Cheap picnic food ideas

Who doesn’t love a good picnic? There is something so lovely about eating outside. 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!

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


California roll salad – All the flavors of a California roll in a salad.

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.

Cheap wedge salad – Wedge salad is a summertime favorite, and this recipe only costs 89 cents per serving.

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.

Japanese potato salad – A delicious take on traditional potato salad. This recipe includes pickled vegetables and Japanese mayonnaise.

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!

What to bring to your summer picnic? Here are some great cheap recipes to consider!


BLTs with bacon mayonnaise – The most decadent bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches you will ever put in your mouth.

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.

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


Chocolate-covered strawberries made in an ice cube tray – Keep these chocolate-covered strawberries stored in the ice cube tray, preferably in your cooler. When it’s time for dessert, simply pop them out like you would an ice cube. Voila!

Chocolate strawberries in an ice cube tray: The easiest way to make chocolate-covered strawberries!

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.

Monster cookies: These cookies, made with oats, chocolate chips, and M&Ms, are a crowd-pleaser any time of the year.

There’s more! Get 50 cheap picnic recipes and be the star of your next outdoor gathering.