Having a party can get expensive, especially when you factor in food, but you don't need to spend lots of money to have delicious hors d'oeuvres. Determine how many people you need to plan for and then budget accordingly. If you have very little money to spend on hors d'oeuvres, then make something large that serves lots of people.
Salsa and Guacamole
Salsa and guacamole are very simple and cheap hors d'oeuvres. You can make your own dips, or buy them from the store. Buy the largest containers of them as this will save you the most money in the long run. It also ensures you don't run out. You can have other dips, like sour cream or beans, if your budget allows for it. Choose chips like blue tortilla chips so they look a but fancier than regular chips.
Bruschetta is cheap, delicious and sophisticated. Slice a baguette of french bread. Then drizzle some olive oil on the bread. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and slice of tomato on each slice of bread. You can melt the cheese in the oven onto the bread before putting the other ingredients on if you want. Sprinkle some pepper on the top and your appetizer is done. Use different cheeses for different flavors.
Quesadillas can easily be dressed up, but still be inexpensive. All you need is tortillas and cheese. You can add extras like tomatoes, avocados and onions. If you want to keep it simple, use a few different types of cheese like pepper jack and cheddar to give your quesadillas a little bit extra taste, but without requiring you to buy potentially costly produce. You can have toppings like salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
You can make cheesy chili, which is cheap and will feed a large group of people for very little money. Use one 16 ounce can of chili, one package of cream cheese and a package of shredded cheese. Melt the cream cheese into the chili. Once warm, sprinkle the shredded cheese onto it. You can use bread or crackers to dip into this.
To make stuffed jalapenos, cut jalapenos in half and empty them out so there are no seeds. Then fill them up with cream cheese. Put a raspberry marinade, or something similarly sweet, on the cream cheese. If you want to lightly grill these jalapenos, do so before putting the marinade on them. Plan for each person to have two or three jalapeno halves so that you can accurately budget if this appetizer is cost effective for you.