This weekend we were on the road so there were no tailgate or guest preparations at my house. Only travel preparations since I flew to the game (this entailed an overnight flight with a 6am arrival at home).
Let's say you also flew to the game and you don't have a parking spot at the stadium, causing you to arrive empty handed. Don't forget your school's Alumni Association's sponsored tailgate or perhaps drop in on some other fellow fans' tailgates. The visiting team fans are always bonding in the parking lot- and they are easy to spot. So...just use some charm and walk up to a tailgate being celebrated by your team's fans and they will probably offer you a drink and a bite to eat. (Don't forget to find out what the drink policy is on campus. You don't want to be ticketed for holding an open bottle of beer, when it could have been legal by pouring it into a Solo cup.)
If your travel methods mean you flew into town but you're fortunate to have your own car to park at the game, just swing through a grocery store to buy the tailgate minimum:
Napkins or a roll of paper towels
Cold beer (twist off caps), sodas and water bottles
(note: make sure all that you buy is easy to dispose of)
Many of the above items could also be purchased at a sandwich shop or you could pick up bags of burgers and fries at a burger joint. Bonus points for you to do some research online ahead of time for a local favorite and place an order for pickup. Then just swing through a gas station that has cold beverages and get a styrofoam cooler and ice too. You need nothing more! Some of the most fun tailgates are the spontaneous, unplanned parties that form at away games.
If you drove into town---meaning you live pretty close---- you better have your tailgate supplies in the car, girlfriend, and fill in the food and drink blanks at a grocery store, deli or restaurant. Bring your decorations too to impress those home team tailgaters. You can be hospitable and offer fun to your fellow fan who is roaming through the parking lot with no particular place to go. In the game, cheer hard and keep it classy. Home fans at ALL schools exhibit all kinds of behavior---as hospitable and sweet as can be or on the rude and nasty side of things.