- German Potato Salad — Potatoes are very inexpensive. Season boiled potatoes with white wine vinegar, olive oil, parsley, and bits of bacon. Chill overnight, and serve cold.
- Veggies and Dip — Your best cheap options here include carrots and celery with homemade ranch dip.
- Pasta Salad — There are all sorts of variations on this. Our favorite is the tri-colored pasta with Italian salad dressing, halved cherry tomatoes, and black olives.
- Hot Dogs — Hot Dogs are also very inexpensive, and they are a picnic/BBQ classic.
- Deviled Eggs — Eggs are a good, cheap source of protein, and deviled eggs are an easy picnic food to prepare.
- Fresh Fruit — Our favorites include watermelon, apples, grapes, and strawberries.
- Corn on the Cob — Very inexpensive. We break the cobs in half so they stretch even further. Many times the kids don’t eat an entire ear of corn.
- Baked Beans — Beans are also a cheap food, and canned baked beans are frequently on sale during the summer months.
- Jell-O — I have purchased Jell-O for as little as $0.25 a box. We love to make parfaits with alternating scoops of red and blue Jell-O topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
- Iced Tea/Lemonade — Skip the soda, and opt for ice water, iced sun tea or homemade lemonade instead.
- Rotisserie Chicken — For around $5.00, a rotisserie chicken can be a real bargain. Serve cold for a picnic, and save leftovers to make chicken salad, or stock for soup.
- Cheese and Crackers — A store like Big Lots has good deals on chips or crackers. Opt for hard cheeses that hold up better in the heat.
- Garden Salad — Iceberg lettuce, a diced up tomato, shredded carrots, and a sliced cucumber make for a quick, easy, and cheap garden salad. Top with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- BLT Sandwiches — Pack sliced bread, cooked bacon, lettuce, and sliced tomato for people to build their own BLT sandwiches.
- Waldorf Salad — This is one of our summer time favorites. You can find the recipe here.
Top 15 Cheap Picnic Foods
May 24, 2009 by