Cheap and Easy Finger Foods for Game Day With the Family

Pulled Pork and Flatbread Pizza

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Pulled Pork and Flatbread Pizza
Cheapism / rez-art / Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Game Day Favorites

No matter the size of your family, you should always be prepared with a menu of easy-to-eat finger foods — especially as football season kicks off. These satisfying dishes are simple and cheap to make, ranging in price from about 50 cents a serving for always-fun popcorn or veggie sushi to about $4 a serving for sliders and ribs worth cheering for. Mix and match to come up with an ideal spread without going over budget.  

Related: The Best Casserole Recipe From Every State

Closeup of Queso Fundido Recipe with Chorizo (Crock Pot Queso) in a Iron Mug
Several Piglets in the Blanket on a Wooden Cutting Board with Ketchup and Mustard
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pigs in a Blanket

This classic recipe is quick and easy to prepare with two ingredients: cocktail wieners and crescent rolls. To keep costs extra low, buy ingredients in bulk from a wholesale club such as Costco when making a large batch.

Recipe: Pillsbury 

Focus on 7 Layer Dip on Napkin

Bean Dip

Beans are cheap and filling, which makes this dip a good option for a family. A classic seven-layer-bean-dip recipe can be adapted for what's on hand and customized to taste. It doesn't even have to be seven layers — a dish of flavorful refried beans with some hot sauce on top does the trick.

Recipe: McCormick

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Classic Cheese Quesadillas in a Circle on a Grey Plate on a Black and White Checkered Napkin


Quesadillas are a favorite game-watching snack and can be made with many different flavor combinations. This recipe for a classic cheese quesadilla is made in the oven to minimize hassle and cleanup. Serve with toppings and fillings of your choice.

Recipe: Add a Pinch 

Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken Meatballs with Toothpicks on a Wooden Cutting Board

Chicken Meatballs

Chicken is less expensive than the red meats typically used to make meatballs, and makes for a lighter snack. This recipe uses a slow cooker to make the dish easy. This is an easy make-ahead option that can be kept warm until kickoff.

Recipe: Chef Savvy 

Two All-American Sausage and Pepper Sliders on a White Plate with Macaroni Salad

Sausage and Pepper Sliders

Hearty mini sandwiches are impressive yet can be easy to pull off. This sausage and pepper slider recipe cuts down on cost by using inexpensive Italian sausage as the meat with more filler from onions and peppers. Cooked in a large batch and assembled on small buns, they're quick and easy to serve.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings on a Stainless Steel Plate with Dipping Sauce
Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock


You can hardly gather a group to watch sports without ordering wings, but that adds up. This simple recipe for baked chicken wings makes crispy and tangy snacks without fatty frying, and starting with bulk frozen wings is cheap enough to serve the family as many as they want.

Recipe: Bon Appétit 

5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork in Two Burgers on a Stainless Steel Plate

Pulled Pork

Just five ingredients and eight to 10 hands-off hours of slow cooking make piping-hot and indulgent pulled pork. Serve it on slider buns.

Recipe: Southern Living

Several Homemade Mac and Cheese Bites on an Artistic Wooden Cutting Board
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Macaroni and Cheese Bites

People have long searched for a way to make mac and cheese a finger food. Rolling it into balls and deep-frying is one option. For a cheaper, hassle-free option, follow a recipe for mac and cheese "cupcakes" — small, handheld portions baked in a muffin pan.

Recipe: Chef in Training 

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Cream on a Steel Blue Plate

Stuffed Potato Skins

One of the best things about potato skins is their adaptability. This version of the irresistible party food features broccoli and avocado cream rather than the more typical bacon and sour cream. Don't feel limited by the given ingredients — add favorite seasonal vegetables or whatever is in the refrigerator. Anything from kale and onions to shredded chicken is guaranteed deliciousness when loaded into a potato skin and topped with cheese.

Recipe: Ellie Krieger 

Closeup of 15 Minute Easy Margherita Flatbread Pizza Pieces on a Wooden Cutting Board
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Easy Guacamole in a Glass Bowl Surrounded By Tortilla Chips, Three with Guacamole


Guacamole is a favorite at parties, and one of the most nutritious options in a sea of fried and fatty foods. Using larger Dominican avocados, which are a brighter green and have smoother skin than Mexican Hass avocados, cuts costs. Or shop an ethnic market for good prices on Hass avocados a few days ahead of time, to ensure they have time to ripen.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Bourbon-BBQ Glazed Baby Back Ribs on a Wooden Cutting Board with Utensils for BBQ and BBQ Sauce
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Making ribs in the oven is an easy process that fills the kitchen with delicious and tempting aromas. This recipe for baby back ribs takes more than four hours, but they can be prepared easily ahead of time and kept warm in a low-heat oven. Buy in bulk from a wholesale club for quality meat at low prices and feast on ribs all weekend long.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Related: Fantastic Regional Rib Recipes

Closeup of a Jalapeño Cornbread Loaf Being Cut with Knife on a White Board
Natalia Wimberley/shutterstock

Jalapeño Cornbread

Inexpensive to make, cornbread muffins get a kick from jalapeños, which offer just a touch of heat to offset the naturally sweet corn. They cost just a fraction of the price of ribs and chicken but can be just as essential to a game day celebration.

Recipe: Sally's Baking Addiction 

Closeup of Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich Slice on Another Slice on an Artistic Wooden Cutting Board

Grilled Cheese

A plate of fresh grilled cheese sandwiches cut into quarters will disappear quickly at any party. This easy-to-eat finger food can be made simply with bread and a few slices of cheese, or spruced up with fillings from bacon to apple to onion jam.

Recipe: Modern Honey

Four Black Bean and Corn Stuffed Jalapenos on White Paper

Stuffed Jalapeños

For those who like their food on the spicy side, bite-size hot peppers are sure to liven up the festivities. Black beans, corn, and cheese come together to make these little poppers.

Recipe: Spicy Southern Kitchen

Closeup of Rows of Several Easy Stuffed Mushrooms on a White Plate
Eduardo Ramirez Sanchez/shutterstock

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

Warm finger foods rich with hearty flavors are a surefire way to kick off a party. Pillsbury's take on stuffed mushrooms had one reviewer commenting, "Why have I never thought of this before?!"

Recipe: Pillsbury 

Closeup of Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates on a Tan Ceramic Plate
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Yes, bacon is always a favorite, but the flavors of this recipe take things to another level. While the creator suggests you mix and match, we're loving the suggested blue cheese, Brazil nut, and cashew option.

Recipe: The Healthy Foodie

Five Chinese Egg Rolls in a Pile on a Wooden Cutting Board
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pork and Cabbage Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers and cabbage are cheap ingredients. Mixed with other vegetables, pork, and seasonings, they become a satisfying treat. Use ground pork to keep costs low.


Five Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce Skewers with Limes
Robyn Mackenzie/shutterstock

Chicken Satay Skewers

Made from inexpensive chicken, these easy dipping skewers are a light option that's full of flavor. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it tender and flavorful, so don't skip that step, but you can make the sauce and even grill the chicken ahead of time; just heat the skewers before serving.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Fresh & Spicy Salsa in a Wooden Bowl Surrounded By Tortilla Chips on a Brown Ceramic Plate
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip in a Glass Bowl with a White Plate of Tortilla Chips
Sarah Heinitz/istockphoto

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Using frozen spinach and artichokes makes this recipe simple and cost-effective. Substitute more spinach and skip the artichokes, or vice versa. The cream-cheese base makes a tangy dish that always disappears fast.

Recipe: Alton Brown

Onion Dip from Scratch in a Glass Bowl on a Light Grey Cloth
Laura Sullivan/istockphoto

Crudité and Dip

Carrots and celery are inexpensive staples at grocery stores year-round. Combine with a flavorful, cheap, and quick onion and sour cream dip that beats premade mixes. This recipe works well with other veggies, too.

Recipe: Alton Brown 

Three Blue Porcelain Bowls of Original Chex Party Mix on a Wooden Table

Party Mix

Bags of premade party mix come with a ton of sodium, plus an extra cost for convenience. Serve more mix for less money with this recipe — or go freestyle.

Recipe: Chex

Top View of Seasoned Popcorn in a White Bowl on a Blue and Orange Checkered Napkin
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Popcorn, salty, and sometimes sweet, is the perfect crunchy food to eat by the handful while watching the big game. Pop super-inexpensive corn the morning of the party and dust with different flavors for a dash of variety.


Cheese and Cracker Platters on Three Plates with Blueberries in a White Bowl
Ian D. Warren/istockphoto

Cheese and Cracker Platter

This classic party platter has stuck around for a reason: It satisfies with minimal effort and cost. A few types of cheese, such as a block of cheddar, a small wheel of queso fresco, and a wedge of brie makes an easy snack centerpiece at any party with a box of crackers.

Recipe: Life as a Strawberry 

Red Pepper Relish on a Piece of Bread with Relish in a Stainless Steel Bowl with a Spoon

Red Pepper Relish

Leave it to Martha Stewart to share a recipe that offers an incredibly simple yet sophisticated take on basic red peppers. This versatile creation can be served with hearty bread or as a sandwich condiment on game day. A batch will last four days in the fridge if prepared in advance.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Pile of Mini Quiches on a Wooden Cutting Board and a White Tablecloth

Mini Quiche

A classic French dish, quiche is one of the least expensive snacks to make for a crowd, and baking it in mini-muffin tins yields perfectly bite-size, crustless versions. This recipe covers the basics, but feel free to customize with different fillings.

Recipe: Add a Pinch

Healthy Baked Carrot Fries in a Paper Towel and Grey Mug with Two Dressings

Healthy Baked Carrot Fries

Craving french fries? You could be very happy with carrot "fries" once you taste this clever and healthy baked treat that comes together in a total of 30 minutes.

Recipe: 2teaspoons 

Vegetarian Sushi on a White Porcelain Plate with Chopsticks, Soy Sauce, and Wasabi

Veggie Sushi

Raw fish can be expensive, intimidating, and potentially dangerous to work with at home, but veggie sushi is fun and easy to make, and it costs just pennies per serving. These basic instructions are a good place to start. Make custom specialty rolls and dipping sauces to create a sushi platter as impressive as it is inexpensive.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Closeup of Several Crispy Kale "Chips" on a Wooden Cutting Board
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Kale Chips

Crunchy chips made from kale are as satisfying as potato chips. Buying them from the store is costly and often means eating a bag full of preservatives. Follow this recipe to bake easy and inexpensive kale chips at home.

Recipe: Melissa d'Arabian

Four Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and Mini Footballs and Football Themed Liners


A simple cupcake adds the right amount of indulgence to a party centered on finger foods. This recipe can make regular cupcakes or minis that are easy to pop in your mouth in one bite. Decorate them for the event to be extra festive.


Closeup of Several of The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies Shaped Like Footballs with Brown Sprinkle Sugar


These basic sugar cookies make a cheap and easy dessert that can be turned into themed, shaped goodies for any occasion. For instance, use an oval-shaped cookie cutter and decorate football cookies with icing laces.

Recipe: Allrecipes 

Four Frozen Chocolate Bananas on a Brown Square Plate

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

Ice cream for a crowd can be messy, but make-ahead, chocolate-covered banana bites are a tasty and cheap treat that will be enjoyed just as much.

Recipe: Epicurious 

Female Hand Holding an Edible Ice Cream Bowl with Tons of Different Ice Cream and Toppings
E Pietrantonio/istockphoto

Edible Ice Cream Bowls

Up your ice cream sundae game with edible bowls. These easy ideas add an extra touch that's sure to lift everyone's spirits, even those rooting for the losing team.  

Recipe: All Created