Easy Appetizers that Won’t Break the Bank

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Appetizers are a fantastic way to start a meal whether it’s a regular night at home or if you’re entertaining friends. Try one of these easy appetizers that are perfect for all occasions and easy on the wallet.

chicken patties with tzatziki dip on plate

Summer vacations are rolling to a close. While some of us have been back to school for a few days or weeks, others are enjoying one last hurrah before going back to the grind after Labor Day.

Now is a great time to host a few get-togethers or a late summer BBQ, even if it’s an late afternoon “happy hour” of appetizers.

Easy appetizers are usually something that I keep in my backpocket for the holidays, but they are great really anytime of the year. Who doesn’t love a Snacky Dinner?

Wherever you land on the spectrum: with school for yourself or your children on the horizon or with work and fellow co-workers returning from various summer holidays, these easy appetizers will be perfect for your next get-together.

And no, you don’t have to be rich to be hospitable. Be ready for unexpected guests with these easy apps in your repertoire.

three stuffed mushrooms on plate with platter of mushrooms in background

Shopping Tips for Easy Appetizers

How you shop has a direct impact on your grocery budget. You, after all, are the one to put the food in the grocery cart!

Don’t get caught up in being the hostess with the mostest that you overspend or outstretch your budget. There are some easy strategies to serving delicious easy appetizers without going broke.

Consider these approaches to shopping for your party:

  1. Shop your kitchen first. What ingredients do you already have on hand? There’s no reason you need to go out and buy more if you’ve got plenty of food on hand at home. Do a quick inventory of your fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what you’ve got to work with.
  2. Shop the sales. Every week your grocery store issues a sales flyer. Make a habit of scanning this each week so you have an idea of what’s priced affordably. Often the items on the front and the back of the flyer are offered at rock bottom prices to get you in the door. Pro tip: Stocking up regularly on sale items will give you a bigger pantry to work from going forward.
  3. Look to inexpensive ingredients. Barring a sale, stay away from the meat and cheese departments. These items will cost more than foods. Focus on ingredients that are almost always affordable, like vegetables and grains. 

veggie tray with peppers, peas, tomatoes, and cokes

What can I serve as appetizers?

The appetizers rounded up here are not only easy to prepare, but they are also easy on the wallet. You can serve them to a crowd without breaking the bank. And they taste amazing!

Easy Appetizers that Won't Break the Bank

What’s your favorite easy appetizer?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Stephanie M. says

    Here is an appetizer that I have served many times and people always ask for the recipe.

    Cordon bleu appetizers

    4 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 tsp. spicy brown mustard (I use guldens)
    1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
    3/4 cup small diced cooked ham (I use the packages of small dice ham that I find in the store)
    1/2 cup minced chives, divided
    18 slices French bread (1/2 inch thick)

    In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in the Swiss cheese, ham and 1/4 cup of chives. Spread 1 TBS. mixture over each bread slice; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining chives.

    The mixture can be made ahead of time and frozen until ready for use. I’ve done this and it’s just like it was freshly made. I just make it and put it into a freezer bag. It defrosts in a short period of time and can be made the day of service.

    Another appetizer that goes over very well:

    Cheese Clouds

    1 jar of Cheese Whiz
    1 can dinner rolls such as Pillsbury
    1/2 stick butter

    Put butter and cheese in a round pyrex dish and melt in a 350 oven for about 5 minutes. With a fork, blend together. Cut each biscuit into quarters and arrange on top of cheese. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Guests can pick up a piece of the biscuit and the cheese mixture underneath it.

  2. Alice E says

    I like the idea of the zucchini fritters, but since leeks are very pricey here I might substitute sweet onions.

    I usually just do dip or meatballs in either marinara or the old standard ketchup and grape jelly sauce. My usual dips are the Spicy White Bean Dip from the AlaskaFromScratch website or a yogurt dill dip that I think I found in a blog on the FoodieWithFamily website. I like hummus, but it is expensive and even if you make your own the tahini is pricey. The bean dip is a bit more basic and goes well with crackers or veggies. It goes over well except with my daughter-in-law who expects bean dip to be the Tex-Mex type. For that type I usually just mash up a can of chili style beans with or without a batch of salsa.

  3. These fritters look yummy. We have a couple monster zucchinis on the counter right now, and I heard from one of the kids there are more out on the vine….I think I’ll give this recipe a try and see if the family likes it 🙂

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