By Tess Rose Lampert for Cheapism ©
Finger Lickin’ Good
‘Tis the season of holiday get-togethers and family gatherings — even if those are much smaller this year due to the pandemic — and it’s always nice to offer something to nibble on. Bite-size appetizers are a great way to keep costs down and not everything needs to be made from scratch. These easy, inexpensive ideas serve about 10 to 15 people, from meat eaters to vegetarians to vegans. Prices are rough estimates based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data and an informal survey of grocery prices.
Ham and Cheese Wheels ($5)
Deli ham and cheese get turned into a crowd pleasing combo with the help of store bought pizza dough. Roll out the pizza dough ($3) as thin as possible without tearing it and line it with a few thin slices of deli ham and cheese ($2). Roll up the dough with the ham and cheese inside and bake at 450 degrees until bubbly and golden brown. Once cool, slice into bite sized rounds.
© Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Fried Ravioli ($5)
At about 20 cents per piece, frozen ravioli make a great inexpensive appetizer when fried in oil ($1) until golden brown and served hot. Because they are so rich, figure only one or two ($4 worth) for each guest.
© Lauri Patterson/istockphoto
Frozen meatballs cost about $3 a pound and offer large portions. Simply heat them up in the sauce of your choice ($2), such as barbecue or marinara, and serve with toothpicks for a fun and tasty party dish.
Mini Spinach Pies ($5)
Frozen spinach ($1) and a light sprinkling of feta ($1) in crispy phyllo dough ($3) is a classic flavor combination. To assemble, thaw and season the spinach and combine with feta. Put a spoonful into the phyllo of any shape and bake according to the instructions on the phyllo packet.
Pigs in a Blanket ($5)
Create this favorite using one package of break-and-bake croissant dough ($2) and a package of hot dogs ($3). Cut the hot dogs into bite-size pieces and wrap in a small piece of dough. Bake until the dough puffs up and starts to turn golden.
(OK, there are about 20 more appetizers for you to look at. Just click below and you will magically find the entire 26. So, excuse me while I taste-taste some of these apps.)