October 9, 2014

10 Tailgating Tips and Tricks

Who doesn't love tailgating? Especially with this beautiful Fall, October weather. While you start to prep for your tailgate for the Clemson vs. Louisville game this weekend, be sure to check out  these borderline genius, sometimes obvious, makes you  say "why didn't I think of that?" tailgate tips and tricks.

 1. Freeze water bottles to use in place of ice in your coolers. Less ice needed, and you'll have a cold water to drink by the time the game starts or on the ride home after the game when it melts.

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2. Raise your hand if you have more than one cooler at your tailgate... {raising hand} Coolers for water, coolers for food, coolers for soda, coolers for adult beverages. How many time do you watch someone open at least 2 coolers before finding the one with the beverage or food they were looking for? Save the labels from your beverage packages or buy removable sticker labels and label your coolers.

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3. An oldie, but a goodie and worth a reminder - the solo cup guide. Leave the measuring cups and shot glasses at home, and drink responsibly with the guiding lines of a solo cup.

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4. And speaking of a solo cups, save cups for the next home game and keep drinks from getting sipped by the wrong person by labeling your cups. You can buy special labels that stick on a cup (or beer can, or bottle, etc.) and all your tailgate guest needs to do is use their finger, a coin, or a key to write their name. Buy the classic 'Hello my name is...' labels and help your tailgate guests meet and greet.

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The labeling technique might also help you avoid that awkward "I know this is a friend of a friend of a friend... and they were here last weekend...but I can't remember their name?!?" moment.

5. Salt, pepper, seasoning and spice... here's a genius idea, save your empty Tic Tac containers and fill them with the different spices, salts and seasonings you typically take to the tailgate. Easier to stack and pack, and you're able to take just the right amount, vs. a large spice bottle.

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6. We have seen a number of clever ideas for this tailgate necessity - paper towels... but this one is a new one. You know that bungee cord you use to secure your tailgate items in the back of your car or truck? Repurpose it to easily attach your paper towel roll to the top of your tailgate tent, in between two chairs, from table to table, etc. We love tailgate tricks that take one object and give it multiple uses.

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7. The key to tailgating is to have as much as you could possibly need at your tailgate, but to also make sure everything fits in the back of your car. Chances are you're serving chips at your tailgate... usually you bring those large plastic bowls to dump them in, or leave the bag out for people to stick their hands in and grab on their own. Well, check out this trick you can easily do with the chip bag - turning it into its own chip bowl that will impress your tailgate guests.

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How to: fold the top edge inside the bag first, then begin rolling the bottom corners, up into the base of the bag, pushing the chips up as you go. 

8. Tailgating can make for a looong day. And sliding down the grass hills on cardboard, chasing footballs, and playing cornhole can only entertain the kids at your tailgate for so long. Here's a clever idea to help keep the kids entertained at the tailgate, and possibly even at the game. Tailgate bingo. Create your own tailgate cards, give the kids a crayon or washable marker, and like a scavenger hunt, have them keeping an eye out for different items, people, actions, etc. Whoever fills the card up first and calls 'Bingo' (or create your own clever buzzword... 'All In!') wins a prize of your choosing. Heck, I'd play this game too - looks like a lot of fun.

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9. Do you tailgate with a large group? Does everyone have assignments on what to bring and you spend the entire week before exchanging messages on Facebook planning? Let technology organize and manage the work for you and your group. Check out OurTailgate.com or use a free iPhone app like Tailgating or the Android app Tailgating Planner (only $0.99) to get your tailgate group organized stress free.

Tailgating iPhone app (left) and Tailgating Planner Android app (right)

And then do you spend time figuring out who spent what, who spent more, who owes who money... There are many, many free and relatively cheap apps that help you split expenses with friends. Splitwise is one of our favorites.

splitwise.com
10. Finally... how are you going to remember to pack all of these things you need? Create your very own tailgate checklist with the staples you always pack for each game, for each football season. Laminate the list (DIY with laminating paper from Walmart). The lamination will not only keep the list in good shape from season to season, but you can use a dry erase marker to check off your items or take notes, then wipe it clean with a damp paper towel to erase. Here are two examples from Pinterest to get you started, but make the list your own!

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Have you used any of these tips or tricks at your tailgate before? What tailgate tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve that you would like to share?

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