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Easy Shortcuts for "Big Game" Party Planning

Easy Shortcuts for

Aren't parties fun? I personally really enjoy party planning too but it can be tedious at times. Taking shortcuts allows me to spend more time enjoying my company. Choosing easy to prepare foods can help to shave hours off of your party prep time and you don't have to sacrifice in taste or presentation if you do it right!

chicken dip

Easy Shortcuts for Football Parties

I hosted a Big Game Party over the weekend and my goal was high impact but with a minimum of prep work. To get started, I asked my Hubby and son what they would like to eat during our game party and the answer was chicken tenders or wings and pizza or garlic sticks. This is what we typically pick anyway, but this time I wanted to play it up and making a little more festive. Asking your guests or going with an obvious theme can save time and frustration. It was easy to plan around what I knew they wanted, it was a huge help. I made a shopping list and headed to Walmart to grab my party supplies. 

Keep It Simple

Don't be afraid to take shortcuts.  Try pre-cooked foods and simple recipes to save time and energy. Focus on the food and skimp on the decor.  It doesn't take much to create a fun celebration with just a few simple touches.


Choose a Star Player for your Party

To keep your party simple, choose a "star player" or a main focal point for the celebration. For example, I chose Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips because I knew that it would save me a lot of time in the kitchen. They also have BBQ Chicken Strips, so look our for those too! They're so yummy and easy to make, it's a no fuss winner. It was a simple and effective crowd-pleaser! Why, you ask?

✔ Easy to buy ahead and store because it's sold frozen.

✔ Quick to prepare, its ready in 20 minutes in the oven.

✔ Most people that come over to our house will enjoy it.

Once you choose a main focus, you can easily work in ways to accentuate the main dish.

To compliment the chicken *star player* at the party, I made a 3 layer dip cup with equal parts Honey Mustard, Ranch Dressing and Barbecue Sauce to go along with the chicken. So easy to put together, but a huge hit because they were so cute!

Keep Your Menu Simple

Now that you picked the focus point, what else will you be serving?  To keep it simple use a guideline such as a meat, bread, veggies and dessert.  We already had the Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips, then I also served a simple cheesy garlic dip bread and a layered salad in individual mason jars which were also a huge hit.  For dessert, I purchased football themed cupcakes. Yet another item that I didn't have to spend the time to make. It was wonderful.

#cbias #SocialFabric #MealsTogether

Play Up Your Party with Easy Decor

Parties are all about the company and the food.  Keep the decor simple and suggestive. For our big game party, we made up some quick printables. Adding them to the dip for the chicken instantly turned our food into a themed party.

✄✄✄ Print our Touchdown Party Printables (15 per sheet)


Relax and Enjoy Your Company

With little preparation and all of the shortcuts you'll take, enjoying your company will be so much more rewarding. For the first time in ages, I was able to relax and spend time with my guests and family. Everybody really enjoyed the food and the big game. It couldn't have been more enjoyable.



dipped chicken

Do you take shortcuts when planning parties? We'd love to hear your ideas too! 

chicken dip

3 Layered Dip Cups for Tyson BBQ Chicken Strips

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Dip Cups (I used Diamond Brand 2 oz mini cups found at Walmart)


  1. Layer equal parts of each dipping sauce into your dip cup.
  2. The barbecue should go on the bottom since its the heaviest sauce. Serve and enjoy!
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Sunday 10th of February 2013

I love all of your tips. I try to keep things simple but want them yummy and fun. Looks like you had the perfect balance of that at your get together. I'm going to have to try your dipping sauce at our next gathering.


Thursday 14th of February 2013

Thanks Christy, it was really fun and simple. So glad to get to enjoy the game and have delicious goodies without having to over stress! ;)

Sarah @ East9thStreet

Tuesday 5th of February 2013

Ranch and BBQ are delicious mixed together. Now I'm wondering how the honey mustard plays into that!

Not So Average Mama

Monday 4th of February 2013

My family would probably like this!

Amanda @ Survival Guide by The Working Mom

Monday 4th of February 2013

I LOVE Tyson chicken! You can really tell quality frozen chicken from the generic stuff!!

Jen @ BigBinder

Monday 4th of February 2013

Holy cow, you rocked this!! The dip looks awesome layered like that - so yummy but so cool looking - I bet this was a fun party :)

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