Ideas for party food and snacks on a budget |  My money

Ideas for party food and snacks on a budget | My money

Few activities are more fun than hosting a backyard party or dinner party for a bunch of friends and family, but a big element that keeps people back from this is the cost. Hosts wonder: How will I provide cheap party food and snacks for the guests, especially on a budget?

The best strategy to keep the cost of party food and snacks low is to host a potluck. Ask your guests to bring something that will contribute to the meal. Ideally, this is a simple and practical item that does not burden the guest much, but which takes some expense off your shoulders. The best is when it’s a food that the meal does not depend on if they do not show up, but contributes nicely to the meal if it is there.

Here are some simple ideas for party food on a budget:

  • Soup.
  • Loose meat sandwiches.
  • Baked potatoes.
  • Pasta.
  • Tacos.
  • Make-your-own-pizzas.
  • Cheese and biscuits.
  • Vegetables and dip.
  • Bruschetta.
  • Deviled eggs.
  • Pickle roll-ups.
  • Slow-cooked mini sausages.
  • Fried pickles.

Read on for more information on each and every cheap food to be prepared for your guests.


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A soup is incredibly cheap to prepare. It can be made in advance in a slow cooker and is easy to serve. All you need is to place the soup pot, ladle, bowls, spoons and a few toppings. Try making appealing soups such as chili, cheddar potato or ham and bean soup.

Loose meat sandwiches

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These tend to be large crowd pleasers and are surprisingly cheap to make. You cook chicken or pork in a slow cooker, or cook some ground beef, put out buns and a few sandwich toppings and serve. Let guests bring interesting spices, appropriate sandwich toppings, small containers of salad or side dishes.

Baked potatoes


This idea involves making lots of baked potatoes and designing a selection of interesting toppings. Ask guests to bring one of the toppings – sour cream, grated cheese, diced onions, chili or whatever else comes to mind. Whole baked potatoes are cheap and easy to cook.


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A pasta bar follows the same idea as the baked potato bar, except that you serve a large pot of pasta, a few sauces and toppings. Again, let the guests bring something – their favorite pasta sauce or a dish that works well as a pasta topping, such as diced chicken breast. Your cost is the pasta and maybe a few important toppings.


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A taco bar follows the same game plan. Set out tortillas and a few key ingredients, and ask guests to bring things like their favorite salsa or favorite taco topping.

Make your own pizzas


This is another great do-it-yourself meal idea where all you have to do is make a bunch of small pizza crusts and partially bake them beforehand, which means your cost is some flour and a bit of yeast. You can get a few basic pizza toppings such as cheese and gravy and encourage others to bring their favorites. This works great if you have people showing up over time so you can always have a few pizzas going in the oven. Alternatively, you can make a few large pizzas with dough from scratch, which is easy and the price stays low, even for a crowd.

Cheese and biscuits

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This snack idea is a hit with most people and incredibly easy to serve. Arrange some biscuits in a bowl or tray, and add some slices or spreadable cheeses. These are easy to get cheaply in a warehouse club, especially if you buy cheese blocks and cut them yourself into slices at home before the event.

Vegetables and dip

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This can be a cheap snack if you have access to a warehouse club or are willing to cut a lot yourself. Wash and slice carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms, and follow them up with a ready-made or simple homemade dip. Not only is this a tasty combination, almost everyone will go for it, but it is quite inexpensive.


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A good bruschetta can be very cheap if you can pick up a few discounted loaves of day-old Italian or French bread from a bakery. Cut the breads into slices, toast them, top them with a few ingredients (diced tomato, a few spices and a pinch of grated cheese), bake them in the oven and you get a finger food that is a huge hit at a surprisingly cheap price .

Deviled Eggs

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Deviled eggs are incredibly cheap if you have a cheap source of eggs and they are very easy to assemble. You simply hard-boil eggs, cut them in half, remove the plums, use the plums to make a tasty mixture with a few other ingredients in a blender, and then put the plum mixture back in the cut eggs. It is possible to make 24 devil eggs for just a few dollars.

Pickle Roll-ups

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These snacks can be very frugal if you can find a good price on a pound or two of sliced ​​ham. Take a slice of delicacy ham, pat it dry, cover one side with a thin layer of cream cheese, then place a jam skewer in the middle and wrap the ham around the jam skewer. Cut the long cigar-shaped rolls into smaller rolls or slices to make them easier to eat as finger food and let people choose their own portion size.

Slow-cooked mini sausages

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Often known as “little smokies”, these can be a great cheap treat if you can find a cheap source of the sausages, such as a local stock club. You make a barbecue-based sauce (or just buy some, but it’s cheaper and surprisingly easy to make your own), cover the sausages thoroughly, add the sausages and extra sauce to a slow cooker and cook them at low temperature for a few hours until well heated.

Fried Pickles

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These are incredibly easy and cheap to make if you have access to a fryer or airfryer. Buy a large jar of pickles from a warehouse club or grocery store, cut them into slices, bread them with a little flour and a few spices to enhance the flavor and fry them. A simple mayonnaise-based dip is a great accompaniment (and something a good friend could bring).

It is not difficult to make cheap snacks or complete meals for parties on a budget. With a little creativity, a few kitchen items and access to a warehouse club, you can create tasty dishes with surprisingly little money.


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