Holiday Party Foods on a Budget


Are you in charge of throwing a holiday party, but can’t let spending to get out of hand? Fortunately, there are ways you can get everything you need on a strict budget. Here are a few suggestions that your party guests can enjoy, that won’t break the bank.


Serve One Specialty Cocktail
Instead of trying to serve a full bar, you should offer a seasonal cocktail, such as a cranberry or pomegranate margarita. Some pre-made margarita mixes even contain alcohol so all you need to do is chill and serve over ice.

Buy In Bulk
When shopping for drinks for your holiday party, you should buy in bulk to save money. You’ll pay less for a six or 12-pack of beer, than individual cans. Larger containers of wine and spirits tend to be more cost efficient per ounce. However, if you don’t want to serve boxed wine, you can pour it into a punch bowl or make mulled wine in your slow cooker. You should also use cash to buy liquor for your party since most liquor stores give discounts on cash purchases.


Save money by buying a few baguettes and making your own homemade dip for your holiday party. A can of cannellini beans combined with a few other ingredients, makes a tasty dip concoction. Let guests dip their baguette slices or use spoons to spread the dip onto the baguette.

Mini Cheese Popovers
Mini cheese popovers are incredibly easy to make and taste delicious. The recipe is easy enough to follow and requires minimal ingredients (eggs, milk, flour, and salt.) Place your popovers in a pan top them off with cheddar cheese. These mini snacks make the perfect appetizer.

Say Cheese
If you don’t have the time to prepare and cook an appetizer, you can shop for a few types of cheese that goes well with crackers, such as ricotta, feta, and mozzarella. Cheese pricing starts at five dollars per pound but can reach up to $10, depending on the type of cheese. Choose inexpensive options that will pair well with the crackers that you select.

Main Courses

BBQ Chicken Sliders
If you don’t have the time to prepare and cook an entire meal from scratch, you can easily pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local grocer’s and make BBQ chicken sandwiches or sliders for your guests.

Choose Inexpensive Cuts of Meat
This holiday, skip the expensive prime rib or beef tenderloin. Instead, choose less expensive cuts of meat like beef chuck, short ribs, chicken thighs, and pork shoulder. You can find some of these cuts for as little as $1 per pound. Consider cooking these inexpensive meats in your Dutch oven or slow cooker to give them a luxurious, high-quality flavor.

Eggs aren’t just meant as a breakfast side, they can also be served as a main course as well. Plus, a dozen eggs go for as little as three dollars. Feel free to poach eggs for your party and serve them over pasta, risotto, or fresh vegetables.

Holiday Greek Salad
No main course is complete without a side salad. This festive Greek salad is both inexpensive and easy to make. With reds and greens, your guests will appreciate the thought that went into this salad. All you need is some romaine lettuce and spinach, red apple slices, dried cranberries, cucumbers, feta cheese, and walnuts. Top it all off with a healthy homemade dressing.


Melted-Ice Cream Hot Chocolate
Even though it may be cold outside, there is never a bad time for ice cream. Choose a festive flavor like peppermint or play it safe with vanilla ice cream. Then, scoop the ice cream into mugs. Brew up some hot cocoa or coffee and pour the warm beverage over the ice cream. This will give you a quick and easy holiday dessert drink that costs about $6 all together.

Holiday Pretzel Hugs
These cute little treats are perfect whether you are hosting a party yourself or need to bring a dessert to someone else’s party. All you need is square pretzels, chocolate drop candies and pieces of chocolate covered in a colorful candy shell. Soften the chocolate drop candies onto each pretzel and push a piece of chocolate covered in a colorful candy shell into the top of each. This dessert costs between $6-10 and will only take 20 minutes to make.

Santa Hat Brownies
For a festive treat, consider baking these Santa hat brownies. Using a mini muffin tin, bake some bite-size brownies. Then, top off each brownie with a layer of white frosting. Top the frosting with an upside down strawberry with the calyx cut off. Then, add a small glob of frosting to the tip of the strawberry to finish off the Santa hat. These adorable desserts cost less than $10 to make about two dozen.

Although it can be challenging to throw a holiday party on a budget, it’s not impossible. Follow the suggestions above for clever ideas of what you can serve at your holiday party this season.


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