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Get creative ideas to lower your wedding catering bill with this cheap wedding food list—and learn how to incorporate them into the menu!

Cheap Caterers

Cheap Caterers

As most of you already know, reception catering is one of the biggest expenses for a wedding. However, there are several ways to lower your grocery bill.

How To Start A Catering Business In 9 Steps

You can offer a limited selection such as signature drinks instead of a full bar, use seasonal produce, and/or offer a dessert-only reception.

They are amazingly cost-effective options, and one of the most obvious is choosing inexpensive food for your wedding meal.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of ten affordable catering options for serving your wedding guests for less. We’ll show you how to creatively incorporate these inexpensive foods into your wedding menu!

This affordable wedding food list contains items you might not think of, especially when it comes to a wedding.

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If you’re looking for creative ideas to feed your wedding guests on the cheap, consider the recipes you can create with these simple and affordable ingredients! Remember, these are just ingredients and not full service suggestions, so the only limit is your imagination and creativity!

1. Eggs 2. Peanut butter 3. Bananas 4. Jello 5. Pasta 6. Ramen noodles 7. Oatmeal 8. Potatoes 9. Canned tuna 10. Bread 11. Beans

Read on for inspiration for an affordable wedding menu full of inexpensive foods to serve at your wedding reception!

Cheap Caterers

If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas on how to incorporate that cheap wedding food into a truly delicious and edible menu, check out these ideas.

Top 10 Cheap Ingredients To Incorporate Into Your Wedding Menu

If you are hosting a wedding reception, these inexpensive food items will work well with your menu. There are a variety of obvious ways to serve eggs, bread, potatoes, and oatmeal at a brunch. Let’s take a look at our cheap list. Food items, and how they fit into a wedding-worthy menu.

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If a wedding reception doesn’t interest you, consider venues, displays and/or passed appetizers for an affordable wedding reception! Check out how these inexpensive foods fit into this type of wedding menu:

If you and your lover choose a plated meal – don’t worry! Budget friendly options are available. Check out these inexpensive wedding foods that can be served as a side dish at your wedding reception.

Want to create a custom wedding menu for your wedding reception tables? Check out the Menu Maker templates from Canva or check out the options in our Wedding Printing section!

Modern Buffet Wedding Menu Ideas

We hope you found this inexpensive wedding food list helpful and inspiring! You might want to browse Pinterest for some creative recipes to incorporate these affordable foods into your wedding catering menu! And we hope it helps you save money on your wedding catering!

Sign up for our Wedding Planning Jumpstart series and we’ll send you a free copy of our wedding planning timeline and checklist!

Check your email to confirm your subscription and we’ll send you your FREE Wedding Planning Timeline + Checklist!If you’ve just started pricing your wedding reception, you may be shocked by some of the costs – especially catering! The most expensive part of any wedding is usually the food. Feeding 100 or more people will never be cheap. But there are several ways to save money on your wedding catering. The best way is to choose the right caterer and make the right choices for your menu. Start by understanding a caterer’s service and what they will charge you for.

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Please note: This article contains affiliate links. That means I can earn a commission if you decide to buy something.

Wedding Food Ideas On A Budget

According to The Knot, the average cost for wedding catering is $9,170 or $70 per person. (Read the full article here: This is the average cost of wedding catering)

But depending on where you live, your catering costs may be higher or lower. Prices also depend on the time of year and where you are getting married.

If your venue is a traditional ballroom or banquet hall, they will probably offer in-house catering and you will need to order your food and bar packages from them. If you pay a rental fee, or you’ve chosen a less traditional venue, you may be able to hire any vendor for your wedding.

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When you’re on a tight budget, there’s nothing worse than a surprise bill. Understand the total cost before you decide on your catering package. When you book your caterer, remember that you will be paying more than just the meal.

Cheap Food For Wedding Reception

You will pay for the meal package and the bar package per person. Depending on your caterer, you may have to pay corkage charges, slicing charges, delivery charges, fees, gratuity and sales tax. Also, some caterers require a minimum number of guests or a minimum dollar amount. Read the small print and understand the minimums before you sign the contract.

To read more about catering fees and see the full cost breakdown of wedding catering, read this next: How much does a wedding cost?

The food service you choose will affect your catering costs. A plated meal is the most expensive because it requires more work in the kitchen and more servers for your guests. If you want to save some money, you can offer family style service instead. Family style means each table is served on plates and your guests can help themselves. Another less expensive choice is the buffet. Buffets are popular because you can offer more choices and each guest can choose their favorites.

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A food truck is a fun choice if your wedding is outdoors. Prices range depending on where you live and what types of food trucks are available in your city, but the cost per person is usually much lower than a caterer.

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Preparing a set menu is the most affordable option. Set menus are often inexpensive choices like barbecue, pizza, tacos, falafels, or kebabs. A set menu also helps avoid long lines. If every guest had to order, wait for their food to be made, the line would be terrible. Rent a food truck that has several options ready to go. Each guest can ask for what they want, then have it delivered right away.

After eating, your next biggest expense is the bar. Offering a full, open bar is the most expensive choice. A cash bar offer is the lowest price, but you will get many opinions on the cash bar. A cash bar is common in some communities and expected at wedding receptions. If your family and friends provided a cash bar at their wedding, go ahead and do the same.

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If you don’t want to get a cash bar, but don’t have the budget for an open bar, you can offer a limited bar instead. For a limited bar, you’ll serve beer and wine to your guests. For more variety, you can offer beer and wine and a signature cocktail or two. A limited strip is a good compromise. It’s much less of an open bar, but your guests can still enjoy a few drinks at your reception.

Buffets are the most affordable food service, but the type of food you put on your menu will also affect your final price. Prime rib and seafood are the most expensive. But which foods are the most affordable? Think family-style meals with dishes that can easily be prepared for a large crowd.

Catering Prices — By Guests, Per Person, & Type

Food stations or food bars are similar to a buffet in that they are based around one specific dish, such as a taco bar or a pasta station. You can serve a main dish and a variety of toppings. They are usually less expensive as they require less service – your guests can serve themselves, similar to a buffet. Plus the price of food and ingredients can be lower depending on the menu you choose.

If you can’t find a caterer to make a dinner that fits your budget, consider offering something other than dinner. It is perfectly acceptable to serve only desserts, appetizers or cake at your reception. For good etiquette, make sure you don’t plan your reception for dinner and let your guests know what you’ll be serving on the invitation.

I know I know! It took a long time to choose the perfect date and get everyone to agree. But if you can’t find a caterer that fits your budget, consider changing it to another time of year. Sometimes you can get a lower price, or an off season discount, by getting married in the winter. Some caterers will waive minimum guest numbers or minimum fees if you are getting married in the off-season. If you don’t want to postpone your wedding until another season, consider planning a weekday wedding instead. Many vendors will offer discounts for wedding services that do not fall on a traditional Saturday night.

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