The leaves are turning colors and the evenings are starting to get chilly. And next to Thanksgiving, football and tailgating are considered important rites of the fall season. Even if you’re not into football, there’s a good chance you’re into delicious grilled meats and savory snacks.

Below are some tips to help you throw the most celebrated tailgate parties ever.

Prepare at Home and Keep Warm on Site

Don’t wait until you’re on-site to attempt to make your famous pulled-pork barbecue. Fix as much as you can at home and then keep it warm with Sterno cans. Same goes for other hot sides like macaroni and cheese and baked beans. That way when your guests line up for food, you’re ready to serve them a hot meal instead of a lukewarm letdown.

Stock Up on Aluminum Foil

You’re going to need it for everything: lining your grill, covering your food, fashioning makeshift spoon rests. Bring more than you think you’ll use.

Stay Hydrated

You’re going to be outside all day, and sometimes well into the night. Keeping a cooler full of frozen water bottles will ensure that you have ice cold water to drink throughout the day. This is especially important if you or your guests are drinking alcohol. Bonus: the frozen water bottles will also help to keep your cold items frosty.

Make a Game Day Playlist

A party isn’t complete without a soundtrack, so make a game-day playlist with plenty of upbeat tunes. Bring a couple of charged Bluetooth speakers if you don’t have access to a power supply for a portable speaker.

Get Creative with Organizing

Empty cardboard six-pack containers make excellent condiment holders. Toolboxes are great for storing your grilling utensils. Pop-up laundry hampers can serve as garbage bins. And upside-down cupcake liners cover the tops of your canned beverages perfectly.

For more tips on tailgating excellence, check out this article on