Score a Touchdown With These Tailgate Party Tips

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Money-Saving Tailgate Party Tips
Having a tailgate party is a great way to celebrate football season, but feeding your hungry friends can cost you a pretty penny. Here's how score big savings on snacks, party platters and more.

First, avoid buying pre-made platters. While they're super convenient, you'll be paying a premium for the the grab-and-go option. These platters are often marked up by 100 percent. Instead, make your own. Sure, it takes a little more time and planning, but veggie plates, deviled eggs and meat-and-cheese plates will end up costing less than $1 per serving.

Another way to save is to pack your guests' plates with inexpensive filler foods. Potato salad, tortilla chips, chili and dips can all cost less than $1 per serving. They're also popular tailgating foods, so no one will think twice about your menu.

Finally, find ways to dress up game-day favorites in budget-friendly ways. For instance, you can create a hot dog bar with inexpensive toppings -- just use onions, peppers, chili and corn to put a new spin on the classic fare.

So, the next time you want to host a tailgate party, use these tips to cut back on the costs. You'll have just as much fun, only with a little more money in your pocket.

Score a Touchdown With These Tailgate Party Tips -- Savings Experiment

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Mark Parker Nike,Inc. CEO speaks as Nike debut the new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

In this undated photo provided by the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL team's new uniform design is shown. The NFL unveiled new uniforms designed by Nike for all 32 teams Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at a New York fashion show. (AP Photo/Seattle Seahawks, Rod Mar)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Nike debuts new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City. NFL players; AFC: Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice / Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton / Cleveland Browns, Joe Haden / Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger / Houston Texans, Andre Johnson / Indianapolis Colts, Robert Mathis / Jacksonville Jaguars, Rashean Mathis / Tennessee Titans, Nate Washington / Buffalo Bills, George Wilson / Miami Dolphins, Karlos Dansby / New England Patriots, Wes Welker / New York Jets, Shonn Greene / Denver Broncos, Champ Bailey / Kansas City Chiefs, Dwayne Bowe / Oakland Raiders, Darren McFadden / San Diego Chargers, Ryan Matthews.
NFC: Chicago Bears, Brian Urlacher / Detroit Lions, Ndamukong Suh / Green Bay Packers, Jermichael Finley / Minnesota Vikings, Percy Harvin / Atlanta Falcons, Justin Blalock / Caroline Panthers, Deangelo Williams / New Orleans Saints, Pierre Thomas / Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LaGarrette Blount / Dallas Cowboys, Jason Witten / New York Giants, Victor Cruz / Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick / Washington Redskins, Brian Orakpo / Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald / San Francisco 49ers, Alex Smith / Seattle Seahawks, Kam Chancellor / St. Louis Rams, Cortland Finnegan  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Nike debuts new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City. NFL players; AFC: Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice / Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton / Cleveland Browns, Joe Haden / Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger / Houston Texans, Andre Johnson / Indianapolis Colts, Robert Mathis / Jacksonville Jaguars, Rashean Mathis / Tennessee Titans, Nate Washington / Buffalo Bills, George Wilson / Miami Dolphins, Karlos Dansby / New England Patriots, Wes Welker / New York Jets, Shonn Greene / Denver Broncos, Champ Bailey / Kansas City Chiefs, Dwayne Bowe / Oakland Raiders, Darren McFadden / San Diego Chargers, Ryan Matthews.
NFC: Chicago Bears, Brian Urlacher / Detroit Lions, Ndamukong Suh / Green Bay Packers, Jermichael Finley / Minnesota Vikings, Percy Harvin / Atlanta Falcons, Justin Blalock / Caroline Panthers, Deangelo Williams / New Orleans Saints, Pierre Thomas / Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LaGarrette Blount / Dallas Cowboys, Jason Witten / New York Giants, Victor Cruz / Philadelphia Eagles, Michael Vick / Washington Redskins, Brian Orakpo / Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald / San Francisco 49ers, Alex Smith / Seattle Seahawks, Kam Chancellor / St. Louis Rams, Cortland Finnegan  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Nike debuts new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

Seattle Seahawks' Kam Chancellor shows off the new design for gloves during a presentation in New York, Tuesday, April 3, 2012.  The NFL and Nike showed off the new look in grand style with a gridiron-styled fashion show at a Brooklyn film studio. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  The new Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars jerseys are displayed during the unveiling by Nike as they begin their partnership with the NFL at Steiner Studios on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Victor Cruz of the New York Giants is interviewed while wearing the new NFL uniform introduced by Nike on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears is interviewed while wearing the new NFL uniform introduced by Nike on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  The new team apparel for the New York Giants is displayed as the NFL uniforms are introduced by Nike on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Matching team gloves are on display as Nike debuts new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Members of the media look at a display of the new NFL uniforms introduced by Nikeon April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  The new New Orleans Saints gloves are displayed during the unveiling by Nike as they begin their partnership with the NFL at Steiner Studios on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Nike debuts new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: The new Green Bay Packers jersey is displayed during the unveiling by Nike as they begin their partnership with the NFL at Steiner Studios on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh talks to a reporter during a presentation in New York, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. The NFL and Nike showed off the new gear in grand style with a gridiron-themed fashion show at a Brooklyn film studio.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  The new Cleveland Browns jersey is displayed during the unveiling by Nike as they begin their partnership with the NFL at Steiner Studios on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  The new Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars jerseys are displayed during the unveiling by Nike as they begin their partnership with the NFL at Steiner Studios on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

In this undated photo provided by the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL team's new uniform design is shown. The NFL unveiled new uniforms designed by Nike for all 32 teams Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at a New York fashion show. (AP Photo/Seattle Seahawks, Rod Mar)

New Orleans Saints' Pierre Thomas talks to a reporter at a presentation in New York, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. The NFL  and Nike showed off the new gear in grand style with a gridiron-themed fashion show at a Brooklyn film studio. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In this undated photo provided by the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL team's new helmet design is shown. The NFL unveiled new uniforms designed by Nike for all 32 teams Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at a New York fashion show. (AP Photo/Seattle Seahawks, Rod Mar)

New England Patriots' Wes Welker poses for pictures in his new uniform in New York, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. The NFL and Nike showed off the new gear in grand style with a gridiron-themed fashion show at a Brooklyn film studio. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The new Seattle Seahawks uniform, foreground, Pittsburgh Steelers, rear right, and Cincinnati Bengals, rear left, are displayed on mannequins during a presentation in New York, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. The NFL and Nike showed off the new gear in grand style with a gridiron-themed fashion show at a Brooklyn film studio. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: President of Nike Brand,  Charlie Denson speaks as Nike debuts the new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Nike)

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