The holiday spread is arguably the biggest and most important part of any festive get-together. And you won't change my mind on that. In fact, in 2022 Americans spent an average of $60.29 on Christmas dinner, up 16.4% from $51.79 in 2021.
So how can you host holiday gatherings without dipping into your gift budget? Plan your menu around the best sales in November.
For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text SAVE to 57299, and be sure to download the Krazy Coupon Lady app.
Our favorite easy holiday snack recipes:
1. Pigs in a Blanket: $0.23 per piece
No one can resist pigs in a blanket, but you can save big by making them at home. Check this out: a 10-ct box of Nathan's Famous Beef Franks in Puff Pastry is $7.99 at ACME. That’s $0.79 per piece! But if you buy crescent rolls and mini weiners at Walmart and put them together yourself, you can make 35 pigs in a blanket for just $7.94. That breaks down to $0.23 for each one, saving you 71%.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
While you’re waiting for the oven to heat up, open the crescent roll dough and slice it into 35 small triangles.
Put one sausage on the wider end of the triangle and roll it towards the smaller end. Do this for each one until you run out.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Serve with ketchup and stone ground mustard.
2. Meatballs Marinara: $0.14 per meatball
I used to get embarrassed when party guests would ask me for this recipe because it's cheap and easy. But now I'm proud of how cheap and easy it is. Depending on how much time I have, I either use the crock pot or stove top, but never the microwave. Depending on how "saucy" you like to serve your meatballs, you can always add more marinara sauce to taste, but with this recipe, I can make 66 meatballs and sauce for just $9.44.
If I'm feeling fancy, I might chop up some fresh onion or garlic, or throw in a pecorino rind, capers, and some olive oil or butter to heighten the flavor. Then, at the end, I'll sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top. No one can guess that these meatballs came from the freezer section!
24-oz. jar of Ragu Old World Style Marinara Sauce – $2.12
32-oz. bag of Great Value Fully Cooked Italian Style meatballs – $7.32
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Pour your frozen meatballs into a large sauce pot and cover with the entire jar of marinara sauce.
Set the stove to medium heat, cover it with a lid, and stir every few minutes until they're heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
If you're making them in a crockpot (my personal preference), follow Step 1 and then keep them in the pot for 4-6 hours on low heat. They come out super tender this way!
3. Raspberry Baked Brie: $0.75 per serving
This appetizer looks fancy af, but is unbelievably easy and works within my budget. All of the ingredients cost $9.03 and this app is gone in minutes every time I serve it. The best part? I can prep it in minutes and it only takes 20-25 minutes in the oven.
1 Brie cheese wheel – $5.99 at Kroger
Great Value Original Crescent Rolls, 8 oz – $1.98 at Walmart
1/3 c Smucker's Red Raspberry Preserves – $0.93 at Walmart
1 egg – $0.13
Optional: 1 tbsp sliced almonds
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and remove the brie wheel from its packaging.
Unseal the crescent roll container so the dough becomes a rectangle and place it onto an ungreased baking sheet. Do not separate the dough at the perforations!
Add the raspberry preserves at the center of the dough, in the same shape as your brie wheel. (If you're adding sliced almonds, spread them on top of the raspberry preserves.)
Wrap the dough so it completely covers the brie cheese. Then, flip it over.
Crack your egg into a bowl or mug and whisk it. Then, brush it over the dough. This will help it bake to a nice color.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes and let it cool for 10. I like to serve mine with whole grain rye crackers and sliced apples.
4. Air Fryer Sliced Sausage with Stone Ground Mustard: $0.19 per 1.5-oz serving
The first time I made this appetizer it was out of desperation. My husband forgot to tell me he was having friends over to watch Sunday football and all I had in the house was a pack of Bar-S Smoked Sausage. I sliced them up, threw them in the air fryer, and to my surprise, they were a total hit! You can also make this with any other pre-cooked sausage or kielbasa you might already have in the house.
Bar-S Smoked Polish Sausage, 14-ct – $4.98 at Walmart
Great Value Stone Ground Mustard, 12-oz bottle – $1.66 at Walmart
Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees.
While your air fryer is heating up, remove the sausages from packaging and slice into bite-sized pieces.
Air fry the sausages for 8-10 minutes, giving it a shake about halfway through.
Serve with stone ground mustard. This is the same price as yellow mustard, but looks fancier, which I love! You definitely won't use the entire bottle either.
5. Deviled Eggs: $0.08 each
Remember when egg prices got crazy last year? Thank goodness those days are over. In April, egg prices dropped to their lowest in two years, and deviled eggs are now back on my entertaining menu. Since a carton of a dozen eggs costs $1.39 at Kroger, this is one of the most affordable appetizers yet. This recipe will make you 24 deviled eggs for just $1.86! (Note: I didn't include prices for the mustard, pickle juice, or seasonings because the amounts are so small that the cost is negligible.
1 dozen eggs – $1.39
6 tbsp mayonnaise - $0.47
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp pickle juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Paprika, to taste
Once you've finished boiling your eggs, let them cool off in an ice bath.
Carefully peel the eggs and slice each one in half lengthwise.
Remove the yolk from each one and place them all in a mixing bowl.
Add your dijon mustard, pickle juice, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mash them together with a fork.
Spoon the filling into each egg and sprinkle with paprika to add some flair.
6. Air Fried Garlic Parmesan Wings: $0.31 per wing
During a recent visit to Buffalo Wild Wings, I was floored when I saw that an order of 10 wings costs a whopping $19.49. That's almost $2 for a single wing! So I started experimenting with making my own at home. If you have a Costco membership, they sell party wings in the meat section that generally cost $2.99 a pound.
But since Walmart is closer by my house, I like to grab a frozen bag of uncooked wings, which is easier to store. A 4-lb. bag costs $12.98 and comes with around 48 wings. And yet it's still $6.51 cheaper than buying 10 wings at BWW! Plus, Walmart makes great dupes of B Dub's most popular sauces. Note that depending on how large your air fryer is, you might need to do these in two separate batches.
Pre-heat air fryer to 400 degrees.
Add your frozen wings and cook for 10 minutes.
Scoop wings out into a bowl and drain any liquid from the fryer basket (this will be mostly water since they're frozen!)
Add any seasonings you'd like into the bowl. I prefer garlic salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Give it a good shake.
Put the wings back in the air fryer and cook for another 10 minutes at 400. While that's happening, clean the bowl with soap and water and dry.
Pour 1/4 of the Parmesan Garlic wing sauce bottle into the bottom of the clean bowl, and put the cooked wings on top (Note: your wings need to have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.) Then, add another 1/4 of the bottle and toss with grill or salad tongs.
If you have grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley on hand, add it on top to make it look extra gourmet!
7. Crispy Triple Cheddar Cheese Crisps: $0.21 per serving
I love this recipe because it's so dang simple. These cheese crisps are keto-friendly, low-carb snacks with just a couple of ingredients. I use the Triple Cheddar blend from Kraft, but you can experiment with lots of different cheeses, like mozzarella or Parmesan.
Bonus tip: If you've got everything seasoning on hand at home, make them look even more gourmet by sprinkling some on top before you bake them!
8 oz. Kraft Finely Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small dish, combine the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Use a tablespoon measure to drop heaping piles of cheese about two inches apart on the baking sheet.
Sprinkle each with a small pinch of seasoning.
Bake at 400 degrees for six minutes, until just started to bubble and set around the edges.
Cool and serve.