About 61 million Americans plan to attend a Super Bowl party this weekend to watch the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams.
Hosting one of these parties can be expensive: Last year, LendEDU found that people spent, on average, just over $200. The National Retail Federation estimates this year American adults will spend an average of $81.30 per person on the Super Bowl, though that figure does not break out how much people will spend strictly on food.
Still, that felt like a lot, so I set out to determine whether I could buy food and drinks for 12 people for $50.
Because the grocery stores around me do not sell alcohol, I've omitted beer from my calculations. If you are springing for beer at your party, make sure to budget about $20 for a case.
Once I finalized the menu — Buffalo chicken wings, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, pretzels, pigs in a blanket and pop [Editor's note: She means soda] — I took my shopping list to three popular national grocery chains: Aldi, Trader Joe's and Walmart. For the purposes of my test, I assumed that I would already have on hand pantry staples like flour and oil, along with spices such as salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
Even in an expensive metro area like New York City, I found I was indeed able to score my snacks and stay roughly on budget. At one place, I even had some money left over for beer.
Below, I've ranked my shopping experiences in order from the most to the least expensive grocery bill.