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worrying about unsatisfied palates and unfilled stomachs

Sujata Iyer Feb 16, 2020
Food is something that one shouldn't compromise with. If you are perplexed as a host about feeding a lot of people on a budget, then you'll need ideas to reduce the food cost. So, stop worrying about unsatisfied palates and unfilled stomachs. And that's what you'll find here.
Hosting a party is fun, but not when you have the responsibility thrust upon you, at the last minute. At such times, you have no inkling about how to get through the huge pile of stuff that you need to organize to make your party a success. You need to clean up the place, arrange for some good music, and of course, think of what you'll serve your guests.
Food is definitely the most important aspect of a party, and coming up with an elaborate food plan at the last minute is next to impossible. So, you have to make do with some quick and inexpensive ideas to fill that hungry bunch. we'll give you some ideas for party foods that are inexpensive and ridiculously easy to prepare and yummy to eat too!

Party Food Ideas that Don't Cost the Earth

Be it a small family party or a huge wedding party, there are many ways by which you can bring down the food expense, if you apply some common sense, have a way around people and have a naturally thrifty attitude.
Even if you don't, we will show you some ways by which you can come up with some delicious party food without spending a bomb. Just because it's a last minute, and low-budget party, does not mean you have to give up on the three courses. So, here are some easy ideas that you can use to fill those rumbling tummies with some yummy treats!


For a low-budget party, the best options for appetizers are as follows:

Finger Foods

You can have an array of yummy finger foods like French fries, potato wedges, sausages, etc. Amongst the variety of finger foods available, you can choose from either of the items mentioned here.


Another healthy break from all the carbs in oily appetizers, can be some greens and other veggies, tossed together in a delectable salad dressing recipe. Mayonnaise, Thousand Island, Russian, etc. You have so many salad options to explore.


Back to some high carb and casual appetizers here. Chips, fryums, crackers, salted cookies, etc. All can be served as appetizers. Keep a bowl of some innovative spicy sauces, for accompaniment.

Main Course

After those easy finger foods and other ideas, let us move on to the main course, that you can serve your guests. Here they are:

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This may seem quite casual, but you have to agree that no one can deny liking the all-time favorite spaghetti and meatballs.
What you can do is, buy some frozen meatballs, and heat them thoroughly in the microwave. Poke them to see that they are soft from the inside as well. In the meantime, make a nice bowl of spaghetti, with a delicious tomato and chilly sauce flavor. Add the meatballs to the spaghetti, mix it properly, and just heat it once before serving.


Pizza can be a great choice at a party! Especially if you need to keep it a low-budget affair. So, when the guests are to arrive, take down their choices, and have the pizzas delivered, fresh and ready to eat. You don't have a clean-up job to do after the party.

Chicken Wings

The only thing that comes to mind when we think about chicken wings is the tag-line of KFC, 'finger lickin' good'. True! True! True! But you don't have to rush to the nearest KFC outlet.
A supermarket will do. Go get some frozen chicken wings and legs, or fresh ones, if you can. Marinate them in a delicious and spicy gravy. Begin to deep fry them, just as your guests begin to get hungry! Serve it with a yogurt and coriander chutney, to take away the extra spice!

Mushrooms and Cheese

One more option you can use for the main course is, a gooey combination of mushrooms and cheese.
Make a delicious cheese sauce first. Marinate and/or shallow fry the mushrooms, and then add them to the cheese sauce. Add whatever herbs and spices you feel will enhance the flavor. Good suggestions are chilly flakes, oregano, and coriander leaves. You can eat this with bread, or with ginger rice.


Now let's get to the most delicious part of the party; dessert! Don't worry! The options that we have here for some yummy desserts won't be heavy on your pockets at all! You'll read them, and realize that there really is much more to dessert than cakes, pastries, souffl├ęs and truffles.

Jelly and Ice Cream:

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Whoever coined this, knew perfectly how irresistible ice cream is to anyone. For your party, you can either get an assortment of ice cream flavors, or just one single flavor for all.
And now, the fun part. Before the party begins, fill up a huge container with a jelly mix that will mesh well with the ice cream flavor, and allow it to set, in the refrigerator. When it's time for dessert, simply remove both from the refrigerator, and serve the ice cream with dollops of jelly on it!

Marshmallows and Chocolate

This is a delicious, simple, and cost-effective (for lack of a better word) option for a dessert. Have a huge pack of marshmallows at the ready. Then, you can either buy some molten chocolate, or actually melt chocolate bars by heating them. At dessert time, serve your guests, a plate of marshmallows, with a small bowl of choco-dip, to, well, dip in and eat.

Other Ideas

Of course if you're not happy with any of these, you can still pick out from some of the options given here.

Chips and dip

Assorted fruit

Veggie sticks

Flavored yogurt




Pancakes and syrup


Now is it clear how easy it is to come up with tasty and low-cost party food ideas? So go ahead and plan the party. Since the food's been taken care of, you can focus your fretting on something else. Have fun!