Party Snacks - cheap snacks for parties, adults, potluck at work or any large group where you need afforable snacks for a crowd or big group graduation open house party, baby shower, block party, etc - cheap party food platters and inexpensive snacks for large groups on a budget - store bought snacks to BRING to a party too.

Inexpensive Snacks I Make For Large Groups To Nibble On – from quick easy appetizer bites to affordable finger foods and dips – there are a TON of party food recipes I’ve made on this page.

Trying to feed a party crowd for cheap? Below is my personal list of 47 easy snacks and apps I’ve served on my party food table at all my large crowd events and get-togethers.

Best snacks and apps to put on your party food table

Updated on July 17, 2024

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With everything SO expensive these days, it’s tough to find affordable snacks and foods to prepare and serve a big group.

It’s become my MISSION to keep an on-going list of cheap appetizers and dip recipes I can make easily, quickly and CHEAPLY.

Here’s a preview of all the recipes I’ve found that are on this page below:

the best poolside dips and appetizers


all recipes found below

Yep, I’ve been a busy little hostess collecting TONS of easy and affordable recipes for ALL my special events… and casual gatherings, too.

If you’re hosting a large group with lots of people, food can get expensive and very time-consuming.

Keep scrolling for MY favorite quick and easy large batch party appetizers on a budget for any size crowd to snack on.

They are all Quick and CHEAP party food to make (or buy) and considered the BEST budget-friendly party food and grab n’ go snacks in my circle of friends and family.

Cheap and Easy Party Snacks For Large Groups dips appetizers sliders finger foods recipes and more

Cheap Snacks for Large Groups

Need easy snacks or cheap finger food ideas to serve?

Sure, you COULD just put out the cheapest snack foods like some microwave Chex Mix, popcorn or hummus dip like everyone else does (yawn!)

OR, you could try these UNIQUE and inexpensive snack ideas below and knock it out of the park while still staying well-within your food budget.

From simple snacks to throw together for a crowd…

Simple snacks to throw together for a crowd

Or low effort crowd favorites.

For example, my famous lemony lemon bars recipe below.

They are my FAVORITE frugal SWEET snack my crowd LOVES (and they’re SO easy make, too!)

Be sure to pin this recipe to Pinterest – you WILL use it over and over.

Inexpensive SWEET snacks for a party crowd or large group. My Lemony Lemon Bars - it's a frugal favorite dessert and SO easy to make

Ok, they’re not MY Famous Lemony Lemon Bars – it’s one of my grandmother’s dessert recipes, but now it’s ME that’s famous for them haha!

So I make some of those Lemony Lemon Bars and then whip up a batch of this pineapple-lemonade punch:

(and yes, save this recipe to Pinterest as well – you WILL use it a LOT):

Inexpensive punch recipe for large groups

Between the Lemony Lemon Bars and the Pineapple-Lemonade Punch, I’ve got the start to a gorgeous Yellow Color Party, don’t I?

If you need to feed 20 guests or more on a tight budget, below are the snacks you really should try.

Like these Chopped Italian Slider Sandwiches I found on Instagram – perfect for a crowd!

chopped Italian hoagie slider sandwiches for a crowd

My crowd LOVES them – and so does my bank account haha!

I’m not a cheapskate, but I AM frugal. I’ve spent a lot of time narrowing down get-together food that I can make cheaply AND everyone loves (and requests over and over).

what to feed a party crowd without going broke


Here are some simple and inexpensive party food recipes to make for your next get-together, shower, potluck or party.

Cheesy Taco Sliders

Cheesy Taco Sliders

Spicy Italian Pinwheel RollUps

Spicy Italian Pinwheel RollUps

4 Ingredient Sausage Balls

4 Ingredient Sausage Balls

Hot Ham and Cheese Slider Sandwiches

Hot Ham and Cheese Slider Sandwiches

Spicy Party Crackers

Spicy Party Crackers

Jalapeno Popper Cracker Spread

Jalapeno Popper Cracker Spread

Homemade Guacamole Dip

Homemade Guacamole Dip

Copycat Applebees Spinach Dip

Copycat Applebees Spinach Dip

Skinny 7-Layer Taco Party Dip

Skinny 7-Layer Taco Party Dip

Copycat Neiman Marcus Bacon Cheese Dip

Copycat Neiman Marcus Bacon Cheese Dip

Cowboy Corn Caviar Party Dip

Cowboy Corn Caviar Party Dip

Coming up with cheap party snacks for a BUNCH of adults is pretty tough these days – everything is SO expensive. If you need apps and finger foods, try the page below.

The hot dips (especially the 7 layer dip and Texas Trash dip) are SOOOOO insanely good!

Want cold NO COOK snack ideas?

Try these cold appetizers for a large crowd

Those no cook recipes above only have THREE ingredients each – so simple to make, too!

Here are two of my favorite no cook pinwheel appetizers – they’re perfect for setting out when you’ll have guests eating for a long period of time (like a New Year’s Eve party).

pinwheel appetizers - pickle dip roll ups for a party crowd
Just 4 simple ingredients: deli ham, dill pickle spears and cream cheese all rolled up into tortilla wraps. Print the recipe.
pinwheel appetizers - cheddar cheese bacon ranch roll ups for a large group
These cheddar cheese bacon ranch pinwheel roll up appetizers use Rotisserie chicken. Print the recipe.

Snacks and finger foods you do NOT have to cook are my absolute FAVORITE things to set out for my guests to nibble on!

See ALL cold appetizer recipes here.

Hosting a party when you’re on a tight budget can feel very overwhelming leaving you stressing over HOW you will provide CHEAP party snacks that don’t LOOK cheap with your limited budget.

If affordability is a key concern, why not have a potluck type party and have everyone bring something for your group to share?

That way, everyone in your group contributes a little something and no one is out a lot of money for all the snack food.

If that’s not an option, here are more simple and CHEAP snacks and food ideas for a large party group that are sure to fit any budget.

Large Party Snack Platter Ideas

Cheap Party Food Platters For A Crowd
Cheap Party Food Platters Like in The Picture Above Are my Favorite Inexpensive Snacks for a Crowd or Large Group – see all Make Ahead Party Platters Here

When it comes to coming up with large batch party food for big crowds, snack platters (like in the pictures below) are THE way to go.

It’s really not about how much your SPEND on food for your large group, but it IS about how that food is presented:

 My Favorite Snack Board SetFound Here Perfect LARGE GROUP Snack BoardFound Here


Presentation is everything.

Even if you’re just setting out cheese and crackers, you can make it look fancy!

party snack platter ideas you can make for CHEAP - finger foods, cheese tray, fruit, salty snack board and homemade party platters for party food on a budget

You can get fancy with your party snack platters and food trays – and still keep it cheap to make.

I LOVE this birthday party snack platter below…

Where To Find Them:

 Fillable NUMBER Snack TraysFound Here Fillable LETTER Snack TraysFound Here


Or bring a Holiday theme into your party platter design..

I made these for our Easter potluck and everyone LOVED them – no left overs at all.

cheap party food platters for Easter party, potluck at work or church brunch

Snack platters and food trays are my FAVORITE – and they’re real crowd-pleasers too!

Best off all, they travel well so they’re simple to take to a party or potluck.

I have a HUGE list of party platters you can make:

In fact, I make themed snack platters for ALL our special get-togethers and Holiday potlucks at work:

cheap party food platters for 4th of July cookout
Cheap Party Food Platters For 4th of July

57 Make Ahead Party Food Platters For A Crowd

Valentines Day Potluck Snack Trays

St Patrick’s Day Potluck Snack Trays

Graduation Party Snack Trays

Remember, party snack platters and finger food platters are NOT about how much you spent or how hard they were to make – they ARE all about presentation.

As you can see in the party platters in the pictures above, all of those party snacks are very inexpensive, but they LOOK (and taste) super good and as if you spent HOURS making them.

Party platters also offer a cheap way to make HEALTHY snacks for large groups or a potluck party crowd. Below are some healthy options you can try…

Store-Bought Options

If you don’t want to cook, or you’re getting food last minute, below are the cheapest snacks to BUY for a large group.

While not super exciting food options, they get the job done without spending a ton of money at the grocery store. If you set them out in a creative way, no one CARES how much you spent!

Like this football theme snack platter made for a Super Bowl party… all filled with cheap store-bought snacks.

football theme snack platter for our Super Bowl party all filled with cheap snacks I bought at the store - my large group LOVED it

10 Cheap Snacks To Buy:

  1. Popcorn: Popcorn is a classic snack that’s both cheap and perfect to nibble on while watching the game. You can make it at home in a pot on the stove, in the microwave, or in an air popper.
  2. Chips and dip: Chips and dip are another easy and affordable option. You can choose from a variety of chips, such as tortilla chips, potato chips, or pita chips, and serve them with your favorite dip, such as salsa, guacamole, or hummus.
  3. Pretzels: Pretzels are a tasty and budget-friendly snack that can feed a large group. You can serve them plain, or with a variety of dips, such as mustard, cheese, or chocolate.
  4. Trail mix: Trail mix is a delicious and healthy option that’s perfect for snacking on the go. You can save money by making your own by mixing together a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and other ingredients, or you can buy pre-made trail mix at most grocery stores.
  5. Veggie platters: Veggie platters are a great option for those who are looking for a healthier snack. Simple cut up a variety of fresh vegetables, such as carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, and serve them with a dip, such as ranch dressing or hummus.
  6. Popcorn chicken: Popcorn chicken is a tasty and inexpensive option for a large group that you can buy pre-made at most grocery stores.
  7. Pizza rolls: Pizza rolls are a fun and delicious snack that can feed a crowd. Just grab some boxes or bags of frozen pizza rolls at the store and heat them up in the oven or microwave.
  8. Baked goods: Baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, or brownies, are always a hit with a crowd. To save money, buy the mix and make them at home, or buy them pre-made in the bakery department.
  9. Assorted fruits: Assorted fruits are a tasty and healthy option for a large group. You can create a fruit platter by cutting up a variety of fresh fruits, such as apples, bananas, strawberries, and grapes, and arranging them on a platter.
  10. Cheese and crackers: Cheese and crackers are a classic cheap snack perfect for a large group – but BORING compared to these other ideas. You can buy a variety of cheeses, such as cheddar, brie, or goat cheese, and serve them with crackers or sliced bread. I also add slices of pepperoni (the cheap kind that comes pre-sliced in the bags)

Hocus Pocus homemade snack platter for our watch party group - cheap and easy to make!

Large Group Side Dish Idea

When we have our VERY large family reunion potluck each year, I always make my super easy crockpot mac n cheese.

Just dump the few ingredients in your crock pot and you’re done – you don’t even have to boil the noodles!

Punch Recipes for a Crowd

Whether you’re hosting a large group for the game or a graduation party, a baby shower or ANY type of party, having a BIG batch of punch ready for your guests to drink is a MUST HAVE.

Here are my favorite large party punch recipes that are all cheap and super easy to make in big batches (even if you are feeding 50 people or more).

Large Batch Party Dip Recipes

When it comes to inexpensive snacks for a large group, nothing is cheaper, easier and more crowd pleasing than these easy ranch dip recipes.

But maybe you want an easy hot dip?

Crockpot dips can be very affordable to make and serve at large gatherings.

For example, my 1-2-3 party dip recipe in the picture below. It is SO easy and cheap to make.

1-2-3 Crockpot Party Dip

My 1-2-3 party dip recipe is SO cheap and easy to make for any large group - here's the recipe

Just put cheap canned Rotel, Velveeta and browned ground beef in your crockpot like in the picture above then let it slow cook.

That’s it… 1-2-3 done!

It’s cheap and it is VERY GOOD. That cheese dip has a bit more substance and “stick to your ribs” to it than traditional snack table food which is perfect for fall and winter events (like our Super Bowl Party).

TIP: mix a pack of taco seasoning into your ground beef for an extra kick.

Would you rather a unique chips and dip idea that you can make ahead of time?

Here is my secret combo for an irresistible snack combo for MY large groups.

It looks fancy – but so simple to make… and CHEAP too!

Spicy Party Crackers

These party snack crackers have a little kick to them, but they are addicting!

Only 4 ingredients too!

2 boxes Ritz crackers
3/4 cup Olive oil
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
3 tbsp Chili flakes

Money-Saving Tip: To stretch your food budget, buy inexpensive store-brand snack crackers like these to save a TON of money!

Now, here’s the secret to cooling off that spice….

Best Party Dip EVER

If you love cold dip recipes, you will love this ranch party dip recipe below – just double the recipe for a cheap snack for a large group.

8 oz Cream Cheese
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Package Ranch Seasoning
2 Cups Grated Cheese
1/2 Cup Bacon Bits

Tip: Double the batch for a large group

I’m tellin’ ya – you set out those 2 things above, and they will GOBBLE it up!

Big Party Sweet Snacks

Desserts are ALWAYS the thing most requested at all the big parties and family gathering I make food for – you should SEE our Mother’s Day dessert table!

And, as much as it drives me nuts, there are NEVER any leftovers for ME to enjoy haha!

These dump cake recipes are SO easy to throw together and make in big batches for any size group – and they’re VERY cheap to make.

Now, if you’re making dessert in large batches for a family gathering, you might want to try these easy old-fashioned dessert ideas (they’re just like my grandmother used to make and everyone loves them).

My family and friends traditionally have a sweet tooth that only really sweet treats can satisfy.

When I’m going for cheap snacks and party food for large groups, I make these simple 3 ingredient fudge recipes and they gobble them up!

Best part, those sweet snacks are made in the MICROWAVE!

5-Minute Party Snack Ideas

Here are some more affordable and simple party snacks for your crowd:

Easy Sweet Snacks To Make in 5 Minutes Or Less – Simple 5 minute sweet snacks, desserts and sweet treats with just a few little ingredients.

More Inexpensive Party Food Ideas

Need more cheap and easy food ideas for large groups or special events?

Here are 4 more resources to help you find what you need:

Best Inexpensive Party Foods For Large Group Events

Best Cookout Food Ideas For BBQ Parties

Last Minute Potluck Ideas For Work

34 Freezable Mini Desserts For a Potluck Or Party

Graduation Party Food Ideas To Feed A Crowd

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group snack ideas to feed a crowd

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Party snack ideas - cheap and easy snack ideas for party crowds and large groups - store-bought, last minute and make ahead ideas too. If you need inexpensive snack ideas for hosting a large group, you will love these simple, budget-friendly ideas

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Snacks For large Groups-Inexpensive party food platters and cheap snacks for a crowd, potluck at work or church supper

Party Snacks - cheap snacks for parties, adults, potluck at work or any large group where you need affordable snacks for a crowd or big group graduation open house party, baby shower, block party, etc - cheap party food platters and inexpensive snacks for large groups on a budget - store bought snacks to BRING to a party too.

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