Seven Cheap Foods to Serve At Your Holiday Party

December 19, 2008

Some of you will be planning a holiday party in the next three weeks, and you will find out that throwing a holiday party can be expensive!  As you probably know food is often the centerpiece of any good holiday party. 

Putting some careful thought into your menu will help you save a lot of money.  I’ve been called a party food snob, I don’t like going to parties that look like no one put any thought into the food.  However, cheap dishes don’t need to look like cheap dishes.  Here are seven ideas for dishes to serve at your holiday party that look nice and won’t break the bank.

Chocolate Fondue: Melt some milk chocolate and add light cream and vanilla extract to keep the chocolate from getting lumpy.  Then, pick four items as dippers.  Serve the fondue in a cool dish, and you’ve got a great dessert that looks like a professional did it.

Mini Crab Cakes: Look for a recipe online to make these wonderful appetizers.  The only pricey part of this dish is the crab meat, and the rest is chopped vegetables, mayonnaise and bread crumbs.

Chili: Most people love chili, and it’s easy and cheap to make.  Use your favorite recipe, and serve it in punch-style, plastic cups.  To give it some extra flare, provide all of the extras such as oyster crackers, sour cream, cheese, and croutons.

Baked Brie: Make a baked ball of brie in the oven with your choice of topping to bake it with.  Almonds are always a good choice.  Instead of serving it with crackers, use fresh slices of french bread.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: If you don’t do chocolate fondue, then you can easily make chocolate covered strawberries for an elegant look and a crowd favorite.  To keep this dish cheaper, look for strawberries in bulk at your local farmer’s market or produce stand.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip: All of these ingredients are cheap and the recipe is nothing more than throwing a bunch of ingredients together and baking it.  It’s one of my favorite dips.  Serve it with pumpernickel bread cubes and/or crackers.

Pigs In a Blanket: Okay, this one might not look to elegant when you serve it, but they are always one of the first items gone when we make them at parties.  To dress this dish up a little bit, offer different dipping sauces like honey dijon dressing, honey mustard, ranch dressing, and nacho cheese.

So, are you hungry yet?  I can’t wait for the upcoming holiday parties!  I guess I’ll be doing a lot of working out after the holidays : )  In fact, there are ways to eat healthy on a budget during the holidays, we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Erik

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Erik
Erik Folgate is a husband and father living in Orlando who's been writing about money online for 6 years. Digging himself out of $20k of debt after college and his former experience in the insurance industry give him some useful insights into personal finance issues.

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