Cheap Party Appetizer Tray Ideas

by Erin Schreiner

Treat your guests to tasty treats while staying within your budget.

pineapple orange appetizer tray image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com

Creating tasty party treats doesn't have to take a huge bite out of your party budget. While pre-made party trays are often prohibitively pricey, you can save a bundle by crafting your own. With a little ingenuity and some effort, you can provide your guests with something tasty to enjoy at your event while keeping some cash in your wallet.

Crescent Roll Pinwheels

By crafting simple pinwheels with inexpensive crescent rolls and an assortment of fillings, even the most challenged chef can prepare an impressive appetizer tray. To create these party treats, purchase packages of crescent rolls and flavored cream cheeses. Open each roll of crescent rolls and lay the sheet of rolls out flat, not splitting them along the perforated lines. Spread the cream cheese onto the sheet of crescent roll dough. Place any other elements you would like onto of the cream cheese. Try tasty options like green olive, sliced ham or tomatoes. Roll up the dough, and cut it into 1-inch wheels. Lay each wheel on a baking tray. Repeat this process using different fillings. Cook the wheels according to the package directions or until the dough is lightly browned and flaky. Set your finished wheels on your tray and pass them around your party.

Fruit Platter

Give guests a healthy snack option by creating a fruit platter. Purchase an assortment of in-season fruits, and cut them down into bite size pieces. Place the cut fruits around your tray. In the center of the tray, place a bowl of purchased or home-made fruit dip. By going with seasonal fruit options and taking the time to cut your own fruit you can save a bundle, as prepared fruit trays are often expensive.

Petite Kabobs

Create tasty and impressive kabobs in miniature for your event. To prepare these simple treats, purchase an assortment of small veggies, cheeses and pre-cooked meats such as cherry tomatoes, pearl onions, ham cubes and cubed cheeses. Cut your veggies into halves or quarters. Using sturdy toothpicks or small skewers, pierce each selected kabob element, alternating between meats, cheeses and vegetables. Place your completed kabobs on a tray. These easy to eat treats are a simple solution to your appetizer dilemma.

Trio of Cheeseballs

Put a spin on the standard practice of serving a cheeseball by creating a trio of cheeseballs for your guests to sample. Select three different cheeseball recipes and prepare each. Place your three completed cheeseballs in the center of your party tray. Surround your cheeseballs with an assortment of crackers, toast wedges and pita crisps. By creating this tray, you allow your guests to sample an array of flavors instead of constantly returning to the same dip option again and again.

Photo Credits

  • pineapple orange appetizer tray image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.