Cheap Picnic Food Ideas

Cheap picnic food ideas

Today is the first official day of summer here in the northern hemisphere! This summer, I’m going to try to have more picnics. There is something so lovely about eating outside, but I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like to. Spending a lazy afternoon in a park with friends and family, sharing great food and enjoying the outdoors sounds absolutely perfect this time of the year.

Today, I would like to share some cheap picnic food ideas I’ve been compiling. Please let me know if you have ideas of your own. If you’d like to see visuals of all the recipes below, check out my “cheap picnic foods” Pinterest board.

Cheap Recipes For a Summer Picnic


Iced coffee from The Pioneer Woman – Soda is usually the drink of choice at picnics, but iced coffee is something out-of-the-box. Also, this is a major money-saving idea for those of you who buy iced coffee/cold presses!

Ginger limeaid from Epicurious – This sounds unique and refreshing. Lime and ginger? Yes and yes.

Sangria slushies – These are especially good on hot summer days. Keep these frozen until ready to serve.

Sangria slushies recipe


Salad on a stick from Sugar Laws – These are perfect for a picnic because they’re easily portable and perfectly portioned.

Salad in a jar from Healthy Happy Life – Just layer your salad ingredients in a jar and you’re ready to go. Put the dressing on the bottom, follow with hearty ingredients like beans, carrots, and chicken, and top with lighter ingredients like lettuce.

Brazilian potato salad (maionese) – Not your average potato salad. The Brazilian version incorporates a variety of interesting ingredients like olives, apples, peas, celery, pineapple, and carrots.

Fruit kabobs from Finding Joy in My Kitchen – No picnic is complete with a fruit salad – whether it’s served in a bowl or on a stick.

Lentil, feta, walnut, and grape salad – One of my favorite salad recipes ever.

Lentil, grape, feta, walnut salad recipe


Antipasto skewers from Live Love Pasta – Portable skewers with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, black olives, salami, basil leaves, and a balsamic glaze. You could definitely substitute cheaper ingredients for the ones listed on this website.

Individual seven-layer dip cups from The Girl Who Ate Everything – Once you have these dip cups ready, you can just grab them and go to your picnic. No clean-up necessary!


Radish-chive tea sandwiches from The Curvy Carrot – Pretty little tea sandwiches that are perfect for a light lunch or picnic potluck.

Garden veggie wrap from This Homemade Life – You can use any fresh veggies you have on hand to add to these wraps.

Egg salad sandwiches – Besides being a picnic staple, egg salad sandwiches are super cheap to make.

California sandwiches from Ezra Pound Cake – Light and refreshing sandwiches, perfect for a spring or summer picnic.

Avocado sushi rolls – If you’re looking to bring something totally unique that doesn’t cost a lot of money, check out this easy recipe.


Strawberry lemonade cupcakes from Annie’s Eats – I like strawberries and I like lemonade, but never thought to combine them in cupcake form. Definitely a recipe I’ll be trying soon.

Brown butter-almond brownies – These can be made a day or two ahead of time.

Homemade oatmeal cream pies – This homemade take on a packaged food favorite is a real crowd-pleaser whether you’re at a picnic or not.

Chocolate peanut butter pie from Kathy’s Kitchen Table – You’ll be the most popular person at the picnic when you bring this delectable pie.

Blueberry pie from Carpe Season – Nothing says summer picnic more than homemade blueberry pie. Amirite?


This is a new type of post for me, so let me know what you think. I’m toying with the idea of mixing things up a bit – adding a list of links to cheap recipes on other websites every once in awhile. There is so much great information out there, it only makes sense to share it. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when there’s delicious food to be had!

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One Response to “Cheap Picnic Food Ideas”

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    Fun and Easy Things to Do Under $20 | Puzzle Warehouse Blog — October 13, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    […] something—it’ll be like a mini pot luck! Again, online can be great resource – find great cheap picnic food ideas. This entry was posted in Puzzle Activities and tagged cheap activities, jigsaw puzzles, on a […]

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