Top Tailgating Potluck Tips

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There are many people who think the real point of football is the tailgate party beforehand. If you fall into this category and you want to take your 'game’ to the next level, try these five tried and true tips to tailgate like a pro!

Planning a tailgating potluck

1. Delegate, delegate, delegate

Whoever said that half of life was just showing up probably forgot the tongs and the BBQ sauce. One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your tailgate party is a success is to organize in advance. Create and share a potluck SignUp that allows you to create a menu and keep track of all the details around who is bringing what without making yourself crazy. Guests can access it from their smartphones or handheld devices 24/7 without needing a password, and e-calendar syncing and automated reminders will keep them on track.


2. Prep the food in advance. 

Form the hamburgers and layer them between wax paper in a plastic container. Marinate the chicken and beef skewers the night before. Slice the burger fixings and pack them in plastic wrap to keep them fresh – ditto on the drink garnishes. Freeze water bottles, which can take the place of ice, eliminating the extra weight in your cooler and allowing you cold water to drink as they melt. 


3. Pack the car the night before. 

Pack the grill and other essentials such as trash bags, paper towels, napkins, cutlery, and paper plates in the car the night before. Pro Tip: Pick up a toolbox at a garage sale and repurpose it as a grab-and-go box for all game day essentials such as tongs, can/bottle openers, basting brush, wooden skewers, tongs, sanitary wipes, spatulas and your favorite condiments.


4. Think about after the game and emergency prep. 

Throw in a large plastic tub for dirty dishes, and set aside some trays of desserts for people to munch on while you wait for the traffic to die down. Make sure you have jumper cables and a first-aid kit in your car, and pack a charger for phones, just in case.


5. Take lots of pictures, relax, and enjoy! 

You’ve thought of everything. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and work on your friendly smack talk if they support the other team. (Keep it friendly, though, because you never know when you might need them to help jumpstart your car.) Be sure to pack up your trash and recyclables and haul it away when you leave.

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