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Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in How To, Seasonal & Events | 0 comments

Technologically Advanced Super Bowl Party on a Budget

If you’ve got a Super Bowl party on the horizon, you want your guests to experience the big game on the latest and greatest technology – but you don’t want to put yourself in the poor house doing it. Every Super Bowl party host’s goal is to give friends and family the same high-quality experience they’d get at ESPN Zone, only in the comfort of a home. Doing that without racking up a ton of credit card debt is a challenge, but it is possible. Here’s how.

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1. Upgrade Your TV
First, you have to decide whether you want an LCD, plasma, or LED TV. LEDs offer the best picture quality, but also cost a bit more. You probably don’t need a smart TV, at least not for your party, so cross that off the list. Once you get an idea of the size and style that are right for you, scour the Internet for bargains. And don’t look only at brand new options – you may be able to find a TV listed as “used” on Amazon or eBay that simply came in an open box or is missing a UPC code. Also, you might be able to save significant money by waiting for the last minute. Many electronics retailers put flat-screen TVs on sale the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. Look at eBay, Amazon, and even Craigslist.

2. Get a Sound Bar
While the audio capability of many flat-screens is decent, you may want to up the ante for your Super Bowl shindig. Instead of dropping $1,700 on a high-end Yamaha sound bar, however, go with a Sharp HT-SB60, affordably priced at $189 on Amazon. This way you ensure all your attendees hear every bone crushing hit without sidelining your checking account.

3. Invest in a Personalized Instant Replay System
Don’t have a TiVo? Get one on eBay for about $40 and you can instantly replay disputed or close calls for your guests without having to wait precious minutes or debate through commercials to decide whether or not it was a catch.

4. Deliver Beverages With a Tech Twist
You may not save a ton of money here, but you can sure give your guests a technologically advanced experience at an affordable price. A remote-controlled beverage cooler lets you keep your friends and family refreshed during your party without having to miss a minute of the big game. Pick one up on Amazon for about $80.

5. Make Sure Your Guests Never Miss a Play
You’re always going to have guests using the restroom or popping into the kitchen for another beverage. Make sure they can seamlessly continue watching the game by purchasing Slingbox, which is available for about $100 on Amazon. Hook it up to your cable box and Internet service, then sync several devices to it to display the big game. Stick a laptop in the kitchen and maybe a tablet PC in the restroom – your guests will love you for it. Slingbox is limited to one external viewer at a time but each guest can log in as needed.

6. Provide Fast Access to Designated Drivers
Download the StearClear app to your smartphone for free and you can dial up driver services for any of your attendees who have imbibed a little too much. The last thing you want is for one of your guests to get hurt or hurt someone else on the way home – you can use this technology to help avoid that.
Now that your technology is set for the big day, let’s tackle the other costs associated with your party. Ask each guest to bring at least one snack or beverage to help you cut down on expenses. For the foods you do buy, shop at a warehouse club like Sam’s or Costco to purchase in bulk, and use the website Evite to send your invitations for free. Keep the decorations to a minimum and get them on the cheap at the dollar store – your guests are there to watch the game, not look at the walls. These tech upgrades cost money but you can offset those costs by saving in other areas – that way everyone wins.

How do you plan to upgrade your electronics for this year’s Super Bowl party?

Guest blogger Andrew Schrage is a Savings.com DealPro and co-founder of MoneyCrashers.com, a website that strives to educate individuals in making wise choices about credit, debt, spending and more.

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