Delicious and Affordable: Cheap Lunch Catering Ideas for the Office

Mini Plastic Dessert Cups Wholesale with Plastic Lid
5/5 - (4 votes)

For your next office lunch, you can serve up delicious food that caters to a variety of preferences and dietary needs without exceeding the budget. With cheap office catering ideas for tasty meals, everyone at your luncheon will enjoy every bite at no extra cost to you. Explore our affordable catering options and get creative!

Short Summary for Affordable Catering Options

  • Delightful finger foods, budget-friendly buffets & sandwich platters are a classic combo for cheap lunch catering.
  • Creative salad bars, taco stations & soup/stew sensations offer delicious cheap catering options to please all guests.
  • Thrifty beverage solutions and money saving desserts make your event memorable without breaking the bank!

Delightful Finger Foods

For those looking for an affordable catering option in an office lunch that still provides tasty food, finger foods are the perfect choice. Bite-sized snacks like sliders and mini quiches provide a variety of options, particularly for those with dietary preferences. Better yet, these snacks don’t break the bank!

This approach lends itself perfectly to creating a more relaxed environment. This allows guests to mingle while snacking on goodies such as cheese and crackers or veggies with dip. For any event planner who wants their guests to be well-fed but also have things interesting, these types of dishes offer some great cost saving ideas when it comes to catering.

An alternative office lunch idea is to organize a potluck. Each guest serves a cuisine they enjoy eating, which helps when dealing with those picky eaters. They can serve their favorite lunch! This allows everyone to not only have access to various tasty dishes but also have them get acquainted in a cozy atmosphere instead.

Regardless of what you choose for your next gathering (fingers foods or taking turns cooking up meals), both could save money while still offering all sorts of appetizing food selections. Your office mates will certainly appreciate this great cheap catering option! Check out these Snack Ideas to get your culinary juices flowing.

Budget-Friendly Buffets

Catering in a budget-friendly manner can be achieved with buffet-style meals. With this option, your office staff can choose from an array of dishes such as pasta, salads and sandwiches, even pizza! This cheap catering option suits different tastes and dietary needs while still keeping costs down.

To make ordering lunch catering even more affordable for small meetings or gatherings, you could opt for simple lunch ideas without having any caterers stay on premises. They would just set up the room prior to lunch then suggest serving tips upon arrival.

An alternative which enables your attendees to enjoy a shared meal together is family style dining. By serving large platters, everyone can have a portion. Think a main course of roast chicken or lasagna alongside sides like charred corn, spring rolls, crispy potatoes, and cheesy goodness bacon mac & cheese! This great option allows you to serve delicious food while not overspending your budget. It’s definitely worth considering a family-style lunch for your next office lunch catering. Have a full meal for half the price!

Finally, buffets offer another way of creating cost effective occasions since they enable people to taste several plates all at once. The preparation of these types of meals isn’t too difficult either due to their being self service oriented. Thus, you’re saving some money in labor expenditure when ordering catering.

Satisfying Sandwich Platters

Creating a personalized sandwich spread is an excellent idea for an office lunch when considering cheap catering options. This delicious catering idea provides various food choices and is a great alternative for those with special dietary needs.

Start with fresh bread, cheese slices, deli meats, and different spreads. Beef, chicken, vegetables, all are a great option when you serve office lunch sandwiches. Set them out on platters for your guests’ to dig into. Plus, by having your staff serve themselves – as most people do when lunch sandwiches are on the menu – you’re saving money on a serving staff!

For more casual events or get-togethers, consider involving food trucks. This cheap catering option offers an even more laid back catering solution. Make sure you’re aiming for 1 to 2 sandwiches per person so that all attendees have enough nourishment. This also helps save on food waste.

Such flavorful sandwich trays are not only budget friendly but are also a great option for boxed lunches. By having to-go sandwiches as your lunch catering idea, your staff now have the wonderful option of grab and go boxed lunches! Easy to serve and the perfect, filling office lunch. By using disposable trays with lids, such as CMJJ’s Clear To-Go Container with Black Tray and Clear Lidor our Rectangular To-Go Black Tray Container and Clear Lid, you’re better able to order cheap delicious lunch catering ideas without a hassle of clean up.

Creative Salad Bars

Creating a custom salad bar is an easy and cheap catering option for your next office lunch. Start with various greens such as spinach, arugula and lettuce, then add delicious toppings like seasonal vegetables and fruits. This helps reduce waste significantly while providing all the important nutrients your staff needs for a productive work day. Include sources of protein like grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs or tofu along with pasta, beans, nuts/seeds, etc. for a more filling meal. Don’t forget those extra toppings including cheese varieties, olives, bacon bits & croutons!

Finally, have everyone choose from different dressings like a zesty vinaigrette or a sweet ranch Caesar dressing. By giving every guest choices based on their own preferences, you’re minimizing food waste while creating a filling main dish. Salad bars are wonderful cheap catering ideas for an office lunch. Such a delicious catering idea! Use CMJJ’s Plastic Mason Jars as the perfect to-go salad containers. With our two newest sizes, 24oz and 29.6oz, your guests can shake up their salads on the go!

Tasty Taco Stations

Cater to different diets and tastes while still keeping costs low. What’s the best way to implement your office catering ideas on a tight budget? Tacos!

Tacos offer a tasty food choice with an interactive dining experience for your guests. Start by having multiple fillings like grilled veggies, black beans, and tofu (for vegetarians). Don’t forget to add a classic combination of steak with cilantro, onions, and salsa verde. Serve beans and Mexican rice as a side and you’ll have a deliciously cheap yet filling office lunch.

For something unique, try a cuisine fusion! Try Korean tacos, featuring corn tortillas filled with bulgogi & kimchi. Delicious toppings include as sour cream, lime juice, or caramelized mushrooms or onions. Give everyone the chance to craft their perfect taco recipe while keeping costs low. Tacos are cost-effective yet flavorful catering options adding zestful appeal to any event.

Soup and Stew Sensations

Offering a selection of soups and stews is an economical choice for catering events. During the cold seasons especially, providing hot and delightful dishes help keep you and your staff warm and full. With this option, you can make sure that all attendees have a delicious dish tailored to their dietary requirements, such as gluten-free options.

Not only will the cost be lower than other dishes, but it also makes large quantities possible without sacrificing taste or satisfaction. Creating a successful lunch event with nutritious choices is key in ensuring every guest enjoys it. Choosing soup and stew sensations can provide variety while remaining budget friendly

Perfect Pasta Dishes

When looking for an affordable and delicious meal option to cater an office lunch, consider ordering from caterers that offer a variety of pasta dishes. Lasagna, spaghetti, fettuccine Alfredo, penne alla vodka, and macaroni with cheese are just some examples of the many great meals you can choose from.

To add more flavor or create something unique on a budget, try mixing up ingredients. Mix up meats, cheeses, vegetables, herbs, pesto, or even roasted Brussels sprouts into your pasta salads. There’s lots you can do! A carefully selected selection of pastas is sure to be well received by any crowd while keeping costs low. Pasta is a high quality dish for a low caterer price, which makes it one versatile yet delectable way to go when hosting an office lunch on a budget.

Food Truck Frenzy

As dining experiences go, hiring a food truck for your event has been the cost-effective and enjoyable option of choice over the last decade. With their variety of street foods such as tacos or burgers and classic favorites like hot dogs to unique offerings like Korean tacos, you can’t go wrong with a food truck!

There is something delicious about hosting a meal with a local caterer. It is a great option that will appeal to all guests’ different tastes and dietary preferences. And, it keeps things interesting! By embracing this ‘food truck frenzy,’ you can provide those attending with a memorable experience while avoiding financial overruns in catering fees.

While not every event will be large enough to to warrant hiring food truck catering companies, it’s one of many catering ideas that should be accounted for. Support a small local business at your next office luncheon – you’ll find many food options for a low price!

Thrifty Beverage Solutions

Save funds on drinks by providing a self-serve beverage area. Feature infused water, lemonade, or iced tea. This helps you stick to your budget while offering an entertaining and interactive experience for those attending.

Offer a specialty mocktail for your guests! By creating a drink bar, you can also allow your staff to craft their own drinks with ingredients of their choosing. This gives them them control over flavor and allows added personalization when it comes to refreshments.

If your luncheon allows for alcohol, to be even more efficient money wise, limit the alcohol offered to just beer and wine only. This allows you to provide alcoholic beverages without spending too much. By utilizing cost effective drink ideas such as these lunch catering ideas described above, you can create refreshing but also inexpensive beverage opportunities. Satisfy all your staff at without draining finances excessively!

Money-Saving Dessert Ideas

Low cost desserts such as cupcakes, cookies or even simple yet fulfilling fruit cups are great money saving ideas. Order delicious catering desserts from cheap that make catering events more affordable without sacrificing any of the flavor. This allows you to give your attendees a memorable conclusion to the meal while keeping within budget limits.

Craft a one-of-a-kind dessert experience for your guests with an alluring build-your own dessert station station could be just the ticket. Let them customize their treats by adding toppings like fruit, whipped cream and sprinkles to create something delicious! Design the perfect dessert table for your staff today.

With disposable mini plastic cups, you can create affordably small dessert cups without the hassle of clean up. Fruit tarts are another wonderful yet cheap recipe to serve at your luncheon. CMJJ’s Tart Shells are a wonderful addition when creating the perfect tart recipe your guests are sure to enjoy.


Create a memorable and affordable lunch catering experience for your next event. Cheap lunch catering ideas that won’t break the bank include finger foods, food trucks, soups and salads, and more!

Cheap catering ideas also include buffets, sandwich platters, creative salad bars, taco stations, soups or stews, and even pasta meals. Don’t forget the deliciously cheap beverage options to create a wonderfully well-balanced meal. By taking time to brainstorm these budget-friendly ideas, you’ll certainly provide guests with a tantalizing taste while still sticking to financial limits!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many trays of food do I need?

After getting a head count, add 1-2 extra trays as people have different appetites. Don’t forget to use CMJJ’s plastic cups with lids or plastic cake and dessert jars for easy and affordable food containers. We also have 5 Essential Tips for Organizing Large Parties!

How can I cater to different dietary preferences and restrictions?

Offer guests the ability to customize their order with a selection of dishes. Previously stated, salad bars, taco stations, and potlucks make it easier to cater for dietary preferences and restrictions.

What are some affordable dessert options?

For a budget-friendly dessert, try classic cookies, cupcakes, or a simple fruit cup. Whatever your guests’ dietary needs, these desserts can be easily tailored to suit them.

How can my company save money on beverages at our office lunch?

For your office lunch event, you can save some money on beverages by establishing self-serving stands with infused water, lemonade or iced tea. For more adult beverages, stick to just beers and wines.


  • Dacia Flowers

    Dacia Flowers is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a major in Cultural Anthropology. Since graduating in 2019, she has expanded her expertise and applied her anthropological background in the practical domain. As the Administration Manager at CMJJ Gourmet since August 2022, Dacia handles crucial day-to-day operations, ensuring the warehouse's optimal functionality, timely delivery of orders, and managing invoices. Her commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics stem not just from her academic prowess but also her personal passion. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Dacia has a keen interest in reading, loves to travel, and stays active through regular exercise.

    View all posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get the inside scoop on all new products, sales, and articles

-served up fresh in your inbox each week.

Scroll to Top