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Save vs. Splurge: Better Game Day Parties for Every Budget

A delicious Game Day spread makes the Big Game that much better. The question is, will you save or splurge? We’re pitting our favorite budget bites against their splurge-worthy counterparts to make your decision easier. Prepare for Game Day with six snacks perfect for your budget! 

Save: Superstar Seasoned Chicken Wings 

It doesn’t take much effort to make delicious chicken wings. Bone-in wings are typically less expensive, but we won’t blame you for calling an audible and going with boneless wings. To save time and money, use frozen wings instead of fresh ones. 

  1. Gather the spices you already have on hand, like salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. 
  2. Mix in cayenne pepper or hot sauce if you like extra spicy wings.
  3. Combine your spice mix with flour. 
  4. Toss the wings in the mixture, coating evenly. 
  5. Cook your chicken wings in the oven, deep fryer or on the grill, ensuring they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 

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When it’s time to serve, pile the wings on a platter with your dip of choice. Tangy BBQ sauce, spicy buffalo sauce, classic ranch or blue cheese dressing make these simple wings a standout.  

Splurge: Hail Mary Marinated Chicken Wings 

To make your wings extra indulgent, use organic fresh chicken and whip up an all-star marinade.  

  1. The best marinades combine salt, sweetness and heat. Use what you have on hand, starting with salt and combining peanut oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire, honey and fresh or dried herbs, like parsley and basil. 
  2. Add garlic or ginger for extra complexity. 
  3. Mix in a bowl and submerge the wings, leaving them to marinate for up to one day. 
  4. Once marinated, cook until the wings reach an internal temperature of 165°F.  
  5. Place your wings on a rack to cool, then plate and finish with your favorite wing sauce, either drizzled over the top or on the sidelines for dipping. 

Don’t forget about the extra points! Serve your wings with chopped green onions and peanuts, or garnish with your favorite fresh herbs.  

Save: Easy End Zone Nachos 

Your friends will jump offside to taste these simple and inexpensive nachos.  

  1. Start by spreading a large bag of your favorite tortilla chips on a platter or baking sheet. 
  2. Follow up with canned black beans and canned diced tomatoes. 
  3. Top with a fullback-sized helping of shredded cheese. 
  4. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Splurge: Play-Action Pulled Pork Nachos 

These nachos are all about tender pulled pork. Stop by our meat department for pork shoulder, a large cut of meat with a fat content that’s perfect for pulling purposes. Using a smoker or crockpot, cook the pork shoulder on low for several hours. Or take home pre-cooked, pre-shredded pulled pork for an easy first down favorite. 

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  1. Spread your favorite tortilla chips on a platter or baking sheet. 
  2. Top the chips with pulled pork.  
  3. Add black beans, diced onions and freshly chopped tomatoes. 
  4. Shred generous amounts of freshly grated cheese on top of your chips. Take that flavor over the goal line with several kinds of cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey jack, and queso fresco. 
  5. Bake until the cheese melts. 

Top with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and shredded lettuce. Garnish with chopped onions, jalapeños and cilantro. You won’t throw a penalty flag on this loaded nacho platter. 

Save: All-Out Blitz Brownie Bites 

Treat yourself to chocolatey brownie bites during those intense late-game moments. Start the scoring drive by grabbing your favorite brownie mix. 

  1. Follow the directions on your brownie mix box, gathering and mixing ingredients as required.  
  2. Go for two by adding chocolate chips or chopped nuts to your batter. 
  3. Place in oven, baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  

Allow the brownies to cool, cut them into squares, take a bite and do a celebratory touchdown dance. 

Splurge: Game-Winning Gourmet Brownies 

Gourmet brownies made from scratch will give you a decided edge in any head-to-head dessert matchups at your Game Day gathering. You’ll need several ingredients, plus a bowl and a whisk, but homemade brownies are easy to make. 

  1. Grab eggs, flour, cocoa-filled chocolate chunks, sugar, organic butter, canola oil and water. If you desire extra decadence, mix in dry-roasted pecans or salted caramel sauce.  
  2. Whisk your ingredients into a thick batter, pour into a baking pan and place into the oven. 
  3. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  

Let your delectable brownies cool, cut them into squares and add your favorite toppings. One idea: serve your brownie hot, top it with ice cream and enjoy the melty goodness. Or try a drizzle of chocolate ganache and powdered sugar. You can complete your brownie with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit or berries. Your indulgent chocolate splurge is sure to satisfy! 

Save or splurge on your favorite Big Game ingredients at Raley’s. 

Whether hosting a big bash or watching with close friends, you want tasty and easy-to-prepare foods to nibble on all game long. Will you save or splurge on Game Day? With hall-of-fame flavors for every budget, you make the call! 

Make the most of the Big Game by ordering online for convenient pickup or delivery! 

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