How to Make the Most of the Big Game Day in 2021

It’s hard to believe that the big game is almost here. It’s been a wild season to remember with plenty of ups and downs, even in the face of 2020’s challenges. Now’s the time to start preparing for the big day, and in order to do that you need three things: an incredible TV, entertainment before and after the game and top-notch food. In order to help you prep, I’ve rounded up the best big game TV sales, entertainment ideas and game day food ideas to get you started.

The best big game TV deals

Contrary to popular belief, the period just after the holidays leading up to game day is actually a great time to purchase a TV. Plenty of stores offer big game TV sales for anyone looking to upgrade their entertainment room. Here are some of the best deals I found:

Westinghouse 65” LED 4K UHD Smart TV with Roku: Save $200

Just a few years ago, a 65” 4K TV for under $800 was unheard of. This TV from Westinghouse is $399 at Best Buy (formerly $599). It’s a smart TV with Roku built right into the set, so you’re ready to stream out of the box. And, the lifelike picture is ideal for sports.

LG 65” 4K HDR Smart OLED TV: Save $600

I covered the difference between LED and OLED TVs in my 4K TV buying guide, but to summarize, OLED TVs can produce a broader range of colors and a deeper picture thanks to individually lit pixels instead of a large backlight. That means all of the game day action will be crystal clear and dynamic. It’s one of the best ways to feel like you’re on the field without being there.

Samsung 75” Q70t 4K UHD Smart TV: Save $300

I think the old saying “go big or go home” applies to this TV. The highly rated television is $300 off right now at Best Buy for just $1,799. I’ve had a Samsung 4K TV for nearly seven years, and it’s held up incredibly well. If you’re looking to invest in a nice TV that will last, this is a great pick.

The best ways to entertain your family before and after the game

Football tends to have a lot of downtime, especially before the game. If you’re not much of a pre-game person, here are some great party games to play while you wait for kickoff:

Multiplayer video games

Pick up a fun multiplayer game that everyone will love. If you have a Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Party or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are always great calls. Both allow up to 4 players so everyone can join in on the fun. There are plenty of other titles on PlayStation and Xbox to choose from as well if you were able to snag one of the new consoles this holiday season. GameStop is one of the best places to pick up some video games.

Super Mario Party

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Codenames

Codenames is a fun, card-based game that allows four to eight players to join in. Here’s how it works: Each team has a spymaster and the rest of the team members are operatives. A five-by-five grid of cards is laid out on the table, each with different code names on them. The spymasters draw a card that shows them where the agents are within the grid, and it’s their job to guide the operatives to find their team’s agents before the other team does. They do that by giving one word clues, followed by a number to help pinpoint the location. For instance, a codename of “Buffalo” might be three cards in from the outside. The spymaster might say, “Buffalo three” as a clue. There’s a catch though. One card is an assassin card. If one of the operatives on your team picks that card by accident, it’s over. It’s a fun and care-free game you can play prior to kickoff.

Codenames Party Game

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Giant Jenga

Few people can resist the allure of a giant Jenga game, and now you can have one in your home for the big game. This set comes with the wooden blocks, a carrying bag and directions, so you can use it long after a champion is crowned and the season comes to an end. Spring will be here before we know it, and this is the perfect outdoor game as well.

Trademark Innovations Indoor Stacking Game Party Game

What Do You Meme

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the power of a good meme. This game puts your meme-making skills to the test in a fun and ridiculous way. The goal is to create the funniest meme by pairing caption cards with the photo card that’s in play. If your creation is voted the funniest of that round, you get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins. This game is great for some carefree fun during boring commercials or if halftime isn’t your thing.

What Do You Meme Card Game

The best game-day eats

Aside from a TV to watch the game on, the most important element of game day is the food. Here’s how to make the most of your game-day grub:

Order from a local spot

One of the best things you can do for a big game party is order from one of your favorite local restaurants. They’d sure appreciate the business these days, and you can’t go wrong with your favorite grub. Speaking of grub, Grubhub is an easy way to have your favorites delivered straight to your door. Or, you can use Rakuten Dining to earn 5 percent Cash Back at more than 10,000 restaurants across the country. Either way, you win big.

Go big with premium cuts of meat

If you want to go big for game day, Chicago Steak Company can take care of you. Order your favorite cuts of beef or choose from premium pork, chicken, and fish, all delivered straight to you with care. There are even assortment packages like Chicago’s Best Seller if you want to save on a variety of steaks. The pack includes filet mignon, boneless strips, top sirloins, and ribeyes.

Get all the essentials at your local grocery store

Kroger is a big chain where I live, but you might know it as Jewel-Osco, Safeway or Vons depending on where you are in the country. Of course, there’s also Food Lion and Albertsons. All of these grocery stores can earn you Cash Back if you pick up your game day eats using Rakuten. You’re going to want to plan ahead on your menu. Thankfully, another Rakuten writer recently covered 14 game day recipes you can make in 30 minutes or less to give you some inspiration.

Spice it up with chicken wings

Some would argue the big game wouldn’t be complete without a basket full of spicy chicken wings to snack on during all the action. Buffalo Wild Wings can help you get your fix, and will even deliver through services like Grubhub that I mentioned earlier. You may want to order ahead though. The weekend leading up to, and the day of, the big game is an incredibly busy time for nearly all locations. Look out for specials on large orders if you need to feed a group.

Hopefully, these tips will help you earn a little Cash Back as you prepare to enjoy the big game, and all you have to do now is get ready to watch. If you’re reading this and you aren’t a Rakuten member, now is the time to sign up. It’s free to join, and you’ll start earning on your first purchase. Take a few minutes and sign up today.

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