the atmosphere before things get busy.
Load Up the Cooler and Fill Your Thermos
When it comes to drinks, variety and temperature are key. Your cooler should be your cold drink sanctuary. Stock it with a mix of sodas, water, and juices. Ice them down so they stay refreshingly cool throughout your festivities. On the flip side, chilly days call for warm beverages. Fill thermoses with hot drinks that will provide both warmth and comfort. Think cocoa for the sweet tooth, apple cider for a taste of fall, and coffee for that caffeine kick.
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Fire Up the Grill as Soon as You Arrive
The grill is the heart of any tailgate. As soon as you’re parked and set up, get that grill going. Whether you’re cooking hot dogs, burgers, veggie skewers, or even steak, an early start gives you the flexibility to cook at a relaxed pace and even experiment a little. After all, tailgating isn’t just about eating; it’s about the joy of cooking outdoors, surrounded by friends and fellow fans.
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