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  • Writer's pictureEngilberto Olivera

Cheap Catering Ideas: Affordable Options for Budget-Minded Event Planners

The Cheapest Foods to Cater: Affordable Options for Budget-Minded Event Planners

Planning an event can be exciting, but the catering costs can quickly add up. Luckily, with a little bit of research, we’ve found some surprisingly affordable options that are perfect for budget-minded planners. Check out our list of the top cheapest foods to cater below!

1. Pasta Dishes

Who doesn't love pasta? It's not only budget-friendly but also versatile and delicious. Think about dishes like spaghetti, fettuccine Alfredo, or baked ziti. These can be whipped up in large batches and you can easily mix and match different sauces to cater to everyone's tastes.

2. Taco Bar

A taco bar is a fun and interactive way to feed a crowd without spending a fortune. Stock up on affordable ingredients like ground beef, shredded chicken, beans, rice, and tortillas. Offer a variety of toppings like lettuce, cheese, salsa, and guacamole so guests can customize their tacos just the way they like them.

3. BBQ Chicken

BBQ chicken is always a hit and it's pretty easy on the wallet. Chicken is usually cheaper than other meats, and when you marinate and grill it to perfection, it’s absolutely delicious. Pair it with some simple sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread to complete the meal.

4. Soup and Sandwiches

Soup and sandwiches make for a cozy and cost-effective meal. You can offer different soups like tomato, chicken noodle, and vegetable, along with a variety of sandwiches with affordable fillings like ham, turkey, and cheese. It's a great option for a laid-back event.

5. Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s a universally loved option and quite budget-friendly. Stick to basic toppings like cheese and pepperoni to keep costs low. You can also offer a variety of additional toppings for guests to add on their own, making it a fun and customizable meal.

6. Salad Bar

A salad bar can be both healthy and inexpensive. Load it up with fresh veggies, fruits, and proteins like grilled chicken or tofu. Add some nuts, seeds, and a variety of dressings for extra flavor without adding much to the cost.

7. Breakfast Items

Breakfast foods are typically less expensive to prepare and can be a great option for a brunch event. Think scrambled eggs, pancakes, and breakfast burritos. Pair them with coffee, juice, and fresh fruit to create a delightful and affordable menu.

8. Baked Potatoes

A baked potato bar is an inexpensive and filling option. Potatoes are cheap, and you can offer a variety of toppings like sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and chives so guests can create their perfect potato.


Catering an event on a budget doesn't mean you have to skimp on taste or variety. With options like pasta dishes, taco bars, BBQ chicken, and more, you can put together a fantastic menu that won’t break the bank. Keep these ideas in mind for your next event and enjoy great food while saving money!



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