Party hosts should always be prepared with a menu of easy-to-eat finger foods, whether it's to feed a crowd during the big game, Academy Awards, Grammys, or some other cause for celebration. These 25 satisfying dishes are simple and cheap to make, ranging in price from 50 cents a serving for popcorn or veggie sushi to $4 a serving for sliders and ribs. Mix and match to come up with an ideal party menu without going over budget.
Beans are cheap and filling, which makes this dip a good option for large, hungry crowds. A classic seven-layer bean dip recipe can be adapted to 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.
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 before the guac is needed, ensuring they have time to ripen.
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, along with a box of crackers makes an easy snack centerpiece at any party.
Raw fish can be expensive, intimidating, and dangerous to work with at home, but veggie sushi is fun and easy to make, and 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.
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, but those who prefer a cheaper, hassle-free option can follow a recipe for mac and cheese "cupcakes" -- small, handheld portions baked in a muffin pan.
Recipe: Chef in Training
Made from inexpensive chicken, these easy dipping skewers are a light option and full of flavor. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it tender and flavorful, so it's not a step to skip, but making the sauce and even grilling can be done ahead of time; just heat up the skewers before serving.
Recipe: Damn Delicious
Hearty mini sandwiches are impressive but can be easy to pull off. This sausage and pepper slider recipe from 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, the process is quick and easy.
Recipe: Taste of Home
Making ribs in the oven is an easy process that fills a kitchen with delicious and tempting aromas. This recipe for baby back ribs takes over four hours to make, but it can be prepared easily ahead of time and kept warm in a low-heat oven. Buy ribs in bulk from a wholesale club for quality meat at low prices and feast on ribs all weekend long.