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Don't be sitting on the sidelines when it comes to throwing a tailgate party.  It's easy to come up with a game-winning menu that will have neighboring fans in the parking lot looking enviously your way.  Here are five tips to make sure your guests won't be leaving their game seats to stand in the concession line. 

1. Relax! You don't need to do everything at once.  
Real tailgating is about terrific grazing through the entire pre-game period.  It's a strategic build-up to the opening kick-off. 

2. Bring one dish that's always available, like a big pot of chili or one super soup. 
Consider this your filler; your frontline dish.  Its job is to “fill” the entire experience, making things seamless.   Meanwhile, you-- the quarterback, are progressing from one tailgate item to the next.

3. Keep the fires burning. 
For a terrific tailgate party, everything centers around the grill.   It's your key player.  Have it clean, have it hot, have enough charcoal or fuel.  Don't forget your tools.

4. Pack your cooler backwards. 
The night before the big event, finalize your game plan with a well-organized cooler.  Pack the items you will grill last into the cooler first.  This saves fumbling through things at the tailgate party.

5. Make the clean up easy. 
Use zip-locked bags for everything.  Avoid foil pans and dishes covered with plastic or foil wraps.  Bring along a bucket and dish lotion for cleaning the grilling utensils and pans on site so you're not faced with clean-up chores at home.

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HEINEN'S

We're Heinen's Grocery Stores, a Cleveland, OH based family-owned grocery store established in 1929. Focused on quality meats, fresh market produce and superior customer service, we make grocery shopping something to smile about.