Mandi Buckner, the Florida food blogger behind Chewsy Lovers, is all set for football season. And you can be too, with her best crowd-pleasing recipe and party tips.
lemon pepper wings
Credit: Mandi Buckner

I love a good party and I LOVE football. If you're like me, you're already looking forward to football season. I'm hyped up just thinking about all of the amazing food I will be eating! The game, the commercials, and the people are all part of the experience, but your menu has to be on point.

Here are four of my favorite game day party tips:

Watch for sales

I guarantee that when your favorite grocery store updates its sales flyers for the week before game day (especially during championships and bowl games) just about everything you need for a great party will be on sale. So keep your eyes peeled for some great deals and know what you're serving ahead of time, so you'll only buy the things you need for your menu.

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Prep in advance

You want to give guests a nice variety of dishes to choose from, but not overwhelm yourself with preparation. One of the best things you can do to save your sanity on game day is to prepare the food ahead of time. Dips and spreads can always be made a day ahead. (I think they are even better the next day.) Include items that can be made earlier in the week and then frozen and finished on game day.

Keep drinks simple

Limit the beverage selection to four drinks including bottled waters. If you are serving alcohol, consider one type of beer and one type of wine. Always include soft drinks or punch for guests who don't drink alcohol. If kids will be at the party, keep their drinks in a separate cooler.

Serve fan favorites

We all know that serving food that the fans love is the best way to party. What are some of your friends and family's favorite dishes? The fan favorite at our house is my Lemon Pepper Wings, which are cooked in the oven instead of deep-fried. Also consider if there will be children, vegetarians, people with nut allergies, or people with any other dietary restrictions on your guest list when planning your menu.

Yell "Let's Party" on three, okay? ONE! TWO! "LET'S PARTY!"

Mandi Buckner is a professional chef, entertaining expert, and aspiring restaurateur. She curates the award-winning blog Chewsy Lovers with her husband Elliot. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and is a lifelong fan of polka dots, pearls, the beach, and brunch.