5 Budget-Friendly Catering Ideas For Any Event

April 5, 2022 Jessica Stewart

The average cost of catering ranges between $500 and $3,000. Any successful event will have delicious food options for attendees, but how can you offer catering on a budget? 

There are many catering ideas out there for companies and individuals to consider. From offering a food bar to changing the time of the event, there are many ways to save on catering costs. 

Keep reading to learn the top five budget-friendly catering ideas that will wow your attendees. 

Food Bars

A food bar, or buffet, may be a cheaper route than a dinner. You can also arrange buffets or bars in order from least expensive to most. This strategy usually reduces costs. 

With a buffet or food bar, you can forego wait staff and a large expense. This is a great option for more relaxed events or for those with children or picky eaters in attendance. 

Go Vegetarian

Meat is a huge expense when catering for an event. You can reduce your overall catering bill by offering vegetarian options. There are so many delicious dishes out there without meat, your guests won't even notice! 

Pick Cheap Food Options

Some foods are much cheaper to cater than others. Mexican, Indian, and Thia dishes are well-known budget-friendly foods. Other cost-effective options include: 


-Noodle-based dishes

-Fresh produce


-Food trucks

-Shaved ice trucks



-Hot dogs

Of course, the price of the food catering for events will depend on other factors. Those include what company you cater from and when your event is scheduled. 

Consider the Time of Day

Catering is more expensive when it falls during one of the three main meal times. You can easily avoid this higher expense by scheduling your events during a middle time. 

When you do this, you can offer fewer catered options. Light snacks or desserts are much cheaper to cater than an entire meal! 

Also, another consideration is to cater to what's in season. Check out this article about top menu items for spring and summer. 

Avoid Sit-Down Service 

You can offer butlered hors d'oeuvres as a cheaper option. When you use this strategy, you can usually purchase more expensive food options because you'll be offering bite-size quantities. 

You can also offer bite-size options of much cheaper foods, such as grilled cheese or spinach puffs. When catering, most things can look fancy, so create a variety of options to make the most of your budget. 

Learn More Events Catering Ideas 

Now that you have several ideas about food catering for events, you can plan your next party! You have a variety of options available to make it memorable and within budget. 

You can schedule events strategically or avoid sit-down service. Whatever event catering strategy you decide on, there are a lot of options available to keep it within your budget. 

Are you interested in learning more catering ideas? Check out our blog about top trends in events catering to discover more! 

Previous Article
7 Gala Theme Ideas For The Year Of 2022
7 Gala Theme Ideas For The Year Of 2022

A Gala can become very boring really quick. Considering all galas are similar in fashion, here are 7 differ...

Next Article
7 Ice Breaker Ideas For A More Engaged Event
7 Ice Breaker Ideas For A More Engaged Event

Starting an event can be difficult, especially when you got a tough crowd attending the. Here are 7 ice bre...