Fall fun: Keep the cost of tailgating parties down

Fall fun: Keep the cost of tailgating parties down

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It's official. It's football season. And just like every year, pregame the parking lot is a party. But, just like any good party, costs can get out of hand if you don't watch it.

Let's check in with some tailgating stats. A recent survey by www.tailgating.com shows 42 percent of folks who participate in this parking lot pastime spend more than $500 per season tailgating.

If you're a regular tailgater, then you know how quickly a good time can turn into a budget buster if you don't plan. It's just like a grocery menu - set a budget, don't veer from it.

We talked to seasoned tailgaters at Saturday's Georgia Tech game who have some advice. Rob Ogilvie says don't spend much on gear. He uses old Boy Scouts camping supplies.

"When my kids were growing up, I was a Scout Master so it's reusing camping gear. If you go to yard sales, you can buy a lot of camping gear. That's one way to hold down the actual cost of it," he said.

Joe Metcalfe, who has been tailgating at Tech for ore than 20 years says the key to budgeting for him is to make it a group affair.

"Everybody chips in and brings something."

And here is great penny pinching advice from Joe Cahn who runs the web site www.tailgating.com. Those unused condiment packets from fast food restaurants - save them. Buy supplies like plates and napkins in bulk. Joe says think of your spread as a reception not a banquet. So rely on feeding folks with finger foods or small bites.

Joe says whatever you do don't succumb to peer pressure. That's a recipe for overspending. Remember, it's just you and your friends. Martha Stewart is not coming. Most important he says have fun and clean up after yourself.

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