Football season comes to mind when I’m thinking about good, cheap party food. It doesn’t matter what the reason for hosting a good party is; we all need some ideas at times for fun food that won’t cost a fortune.
This list is also fun to pull from when you want to have a fun night with your family and change things from the regular dinner routine.
The Importance of Good Party Food
Food is the heart and soul of any party. It brings people together, fills their bellies, and creates a sense of community. But good party food doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.
Need some tips on hosting an amazing event without breaking the bank? I’ve got you covered! Check out this awesome article for all the budget-friendly secrets.
With clever planning and a few budget-friendly recipes, you can serve a feast that will satisfy your guests without straining your wallet.
Easy Party Food Ideas
This dish is a colorful blend of beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro tossed with a tangy dressing. It’s hearty, healthy, and inexpensive to make. This is a perfect idea for game day.
A crowd-pleaser that’s simple to make. You only need ripe avocados, lime juice, cilantro, onion, and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips for an easy appetizer.
This rolled pizza is a fun and cost-effective party food. You can fill it with whatever ingredients you have, like cheese, ham, or veggies. Check out my video on how easy and cheap it is to make a homemade pizza!
Spicy Chex Mix
This homemade snack mix is cheaper than store-bought versions and can be customized with your favorite flavors and ingredients.
Hot Corn Dip
This dip is a tasty and affordable option for feeding a crowd, made with sweet corn, cream cheese, and spicy jalapenos.
Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers
These are easy to prepare in bulk and are always a hit at parties. Plus, they’re kid-friendly!
Baked Potato Bar
An interactive and budget-friendly food station. Provide baked potatoes and a variety of toppings like cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, and chives. If you need delicious olive oil, this is my go-to bottle.
Slow-cooked meats like pulled pork or chicken can feed many people without costing much. Serve on budget-friendly rolls for a satisfying main dish.
Classic party food that’s cheap and easy to make. Plus, you can jazz them up with extras like bacon or smoked salmon. This is a perfect finger food for your next football game.
This is always our go-to because we have so many eggs, and it’s always a hit.
Bagels and Muffins
Ideal for brunch or early afternoon parties. Pair with spreads like cream cheese or butter for a cost-effective meal.
Burger and Fries Station
This is a fun idea for casual parties. Offer a range of toppings so guests can customize their burgers.
These bite-sized treats are perfect for any party. You can prepare them with different sauces like BBQ or sweet and sour to cater to various tastes.
It’s a classic party staple that’s both healthy and cheap. Include a variety of colorful veggies and a couple of dips such as hummus or ranch.
Mini pizzas made on pita bread are a great option for kids and adults alike. They’re customizable and much cheaper than ordering pizza.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
This is a crowd favorite, and it’s pretty inexpensive to make. Add some Mexican spices for an extra kick.
Like the baked potato bar, guests can customize their nachos with cheese, jalapenos, beans, sour cream, and more.
Consider a popcorn bar! Airpop or use microwave popcorn and pick whether you want sweet, savory, or both! There are some many fun toppings to choose from; some of our favorites are below.
- Caramel Sauce: A classic sweet topping that’s always a hit.
- Cinnamon Sugar: This adds a sweet and a little spicy kick.
- Powdered Sugar: For a simple, sweet dusting.
- Mini Marshmallows and chocolate Chips: These can be melted together for a “smores” flavor.
- Sprinkles: These can add color and sweetness.
- Crushed Cookies or Graham Crackers: These add a nice crunch and flavor.
- M&M’s or Other Candy Pieces: For a sweet surprise in every bite.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese: Adds a savory, cheesy flavor.
- Ranch Seasoning: Gives popcorn a tangy kick.
- Taco Seasoning: For a bit of Mexican flair.
- Garlic Powder: Adds a savory depth of flavor.
- Chili Powder: For those who like a little spice.
Mini burgers or sandwiches are excellent for feeding a crowd on a budget. You can do a mix of pulled pork, chicken, and veggie sliders.
Pasta Salad Skewers
Skewer some cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves for a fun and affordable appetizer.
Seasonal fresh fruit can be cheap, and a refreshing fruit salad is always a hit at parties. If you want to take a simple recipe, add a homemade fruit dip to go with it. To fancy things up offer fresh lemon for your guests water.
Layers of refried beans, cream cheese, salsa, lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes create the ultimate comfort food that pairs perfectly with tortilla chips. Often in the summer, we will add meat and make it a complete meal.
Homemade Lemonade or Iced Tea
Instead of expensive sodas or alcoholic drinks, opt for homemade lemonade or iced tea. They’re refreshing, cheap, and can be made in large quantities.
Baked Chicken Wings
A versatile and budget-friendly option ( if you make it at home, always choose frozen ones) , chicken wings can be prepared with various flavors to cater to different tastes. The options are endless, from classic BBQ to spicy buffalo or sweet honey garlic.
Sweet Treat Dinner Party Ideas
I always love to bake, so when I come up with easy party food ideas, I tend to stick to some of these amazing sweets.
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
These are easy to make and offer a great combination of sweet and salty. You can also add sprinkles for a festive touch.
Rice Krispie Treats
It’s a classic favorite that’s cheap to make. You can add food coloring or mix fun ingredients like chocolate chips or mini M&Ms. Take a look at whatever is on sale at your local grocery store to add in. We are close to Halloween, so lots of candy will be on sale.
Peppermint Cream Cheese Dip
As mentioned on Pinterest, this sweet dip is served with cookies or fruit for dipping.
These are healthy, refreshing, and affordable. Serve with a side of yogurt or honey for dipping.
Mini no-bake cheesecakes are simple to make and can be topped with various fruits or syrups.
Oatmeal, sugar, or chocolate chip cookies are relatively cheap to bake in large quantities. I grab chocolate chips at Costco or BJ’s in the hefty 72 oz. Bag for $10.
Jello or Pudding Cups
These are inexpensive, especially if you buy the mix in bulk, and can be dressed up with whipped cream and fruit. For example, BJ’s sells a box of 36 pudding cups for $8.99!
Whether from a box or scratch, brownies are crowd-pleasers that won’t break the bank.
Homemade fruit juice or yogurt popsicles are a cheap and refreshing treat, especially for outdoor summer parties.
Making cupcakes can be cost-effective and always a hit at parties. Plus, guests can decorate their own as a fun activity.
Remember, the key to a successful party is not how much you spend but how much fun your guests have. Happy planning, and enjoy your amazing party!