Looking for a way to feed a crowd that doesn't totally blow your budget?! We can help! These inexpensive meals for large groups are the perfect way to keep guests AND your wallet happy.

Group of friends gathered around a table from Fun Cheap or Free.

Feeding a crowd can be stressful. For one, it can be soooo dang expensive. But also, what on earth can you serve to a large crowd that will make everyone happy?! Well, fret no more, Freebs.

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We've got a list of great inexpensive meals for large groups that will satisfy the masses and keep your wallet in check! Trust us, follow these tips and you'll be the hostess with the mostess in no time. Let's get to it!


First of all, it is more than okay to let your guests bring something to contribute to the meal. Everyone loves a good ole fashioned potluck, right?! Ask guests to bring a side dish, dessert or even a beverage to share. Either way, guests are usually more than happy to bring something which will ease some of the financial burdens off of you.

Not sure how to make the request? Send a simple text like this: “Dinner at our house. Bring a side, your kids, and let's party!” Trust us, nobody will get offended by that!


Baked ziti in a baking dish from Fun Cheap or Free.

Pasta is one of the cheapest and most filling pantry staples you can buy, and that's exactly why it's the perfect food to feed to a crowd! Plus, everyone loves a good pasta dish. Grab yourself a buffet server warming tray so you can pop your cooked pasta inside and keep it warm all evening long!


The possibilities are absolutely endless! Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve on a pasta bar!

Pro Tip: Once you drain your pasta, make sure to toss it with a healthy dose of olive oil so it doesn't all stick together. Also, spray your food buffet warmers with cooking spray before putting anything in them so nothing sticks!


Hot dogs can be very inexpensive and are a great way to satisfy your meat-loving friends! Grab some cheap buns and value-sized condiment bottles and let everyone make their own dog how they like it! Here are some of our favorite condiment options.

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Sweet Relish
  • Grated Cheese
  • Chili
  • Jalapeños

Toss a few bags of chips out, heat up some baked beans, or whip up some of our tasty southern potato salad as a side. Don't forget, ask your guests to bring a side so your wallet doesn't take a hit! Psst..check out this post for creative ways to use up leftovers from a party!


Two bowls of loaded baked potato soup from Fun Cheap or Free.

Feeding a group in the cold weather months? Warm up a crowd with a buffet of different soups! Soups are typically very affordable to make and stretch a long way. Pair with cornbread, french bread, and crackers for a cheap way to fill everyone up!

Here are some of our easiest and most affordable soups to make! Toss the soup in a crockpot and set it to warm for the perfect serving vessel.

Create a topping station with the works like cheese, jalapeños, nuts and seeds, and whatever else you may like to throw on top of your soup. That way everyone can mix and match and make their soup exactly how they want it.


Here are even more ideas to help you feed a crowd on a budget!

And there you have it friends—inexpensive meals for large groups that are easy, too! See, we told you there were lots of ways to feed a crowd on the cheap!

What is your favorite way to feed a crowd on a budget? Tell us in the comments below!

Want more affordable party ideas?

Happy eating!