Inexpensive Meal Ideas for Your Next Party

Inexpensive Meal Ideas for Your Next Party

Hosting a party requires plenty of planning. You want enough food for all your guests, but you don’t want to break the bank.

I’m here to give you some inexpensive meal ideas for your next party. By doing so, your bash will stick within your budget and be a hit.

Some inexpensive meal ideas for a party are pancakes, slow cooked beef and mashed potatoes, and vegetarian stuffed bell peppers.

I’ll give you the tips for each of these meals. But, first, let’s go over some important key factors to determine what affordable food choices will work best.

Time and Occasion

Two things to consider when planning your party are the time and occasion. What time will it take place? If you’re having brunch for all your friends in the early afternoon, the menu will vary greatly compared to a dinner party.

The occasion can also shape your event. For example, a surprise birthday celebration for your spouse could have different food than a bridal shower for your bestie, depending on their tastes. Taking some consideration to determine the best time and occasion to host a party will be instrumental for keeping your meals inexpensive. 

Number of Guests and Dietary Needs

When you’re trying to determine a food budget, it’s important to keep in mind how many people will be attending. This will help you figure out how much food to buy and what types of food will work best.

Another key factor to consider is the guests’ dietary needs. If you have a friend who is a vegetarian, you will want to have an option that they can enjoy. Consider any food allergies or intolerances, too, such as a peanut allergy or gluten sensitivity.

Pro-Tip

Send out RSVP forms to get a good idea of who will attend and their dietary needs.

Inexpensive Meal Ideas

Now that you know which details to keep in mind for your next party, you’re ready to explore inexpensive meal ideas. I’ll begin with brunch suggestions.

Pancake Bar

Do you love flapjacks? Consider having a pancake bar at your celebration! This affordable breakfast food works well, as you can make it from ingredients you already have in the pantry. Pre-made mixes are also cost-effective and often only require you to add water.

Guests can dress up each pancake to their tastes by choosing different toppings. Some favorites of ours include:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Nutella
  • Maple syrup
  • Whipped cream
RELATED: How to Make Krusteaz Pancakes Better? 12 Ideas

Slow Cooked Beef and Mashed Potatoes

For a dinner party when it’s cold outside, guests can warm up with some meat and potatoes. You can do this by preparing shredded beef in the slow cooker. Cooking the meat this way is easy and ensures divine flavor and temperature.

Serving the beef on a bed of mashed potatoes complements it well, adding an extra touch of comfort. Learn the best ways to prepare potatoes to make your side dish truly exceptional.

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

You can make classic dishes friendly for vegetarians and not even miss the meat. Consider preparing some stuffed bell peppers for an affordable meal option that works well for the afternoon or evening.

Some delicious vegetarian options to consider are black beans and brown rice. These ingredients will give this tried-and-true dish some Mexican flair. You also can have a choice of garnishes for the guests, including sour cream, guacamole, and fresh salsa.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and meal ideas. With a little planning, you can throw a party that lines up with your budget.

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!