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2013 not a good year to be sports party host

Reuters / Calendars tend to get crammed around this time of year with parties for various televised sporting events that invariably involve classic and nutritious American staples such as chicken wings, chili and potato chips — washed down by a beer or two.

But this year, stocking a house full of such goodies could break the bank.

While most traditional football parties tend to encourage grazing, there are still a few critical essentials that require the use of utensils and would be notable by their absence from any half-decent spread. Chicken wings and chili are the most obvious items in this category, although a shortage of hotdogs and burgers would also be frowned upon.

Whatever the meaty offering, party organizers need to brace themselves for a large bill at the checkout as chicken parts and ground beef prices recently scaled their highest levels on record at the grocery store.

Sneaky chefs might be tempted to swap out the meat in favour of some veggies, but even ingredients such as peppers and potatoes are currently retailing close to multi-month highs.

And spendthrift hosts shouldn’t even think about putting out a cheese plate, as the average price of cheddar cheese has outperformed even the costliest cuts at the meat counter in recent months.

There’s not much refuge on the snacks aisle either. Potato chips — surely a staple at even non-football gatherings — also neared all-time price highs in recent months.

And there’s no point trying to cry into cheap beer — such a thing doesn’t exist anymore after the price of malted beverages climbed steadily over the past few years and is again hovering not far off record levels.

Some football fans at this point may be tempted to scrap the idea of holding their own bash and look to crash someone else’s. But even this option is faced with a few potholes, as anyone who drives will need to pony up for historically high gas prices while the designated driver will have to sip down nearly record-expensive coffee.

All told, it looks likely to cost a pretty penny to have friends over for football games this playoff season. The best option might be to convince a neighbour to host the event instead — just make sure they’re within walking distance.

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