Football season is in full swing, and that means football parties! Whether you're tailgating in a tent or behind a truck bed outside the stadium, or hosting friends in your backyard or den, use this plan to put on an event that scores big points without breaking the bank.

 

Plan Ahead
Like any good coach, you'll need to execute a superb game plan to have success this weekend. Try to get an accurate idea of how many people will be attending so you can buy exactly what you need. If it is an "invitation only" affair, make sure you've asked invitees to RSVP. If it is an open tailgate, remind friends to let you know if they're bringing other people with them.

Earn Smart Plus Debit Rebates
Earn cash-back every time you swipe your MAX VISA® debit card for chips, salsa, wings, pizza and more. You’ve probably heard of MAX’s Smart Plus*, so take advantage of the rebates. There's no need to sign up, apply, or visit a branch — start earning debit rebates just by owning active qualifying accounts, meeting savings goals, and enrolling in smart services.

Your loyalty is rewarded with every purchase. Each month, we'll determine which cash-back category you qualify for* and calculate your earnings based on use of your debit card. At the end of the month, we'll deposit the cash you've earned right into your checking account. There's no need to register online or stop by a branch to start seeing the benefits.

Easy Does It
Don't overthink the food. A menu of easy-to-prepare and easy-to-eat items is great for your budget and your guests. Small, pick-up items that don't require utensils (or even plates) work best.
Think sliders, skewers with cheese and marinated veggies, and small cookies, brownies or mini cupcakes in team-colored liners.

Or how about some jazzed up popcorn, with servings already placed in colored paper cups? You can make a sweet or salty treat for only 42 cents per one cup serving!

Simple Style
There's no need to complicate your playbook when it comes to creating fun decorations. Take advantage of autumn's natural beauty and use branches with brightly hued leaves in a large vase and acorns around candles in glass votive holders.

To add some team spirit, use what you've already got on hand. Place shakers around the food table or in the vase with the branches. And get crafty. You can download your team's logo and print it on thick paper to make a pennant banner to hang as well.

Clean Up
Remember to clean up behind yourself, and have plenty of trash bags for the job. Don't skimp here; the bags are going to get full, and cheap ones are more likely to tear and make a big mess!

Have Fun
It's not the number of friends or fans in attendance, the amount of food you provide guests, or the elaborate decorations you exhibit that will make your tailgating party great. It's the fun and spirited environment that will make your tailgating party a memorable one!

Go team!

*Certain restrictions apply.