21 Affordable Catering Food Ideas!

Whenever planning a party, the most important thing is food and with catering services this department is now easily managed. If you want to know about affordable catering food ideas, then you should continue reading further. 

catering food

Some of the best food options to try for catering are curry, jacket potato, sliders, puff pastries, cheese platter, fajitas, skewers, sandwiches, pizza, salad, brownies, soup, BBQ, fruit platter, cous cous, cookies, chocolate fountain, and banana bread. 

Catering is a great option as it saves lots of cooking time and energy. You can enjoy your party without worrying about what to serve to the guests. Also, catering is affordable as food is cooked in bulk and saves much money. 

If you are planning to celebrate any occasion or have a get-together with your family and friends, then consider catering the food. Today, I will list all the affordable catering food ideas so you have a ready plan for your next party. 

 What Are Some Affordable Catering Foods?

When it comes to catering, many of us need clarification about whether it will be effective and fit our budget. Worry not, as I will list all the catering food ideas that are very affordable and easy to execute. Let’s have a look at the list: 

1. Curry 


Curry is one of the most excellent options for enjoying complex flavors. There are so many variations in curry that you can display many options to your guests. The best thing about serving curry is that you can pair them with almost everything from bread to rice. Most people love the blend of spices and herbs and the comforting notes. 

The preparation of curry can cost a little bit of money. With simple ingredients, one can make a delectable curry. You can consider them when serving many people yet want to spend less without compromising the food experience. 

If you are planning to cater food for your guests, make sure you add curry to the list. You can go for vegetarian or non-vegetarian options as you please. If you think that curry will only enhance the flavor, then you are wrong. Curry is excellent in nutritional content and provides vitamins, protein, and fiber. Your guests will enjoy the delicious warming notes and stay fulfilled for longer. 

2. Jacket Potato

Jacket Potato

If you want to serve something affordable yet substantial and versatile to your guests at a small gathering or an intimate party, then make sure you add jacket potato. Jacket potato is more like a casual option but a delicious addition to your party. You could get some jacket potatoes with different toppings and serve them as an appetizer or a snack. 

The best thing about jacket potato is that it is very crisp on the outside and equally fluffy on the inside. If there is any snack that is cheap yet perfectly delicious, then I would count on jacket potatoes. You can go for basic toppings like cheese, beans, coleslaw, salad, and pulled pork. Different toppings ensure that everybody gets to enjoy their choice of flavors. 

Jacket potatoes make an excellent option for lunch and dinner as it’s Low in fat and rich in fiber. They are also an excellent option for those who prefer gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free food options—a perfect dish to keep your guests’ bellies happy. 

3. Sliders


Whenever planning any menu for a party, we look for options that are tasteful but affordable, too. If you think that making a delicious menu means spending lots of money, then you are wrong. Trust me, there are plenty of options that you can choose from and save lots of money. Try sliders in your menu, and I am sure your guests will enjoy every single one. Also, sliders are very fun and easy to execute if planning a big party. 

Even if you arrange sliders for many people, you can cook everything in bulk with different options like beef, chicken, jackfruit, or tofu. Cooking in size saves you a fortune. Sliders are easy to eat and do not create much of a mess. Even if your party has no seating arrangement, guests can quickly help themselves and enjoy a mouthful of sliders.

4. Puff Pastries

puff pastries

Are you wondering about the options for snacks for catering for your guests? Look no further, as I have the perfect dish for the same. Puff pastries are undoubtedly the most delicious and versatile option. You are not limited to savory options, as you can also prepare some sweet puff pastries. The layers of the puff pastries give a flaky texture, and with the correct filling, the flavors go to another level. 

The main reason why you should consider puff pastries as an option for your next party or gathering is because they are very affordable and even accessible to execute. It would help if you simply placed them on the table, and your guests can quickly help themselves without many cutlery requirements. 

Puff pastries are an easy and affordable option, and again, you have the choice to mix it up with different varieties and fillings. You are also not restricted to savory either; you can make sweet pastries too. This is more than an affordable option; puff pastries can be easy to execute and still very delicious. 

5. Cheese Platter

cheese platter

If you ask me about my dream food at a party, it must be a cheese platter. Now, if you think I am daydreaming, then you are wrong. You can, too, add a cheese platter to your catering menu. Don’t worry about the cost, as you can cut a great deal with the people who sell cheese in larger quantities. 

Look for great deals and discounts from the direct suppliers of cheese, and I am sure you will delighted after the purchase. The fun thing about a cheese platter is that you can use crackers, bread, or fruits to decorate your cheese board. 

6. Chips, veggies, and dip 

chips and dips

Chips and dip may sound like something other than elegant for a party, but it depends on your presentation skills. You can serve your guests some chips along with a drop at the beginning of the event. A great snack option it is. What else you can do is serve some freshly chopped vegetables alongside baby carrots so that people have a healthy choice as well. 

When it comes to dipping, avoid buying it from the outside and make a batch of simple dip yourself. This will save a good amount of money, and you can always make them in bulk and store them for later use. If you need some recommendations, try tzatziki, hummus, garlic dip, cheese dip, or onion dip. I prefer making 3 to 4 types of drops that have almost similar ingredients but different flavors. Saves a lot of time and money. 

7. Fajitas/ Tacos 


I love eating fajitas and tacos. They are super delicious and fulfilling. If you want to make your party fun and delicious, then consider adding fajitas or tacos to your menu. Your guest can have an opportunity to choose fillings as per their preference and build their taco or fajita. You don’t have to worry about who likes what to eat as you can serve multiple fillings options. 

The great thing about adding either of them to your catering list is that they are affordable. You must spend some money on the different fillings, and you can choose as per your budget. 

Trust me, Mexican foods are flavorful, and as I already said, your guests will surely be content. If I were at a party that served tacos or fajitas, I would thank the host for making the food section fun and colorful. 

8. Skewers


Are you hosting a party and want smoky and savory food to serve your guests? Skewers are the next best option. You can have lots of options when it comes to skewers. From vegetarian to non-vegetarian, you can display almost anything and everything. I recommend some chicken, beef, vegetables, tofu and pork. If you want, you can even have some prawns. Choose anything that fits your budget. 

Your guests get to enjoy different options, and again, skewers are cheaper as you can reuse the ingredients and always make something new. You can ask guests for their preferences and serve them something they enjoy eating. 

9. Sandwich Selection


If you think that sandwiches are boring, then you are making them wrongly. If you know the right recipe, you can even serve your guests some sandwiches, and trust me, everyone will love eating the sandwiches. Sandwiches are like casual food, so you can easily cater to them at informal parties. However, if you want, sandwiches can be a great starter food option, even at professional gatherings. 

Sandwiches are affordable as you can display multiple options at a meager cost. You can even ditch the loaf bread and go for delicious baguette, ciabatta, or tiger bread. If you get them in bulk, you will save a lot. Go for different sauces and combinations of fillings, and fill the bellies of your guests with flavors and love. 

10. Pizza


Pizza is one of the most versatile food options for catering. Hosting a birthday celebration or wedding anniversary party, pizza fits almost every kind of event. It is one of the most elegant yet casual food options. If you make your pizza, then you are saving a fortune. 

You must gather different ingredients in bulk and prepare delicious options for your guests. You can go for vegetarian pizza or Hawaiian pizza. Serve the guests in slices, and I am sure they will enjoy pizza at a party. Make sure you keep enough options and experiment with different bases and toppings. 

11. Make your salad

salad bar

Nbegore, you roll your eyes, hear me out. Salads are great if you know the secret to serving them at your party. If you want some simple yet practical food options, salads will satisfy you. First of all, making salads is easy and affordable. You can serve different combinations of salads and tackle those who are very picky regarding food. 

 The best thing about salads is that you can make them more fun by giving your guests the option to make their salads. Give them different options, and they can prepare something of their liking. 

12. BBQ


Have an outdoor celebration? Consider setting up a BBQ for your guests and watching them enjoy every moment. You get an option to serve plenty of varieties of food like sausages, smashed burgers, pork, and chicken. 

BBQs are affordable as you can purchase different cuts of meat at a lower price and season them with delicious condiments. Setting up a BBQ requires little investment and effort. You can place other toppings and sauces and let the guests choose what they want.

13. Cous Cous

cous cous

Cous cous is so lovely, they name it twice! One of the most accessible, affordable, and delicious options to cater to. Couscous can be a great side option and complement other dishes very well. You can set them up near the salads or beside the skewers. Couscous is an affordable meal option, and if you are catering to many people, consider making them in bulk and save some money. 

14. Soup 


Soup is an exquisite and warm option, especially during the winter. So many holidays are approaching, and this is the right time to serve some warming and comforting notes. Soup is effortless to serve and will fit in you are pocket. Go for your choice of vegetables and choose some simple yet flavorful recipes. If you want to save more, get the vegetables from the farmer’s market and get them in bulk. Give your guests a variety of options, and I am sure that the guests will enjoy every gulp of it. 

15. Brownies


If you are wondering what to serve your guest for dessert without investing much money, brownies are a great option. They are easy to execute and very affordable. You can bake brownies in bulk and save lots of money and time. To make brownies, you don’t need any fancy ingredients. Just gather the essential and affordable ingredients and bake them until they are well done. You can even pair the brownies with ice creams or liquid chocolate. Serve some topping options, and make a perfect dessert option for your guests.  

16. Fruit Platter

fruit platters

Another excellent dessert option that is healthy and affordable is a fruit platter. What’s great about the fruit platter is that you can serve seasonal fruits, and almost everyone will love the effort. Head to the farmer’s market and get different fruits at a very affordable price. Stylishly cut the fruits and display them for your guests so that they can fill their bellies with fresh and flavorful fruits—one of the most healthy, vegan, and gluten-free dessert options. 

17. Cookies


Like brownies, cookies are easy to make with simple yet delightful ingredients. If you need clarification about what to add to your menu for dessert, go for some cookies. You can bake them in bulk even if you have leftovers ( which you won’t) and store them for later use. They have a great shelf life. You can make the cookie dough and bake it fresh so guests can enjoy warm and gooey cookies. 

18. Dessert Pie 

dessert pie

If you think dessert will be one of the most challenging things to plan for your party, then you are wrong. There are so many options that have great taste and are equally affordable. One of the dessert options that you can consider is dessert pie. 

I mean, they are so delicate yet fun to eat. Also, they are very fulfilling, so you don’t need other dessert options as this will serve the purpose. Tryst me, dessert pies are very affordable. A little secret from my end is to add lots of cream as everyone will love, and it will keep everyone happy and fulfilled. 

19. Chocolate Fountain 

chocolate fountain

If you think that chocolate fountain is only for kids, then you are mistaken. I love chocolate fountains, and I am sure that even most of us are adults but crave a giant chocolate fountain. This feels so dreamy, right? Now, make the dreams come true. Set up a chocolate fountain at your next party, and I am sure everyone will love you more than before. Chocolate fountains are not so expensive, so that you can get them quickly. The next thing you need is chocolate. Now, that is affordable. Place some food items like biscuits, bread, cookies, fruits, and other things right next to the fountain. 

20. Cake


Now, if you are at a birthday or a wedding, the cake is a must. One of the apparent options to serve your guests at a party, the cake, is a very affordable and great option to serve as a dessert to your guests. If you don’t have a special cake ceremony, you can make some cupcakes too, and I am sure everyone will love the little sweet things after a full-fledged meal. 

Cupcakes are great to go for a snack party as well, whether you don’t have a full meal or some appetizers and sweet things. Consider baking the cakes or cupcakes yourself, and everyone will love the idea of self-baking the dessert, as it feels very personal. Making cake by yourself is for sure affordable as you can use essential yet delicious ingredients. 

21. Banana Bread

banana bread

Bananas are so readily available. Head straight to the farmers market instead of the grocery store and get some bananas in bulk. Once you are back, make some banana bread. They are the perfect option for having a tea party or hosting a morning event. You can even fit them in the dessert menu with other options, and trust me, they are very fulfilling. 

Why Should You Choose Catering For Your Party?

21 Affordable Catering Food Ideas!

Choosing catering for your party is very crucial for so many reasons. As Per one Quora user, food and beverages can make or break your party or get-together. That is why it is vital to make sure that you make food arrangements, and catering food is an intelligent decision. Now let us see all the possible reasons that make catering an excellent option for your next party : 

1. Affordable

Catering food is cheaper and saves you a lot of money. If you are hosting a party with a more significant number of people, you can always order food in bulk, and that is a great saver. A caterer will provide everything from food to cutlery, and that will be cheaper than if you go and get everything by yourself.

You can always go for some discount packs offered by different caters, and again, it will only cost your pocket a little. If you are planning to cater your party at an affordable price, then consider Catering By Michaels, as they are the best in their game. 

2. Easy To Execute

I will always cater my food for even a small get-together. The reason is that the catering food is so easy to execute. They make everything so functional that you don’t have to interfere in the food department, even to serve the guests. The next best thing about catering food is that you don’t have to worry about the guest. They will taken care of by the carters, and you can enjoy the central part of the event. 

3. Flexible

When it comes to deciding the menu for a party, it can be very stressful. Now, with the right caterers, you can easily decide whatever you want to serve the guests, and you can always customize it as per your requirements. Catering is always flexible, as you can easily choose whatever time and place you want the food to be served. 

4. Save Time And Effort

I know that cooking is a challenging task, and when you have to cook for more than four people, it can be a nightmare for many people. Catering your food for small or large events can save time and effort. You will only be engaged in the kitchen after the party. You can focus on preparing for the party without worrying about the food. 

5. Flavors And Taste Are Priority

Trust me, if you want to serve delicious food, catering is the best option. They make such delicious food and always make sure that the taste and quality of the food are the top priority. You can even unquestioningly trust the flavors as they are experienced in their game. I am sure that all of your guests will appreciate the food and will enjoy every single bite. 

6. No Wastage

Caterers are very experienced, and they make sure that everything is well-spent at the end of the event or party. They know how much they need to cook as per the head counts confirmed by you. They also are very efficient as they know how to reuse the ingredients and make something great out of them. Even if there are some leftovers, they ensure everything is stored for later consumption. 


Catering is an excellent idea if you want to serve your guests delicious food without putting all your energy and money into cooking the food by yourself. Without any doubt, catering is cheap, and you can rely on the taste and quality of the food. The best thing is that you get to choose from various options, and everything is customizable as per your requirements.

I suggest catering your food from outside when serving a smaller or larger number of people to save yourself from the hectic cooking process. This conversation was helpful. I will be back with some more delicious discussions like this. Until then, celebrate your life with food. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is catering a good idea for small parties or gatherings? 

Yes, catering is excellent even if you have a small party, as you will save a lot of time and money. You can focus on enjoying yourself with people instead of worrying about what food to serve. 

What are some great and affordable catering food ideas? 

Some of the best food options to try for catering are curry, jacket potato, sliders, puff pastries, cheese platter, fajitas, skewers, sandwiches, pizza, salad, brownies, soup, BBQ, fruit platter, cous cous, cookies, chocolate fountain, and banana bread. 

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