MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Oct 5, 2016) - (Family Features) As fall settles in, the air gets crisper and the kids head back to school, many Americans eagerly anticipate one thing: football season.
Whether you're a die-hard gridiron fan or prefer to enjoy the food and festivities from the sidelines, everyone can agree that a successful tailgate is key to any memorable game day get-together. According to a recent Bank of America survey, 34 percent of Americans plan to attend a professional or college football game or tailgate this fall, and 20 percent plan to host a tailgate or viewing party themselves.
While many love planning out meals, decorations and activities for friends and family, the costs can easily add up and make hosting feel like an underdog game. So how can fans plan a tailgate that stays on budget and impresses any crowd -- home or away?
Home design and DIY experts Ben and Erin Napier teamed with Bank of America to provide these cost-savvy tips for pulling off a memorable tailgate that fits the bill for every fan on game day.
Get in the Competitive Spirit
Whether you're grilling outside the stadium or spending halftime hanging out in your backyard, Ben recommends laying out a variety of games for guests to enjoy, such as a wood-block game with blocks painted in your team colors.
Follow these simple steps:
1. Sand down wooden four-by-fours.
2. Cut into 48 pieces, each eighteen 18 inches long.
3. Stack pieces into a tower.
4. Take turns pulling pieces to see who knocks the tower over first.
For added flair and personalization, Erin suggests painting the wooden blocks your team colors.
Bring the Stadium to Your Living Room
If you missed out on tickets or your home team is on the road, you can still make your home feel like a day at the stadium. Decorating your home with the team's colors - such as creating DIY wall art with framed jerseys - is a simple, cost-efficient way to capture the tailgate essence.
Ben suggests setting up a big screen TV on the deck or outdoor living area with speakers to mimic the feeling of watching a game outside in the stands. For inexpensive, comfy seating that will help welcome guests and add another pop of team spirit, try purchasing throw pillows in your team's colors from a wholesale club or superstore, but make sure to weatherproof them first using fabric protection spray.
Create a Tailgating Space that Stands Out
One of the best parts of tailgating at the stadium is being surrounded by fellow fans. Try sprucing up your car or tent to create an inviting space that showcases your team pride. Ben recommends investing in a large, custom-designed vinyl or fabric banner for your tent. Not only can they be affordable to produce and last for many seasons, but they stand out in a crowd.
Defeat Your Budget
"Planning for a busy football season doesn't need to be a 'loss' for your budget," Ben said. "Turning to a credit card that rewards you for everyday purchases is one of the easiest ways to 'win' this season."
Because tailgating throughout the entire football season requires many trips to the grocery store -- often buying in bulk -- using a card like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards credit card lets you earn 2 percent cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores. And 3 percent cash back when gassing up for away games - on up to $2,500 in grocery/wholesale club/gas quarterly spend. You also earn 1 percent back on all other purchases.
For more information, visit bankofamerica.com/creditcard.
About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free -- with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.