If it's a proper meal then things like curries or stews using cheaper cuts of meat, rice, pasta bakes, salads.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
Yes, this. My LO's baptism party meals were usually something similar to this, as everyone was hungry after Mass but still hadn't had breakfast. A couple quiches (one all veg, one with ham or sausage), muffins, fruit salad, coffee, tea, and juice. Plus cake for later.
Lisa L&D RN mama to DS#1 (4-01) DS#2 (9-03) DD (10-05) X2, 10-2011
I did a taco bar, which ended up being fairly affordable. I do a black bean/corn/quinoa/etc blend filling, and a meat & black bean filling.
make a salsa (or ask one of the guests to bring it) make a guacamole (or ask for someone to bring it) and have soft shells and tortilla chips.
if you cook your own beans rather than using canned you'll save more, too.