Food prices put the squeeze on Super Bowl Sunday traditions

Photo of author

| Updated:

You can still enjoy all your favorite eats, but these suggestions might just take the sting out of the final bill amidst the rising food costs. With the Big Game approaching, the affordability of traditional party foods is forcing football fans to make difficult choices.

A plate with a football, french fries and an american flag.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest snacking events of the year, so you need a game plan if you want to score big on savings. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

The cultural phenomenon 

The upcoming 58th championship game will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the first time in its history. The immense popularity of this event cannot be underestimated, having garnered more than 100 million views over 10 times in its history. 

As one of the few things that unites America, this day is about more than a football game. With iconic half-time music performances and companies spending millions for a 30-second commercial, friends, families and even strangers across the nation come together to witness this spectacle. One of the most important parts of this game day celebration is the spread of appetizers, mains and desserts that fuel the audience as they cheer on their favorite team. 

What’s the deal with inflation

Inflation is affecting all aspects of American life, including the ability to celebrate events like the upcoming Big Game, widely recognized as a national holiday by many. The most recent consumer price index, or CPI reveals how exorbitant the cost of living has become for Americans. Grocery store prices increased by 2.1% from October 2022 to October 2023, while restaurant prices rose 5.4%.

This year, the surge in prices for standard game day food, such as burgers, pizza and nachos has become particularly noticeable. The CPI reports the food categories with the most dramatic annual increases include beef and veal (+8.9%), cracker products and bread, (+6%) and fresh biscuits, rolls and muffins (+5.7%). 

Disruptions to the food supply chain have been caused by drought conditions, outbreaks of livestock diseases such as the Avian Flu and political conflict. Experts predict that the challenges to the supply chain and substantial hikes in food prices are likely to persist through 2024. As a result of this ongoing trend, party hosts for the upcoming championships will find it financially challenging to prepare traditional crowd-pleasing dishes.

Delicious and affordable game day recipes

Fans are embracing the competitive spirit of the game and are not backing down from the challenges posed by current economic conditions. In times like these, fans are resorting to resourceful methods to host on a budget.

Use what you have

Air fryers have become a staple in American households. Recognized for its affordability and versatility, this kitchen appliance will help you cook up delicious meals in no time for your gathering.

For a quick and tasty breakfast dish to kick off the Big Game day, try air fryer cinnamon rolls. Not only will they fill your house with a sweet and comforting aroma, but these homemade cinnamon rolls will also spare your wallet from overpriced bakeries.

Cooking doesn’t have to be overly complex or require expensive ingredients. Many recipes use the same core ingredients. If you scavenge through your pantry, you probably have most of what you need to make many tasty air fryer snacks and dishes.

Get creative

Pizzas can cost a fortune to feed your guests, especially if you’re ordering in. That doesn’t mean you have to pass up on this favorite football snack. 

Instead of going through the time-consuming process of making pizza dough, opt for more budget-friendly flatbreads. Turn it into a fun activity by setting up a build-your-own flatbread pizza station with affordable toppings. This offers your guests an economical way to customize their pizzas with the toppings they love.

Make substitutions

The exciting spirit of the Big Game can be captured without straining your budget by switching to more affordable substitutions. Casseroles are an easily adaptable dish that allows you to combine inexpensive ingredients and still create a flavorful dish. 

To avoid steep meat costs, consider lighter main dish alternatives like pineapple casserole. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised by the sweet and salty flavors that will have them coming back for seconds. 

The traditions continue

For many Americans, this annual event is a long-awaited moment that brings communities together as people gather to bond over food, sports, and pop stars. It’s not surprising that the passion for this major sporting event persists despite economic challenges. 

Fans remain resilient, holding onto traditions even if they are modified. With a highly anticipated half-time performance by Usher, exciting game plays and crowd-pleasing dishes with a twist, there’s plenty to look forward to for both guests and party hosts.

Mandy Applegate is the enthusiastic creator of the vegetarian website Splash of Taste; she makes meat-free cooking fun and easy. When Mandy’s not cooking and writing, you can expect to see her traveling, exploring countries and cuisines, or spending time with her chihuahua.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.