50 Cheap Picnic Recipes

Cheap picnic foods and recipes. Click through for 50 ideas!

Call me old-fashioned, but there are few things I enjoy more than a picnic in the park.

Thankfully, a great picnic does not have to cost a lot of money. All you need is a picnic table, friends and family, a few great menu items, and an open schedule.

I’ve got 50 cheap recipes that are appropriate for your next picnic:

Salad Recipes

No picnic is complete without a salad – or two or three:

Sandwich Recipes

Your picnic definitely needs sandwiches. Just remember to pick sandwich fillings that won’t get the bread soggy. Here are some ideas:

Miscellaneous Picnic Foods

Here are some crowd-pleasing miscellaneous food items:

Get recipe ideas for a summer picnic! Click through for 50 cheap recipes.

Slow-Cooker Recipes

Warm foods can be a delightful surprise at a picnic. If you have access to an outlet at your picnic spot, consider making one of these recipes and keeping it warm in a slow cooker:

Dips and Other Snacky Picnic Foods

Be sure to pack chips, crackers, and veggies for these dips:

Picnic Desserts

The perfect picnic dessert is one that is easy to transport and not messy. Here are some low-effort picnic desserts:


Bringing bottled or canned drinks may be the easiest option. But if you’re looking to make a homemade drink, here are some to try:

50 Cheap Summer Picnic Recipes

Planning a Budget-Friendly Picnic

A picnic is generally not an expensive event. But here are some additional tips to keep your budget in check:

  • Potluck! The easiest way to keep your costs down is to plan a potluck picnic. Every guest/family should bring one dish to share. The fewer menu items you have to prepare yourself, the cheaper your picnic will be.
  • Choose budget-friendly ingredients: To keep costs down, choose dishes that are made from cheap ingredients like pasta, potatoes, eggs, beans, and in-season produce.
  • Keep it simple: There’s no need to over-plan your picnic. Just make sure to have a few dishes to choose from – one salad, sandwich, and dessert option will do. Less cost+ less stress = better picnic.

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7 Responses to “50 Cheap Picnic Recipes”

  1. 1

    Hannah | Eat, Drink, and Save Money — July 26, 2016 @ 9:22 am

    Yum! These are some great ideas. I need to plan a picnic now!

  2. 2

    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe — July 26, 2016 @ 3:06 pm

    Nice list, a lot of good ideas for church picnic and similar.

  3. 3

    Jacky @ Joyful Savings — July 27, 2016 @ 12:00 am

    Thank you for all these great ideas! I’m always looking for something different to bring to picnics, and there are plenty here! Thanks for sharing!

    Joyful Savings recently posted: A Little Secret To Make Your Boxed Cake Taste Like Homemade!

  4. 4

    Lisa @ Fun Money Mom — July 27, 2016 @ 1:01 am

    Wow, so many great choices! I don’t even have to think about what to do for my next picnic. I’ll just come here!

  5. 5

    Christina @ Raising Savers — July 27, 2016 @ 5:58 pm

    What a fantastic list! Our family loves to picnic – even if it just in our backyard. Definitely pinning this list for future reference.

  6. 6

    Jill — July 29, 2016 @ 7:02 am

    So many great ideas!!! 

  7. 7

    Sonya — September 15, 2016 @ 2:17 am

    Such sweet memories of picnics in the park!  Thank you!

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