13 Cheap Graduation Party Food Ideas You Can Easily Make

Looking for easy and affordable graduation food ideas? Here are the best cheap graduation party food ideas!

Cheap graduation party food ideas

There are so many things to contemplate when planning the menu for graduation parties. Thinking about what food to make that fits the theme of your graduation, your budget, and is easy to make for a crowd can be tough. 

Whether you plan on a small group to celebrate or an intimate celebration, nothing brightens a party more than these mouthwatering delights. Keep reading for cheap graduation party food ideas that the graduate, the other teens, and all the guests will love!

Your graduation party decor is important, but food is something your guests will definitely remember.


1. Salad Cups


A salad cup is a super-fun out-of-the-box choice for a graduation party! It has zero fuss, and comes with incredible ways to build it into a festive vibe! All you need to do is buy a ton of simple vegetables that you like, chop them up, and mix them to get the perfect fruit salad. Then box them into glass cups. 

You can make this with an incredible mix of colored vegetables to serve to your guests. It’s a cost-effective choice as options such as corn, and lettuce are fairly inexpensive. 

2. Initial Shaped Charcuterie Board

Graduation party food ideas cheap
@62maui4kids on Pinterest

Charcuterie boards are great for graduation parties. They are fun to make and are an amazing option to serve snacks to a crowd. They appeal to people of all ages and you can fill up a charcuterie board with several kinds of picnic foods, easy finger foods – veggie platters, cheese-and-crackers – as well as more creative options! 

Not to forget they make beautiful Instagram-worthy photos.

3. Croissant Sandwiches

Source: Pinterest

Graduation party food on a budget doesn’t have to be boring.

A big life event deserves an even bigger sandwich! This croissant sandwiches are a delicious appetizer to serve for parties and they are easy to assemble the day before. They can be laid out for your graduate, friends, and family. 

They are packed with flavor, fill you up, and come quite cheap! You can also make them ahead of time. You will love how popular and satisfying this snack is!

4. Salad Bowls and Dips

Easy food for graduation party

In terms of cheap graduation party food ideas, these salad bowls are always a hit because it’s always great to have a wide range of vegetable mix at parties! They are healthy, refreshing, flavorful, and will be absolutely well received by your guests. 

And, what’s also great about serving salads is you could buy them already made or make them yourself with your favorite vegetables. The dip also is a classic that people will love and never get tired of. It can be served hot and melty or at room temperature with your salad.

Including a cheese board with fruits and different types of cheese is such a classic everyone will love.

5. Taco Station


A great option for graduation party food ideas is a food station, and a taco station is always a winner if you are not game for a traditional buffet or a dinner partyThere are not a lot of people that do not love tacos, and you can find a super easy taco recipe that will stay warm during your whole party. 

Here’s a fun idea: Serve up the tacos with a bar of various taco ingredients (pico de gallo, sour cream, avocado, etc.) and let your guests help themselves however they like!

6. Mini Burguers

Graduation party menu ideas
@karinamillican on Instagram

Mini burgers are another easy food for graduation party everyone will love, and they’re not expensive! There is so much to love about burgers. But instead of making hearty giant burgers for everyone, try making them tiny for this occasion. 

Everyone loves little mini burgers, and it is a fun way to keep your party fun, casual, and simple. Giving your family or guests lots of burger options keeps everyone happy.

7. Pancake and Waffle Station

What to serve at a graduation party
@karinamillican on Pinterest

Pancakes and waffles make for a great option to offer at a graduation party, and it is simple to set up too. There are so many ways to get creative and enjoy this meal. Serve layers of overlapping pancakes and waffles, and surround them with fresh fruit (diced bananas, red berries, peaches, strawberries, etc.). 

Guests can just grab a waffle, then add their syrup (homemade of course!) and favorite toppings, adding as much or as little as they want. Keep close by toppings, like honey, maple syrup, whipped cream, etc.

Read: 24 Unique Graduation Party Ideas Everyone Will Remember

8. Multiple Plates with Small Snacks

Source: Pinterest

This is a perfect way to line up some easy-to-make food and let everyone take care of themselves while you get some extra time to make chit-chats. This will always be a crowd-pleasing winner as you can lay out a bunch of little snacks on multiple plates. 

Be sure to include some plates with fun graduation cupcakes as well! Your guests will definitely go for seconds or thirds of this deliciousness.

All you need are some multi-level stands for food and big plates.

9. Fondue Station

Graduation party foods on a budget
@shelbykirkmann on Pinterest

Here’s a perfect way to fancy it up for a deserving celebration. All you need to do is buy a ton of fruit you like, chop them up, and lay them together with some marshmallow pops, biscuits, and many other options, and you get the perfect fondue station to serve your guests.

Make sure also to have plenty of crackers on the side for everyone to enjoy. This is a fun, easy, and budget-friendly graduation party food idea.

10. Dessert Table


Wondering what to serve at a graduation party? A dessert table with multiple options will probably be your best choice.

If you are looking for a graduation party food idea that’s cheap yet super impressive, you need to try setting up a dessert table. A dessert table is perfect for a casual, outdoor graduation party! It’s easy to put together and guests always love it. Even picky eaters will love this setup because there’s an option for everyone.

Combine colors and tastes with this delicious and easy-to-set-up table. This dessert table will not only make for the ideal cheap graduation party food idea but also complement the party décor tremendously!

11. Pasta Salads

Cheap food ideas for graduation party
Source: Pinterest

If you are going for a fun, casual theme for your graduation party, you should consider adding pasta salad to your list of what you will be serving. The pasta salad is a frequent go-to dish for get-togethers.

Besides, setting up pasta salad for your party is an easy way to serve your guests’ food while also saving money since pasta is cheap, easy to make, and large-group friendly! So, if you are having a larger graduation party, serving pasta salad makes a great cheap meal. 

This is one of the best graduation party food ideas for a large crowd!

12. Mini Sandwiches

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You cannot go wrong with a sandwich! Sandwiches are great because they’re so easy to put together but people are going to gobble up these sandwiches in no time.

They are such delicious and hearty food options for a graduation party and also really affordable! These bite-sized sandwiches make it easy to serve a crowd of hungry graduates and friends. 

13. Fruit Graduation Cake

Graduation party food ideas on a budget
@yams.event on Instagram

Cheap graduation party food ideas are also a great way to incorporate healthier options into your menu.

The cake is perfect for literally any occasion, especially a graduation party. But nothing says «it’s a party» quite like a cake made with fruits and filled with fruit sprinkles cut into mini squares so everyone can get a bite. 

Skip the store-bought ice cream or sponge cake in favor of this friendly home version instead. You can customize it with the graduate’s favorite fruits or make it color-themed.

You can even add a cake topper to make it graduation themed.

This was all about cheap graduation party food ideas!

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