How To Make Easy Party Food

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Pull a Delia in the kitchen for your next party with minimal fuss and even less expense. Try this party food on a budget!

Here are some easy nibbles to make you the hostess with the mostest.

Savoury Party Food On A Budget

Party Food On A Budget LeadFeat

Homemade dip

hummusYou can make much bigger quantities of homemade dips – for the same price as a small bought tub and favourites such as hummus, can be made easily by blending 1-2 x tins of chickpeas,  a big glug of olive oil, 3 x cloves of garlic, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper, and a small pinch of hot paprika. Then just cut some veg into sticks and serve.

Chicken wings

chicken wingsFire up cheap chicken wings at a fraction of the cost of ready-made bites just by adding some spices on top – they’re just as delicious and easy to prepare. BBQ sauce can be prepared by mixing together ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and a hint of mustard. Smooth on top of the wings (marinade overnight if possible), and bake in the oven at 200 C for 30 minutes, turning once or until cooked through.

Pasta and rice

pastaPasta and rice are cheap and easy to cook and will make salads go a long way. Just one pack of budget pasta will feed a lot of people. Add mayonnaise and or pesto, chopped veg, raw spinach and cherry tomatoes. Guests will be full in no time!

Bruschetta

brushettaCrostini or bruschetta are economical fillers which can be colourful if you top them with tomato and basil. Toast some thinly sliced French bread, rub with raw garlic, and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

Caramelised onions

caramalised onionDon’t waste veg if you’ve bought too much for a particular salad. Leftover onions can be roasted and caramelised.

Fry three large onions slowly in a pan with olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally when soft add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, heat for another 5 minutes or so and eat hot or cold as an accompaniment to mini-burgers and bite-sized meatballs.

Smoked salmon swirls

smoked salmonReady-made these little canapés could set you back a bit. Make your own with some budget ingredients and no-one will know the difference! Spread cream cheese and chives on a tortilla wrap, add smoked salmon trimmings that can be picked up for under a pound, roll up and cut into circles.

Mini jacket potatoes

mini jacket potatosRoast some new potatoes in the oven, once cooked cut a cross and add sour crème and dill. These can be served hot or cold. Delicious, cheap and impressive looking!

Sweet Party Food On A Budget

Strawberry lollies

strawberry lolliesFreeze strawberries for 15 minutes, take out, pop on a cocktail stick, coat with sugar, dip in melted chocolate, and serve!

Chocolate cornflake clusters

cornflake cakeYou can use cornflakes or rice crispies for this delicious sweet treat. A great recipe you can prepare with your little ones and they will go down well with the adults too. Melt chocolate and add your cereal – mix well and leave to set in cake cases in the fridge. It’s as simple as that.

Mini cakes

mini cakesMini desserts have a special allure, and by teasing your guests with just a taste, you can stretch a brownie, muffin or cake recipe into plenty of bite-sized treats.

Ginger baked apples

baked appleThis classic pudding can be made for under a fiver and the sweet apple works well with the scrumptious ginger twist.

All you need is 900g apples, 50g softened butter, 50g muscovado sugar, 50g finely chopped ginger, 75g raisins. Remove the core from each apple and leave a 4cm hole in the centre, score a cross of the top of the apple.

Cream butter and sugar, add ginger and raisins, pop into the holes in the apples, place in an oven-proof dish and bake for 20 mins on 200 C. Spoon over the yummy juices from the dish and serve warm with ice cream.

Party Extras

Now you’ve got the food sorted, what about those other party extras?

Dip set

lazy susanIf you’re looking for investment then grab this bargain while you can with a half price ‘Lazy Susan’ rotating dip set with ceramic dishes, now for under £20 at Amazon.

Snack holders

bamboo boatsGet 100 of these at just £9.85 and give your guests a taste of the Orient. Guests can pile these little bamboo boats up with party snacks, nibbles and canapés – a change to those flimsy paper plates.

Party like a royal relation

celebrate pippa middletonIf you’re still stuck for ideas on entertaining, then Celebrate with Pippa Middleton’s renowned book for just £6.25 – that’s 75% off!

More tips

  • If you’re having a lot of guests buy in bulk from a cash & carry warehouse. They offer good prices on large quantities.
  • Ask guests to bring their own alcohol to cut the cost of that expensive booze run. Or you can make up your own punch bowl to share amongst the party guests by using fruit juice and alcohol.
  • If you’re serving crisps and nuts but don’t want to buy in bulk, check the shelves of your local pound stores which might be cheaper than your regular supermarket.
  • Plan your party food carefully and keep to your list and your budget. To avoid temptation and save you time and money, shop online for party essentials you can’t make yourself. Look out for special offers like “three for two” or “buy one get one free.”