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How to build a cheap charcuterie and cheese board for less than $25

Are you hosting a party and need some attractive, mouthwatering cheese plates? And you don’t want to break your bank account and go further than your local grocery store? Designing a tasty and presentation-wise cheese board on the cheap is doable if knowing some simple rules. So let’s get to it.


Go-to inexpensive cheese board ideas for all

  1. Choosing three different pieces of cheese will be more than enough. To be honest, the taste is the easiest thing for most people. If you pick something smokey, stinky, and tangy, everyone will find their favorite thing. Plus, other ingredients (check them out below in this piece) will add to the whole sensation. Also, these are the shape and the placement of the cheese that matter. In a nutshell, consider making a lesser variety of cheese and focus on other things that make a difference in serving.
  2. Your fridge is the first source to go to. Check your fridge to find out the accompaniments. For example, grainy mustard goes perfectly with cheese and olives. A pepper jelly will enhance cream cheese. Honey is a sweet condiment that is always on hand.
  3. Your local store might offer great deals. These stores always have great deals, and you can stumble upon some interesting options. Also, consider the sample packs. It’s an excellent way to get a diversity of super affordable ingredients.
  4. Going seasonal is also a way out. In-seasonal combinations might be more affordable. For example, in the fall, you can combine cheese with pear slices, grapes, and grilled butternut squash cubes. For garnish, you can add rosemary sprigs to the whole concept.
  5. Homemade bread or plain sliced baguette works well with budgets. The thing is the price of the baguette from your neighborhood store is about $2, while the box of crackers with dates, hazelnuts, and pumpkin seeds will cost you about $10.
  6. Flowers and decorations will make any cheese plate attractive. The golden rule of any cheese or charcuterie platter is never to leave empty spaces. If you run out of ingredients, put some flowers and decorations. The latter might cost more than $30, but they will save the day in the long run.
  7. Flowers and decor items can lend some vividity and nice accents to the plate.

Choosing and arranging cheap cheeses for a presentation-wise platter

  1. Your grocery store’s deli might be enough. Neighborhood grocery stores are always just the thing, and you can get amazing deals by visiting the deli. Often, sliced, in-store cheeses seem pricier than cheese in ounces. But it also depends on sales for the week. Analyze the cost of what you can get sliced there and a prepackaged 5 ounces of Coalho. Once you get to the specialty cheese department, check out what’s on sale. Also, have a look at popular brands versus the cheeses from those “homemade” creameries. Sometimes, their prices are similar, but not always. Estimate the price per ounce to compare and verify a deal.
  2. Shapes and the placement are half the battle. To add some visual effects and thus solidify the entire cheese board, cut the cheese into different shapes. Soft cheeses like the camembert should be served without changes. But cut hard ones into slices or cubes and spread them out to be easily reachable. The platter becomes more attractive, and herewith, it doesn’t matter that your cheese board’s full cost is under $30.
  3. Cheese should always be warm. Take your cheese out of the refrigerator, let it warm up for half an hour before serving it. When warm, a good taste comes out to the surface.

Adding cheap charcuterie ingredients to flesh out the platter

  1. Sample packs are an excellent way to get a massive variety on the budget. If you survey, you’ll find plenty of salami, soppressata, prosciutto all for under $6. Salami sticks will cost you under $2, or beef sticks will be under $5. Deli ham always suits everyone’s taste and usually comes with a nice price tag.
  2. Styling the meats in various forms instantly lends attractiveness. You may roll your ham, “cluster” your soppressata, or design roses. Interesting shapes of your charcuterie will make the whole board even more elegant. Here are some other ideas for that:
  • Make meat triangles by folding large pieces in half and then in half again. “Seal” their angles in between a vast cheese and one of the bowls (the ones you use for olives, jams, salt, etc.). Fix a few pieces this way and then spread it out to form a circle.
  • Make little cones by folding large pieces in half and rolling them a bit. Fix the edges the same way as described above. This method works great for the deli salami when placing it on the far left side of the whole cheese assortment.
  • For prosciutto, for example, hold each slice up above the platter, then smoothly lower it down, turning your hand a bit to help create some folds but make the pieces stay in place.
  • The sausage — cut it at a 45-degree angle and spread the pieces out in a circle or a row.

Turning a cheap charcuterie board into a lush one with accouterments

  1. A mix of classic accompaniments will bring some extra tastes to the cheeseboard. Getting creative is an amazing way to bring a diversity of tastes. So, what can you do here?
  • Add herbs to lend details. This is the simplest way to make any inexpensive cheese board beautiful. Besides, it brings an element of freshness. This could be thyme, basil, rosemary, mint, all adding various textures, and looks to your plate.
  • Put some fresh fruit to “ruin” this salty paradise. Slice up a few apples or pears and distribute a handful of grape bunches. Dried fruit, such as dried cranberries and dates are good as well.
  • Toss roasted almonds or pistachios. Any type is fine here, but the most budget-friendly will be peanuts. They are super cheap and delicious. Also, you can toast any chopped nuts you have on hand. In terms of texture, the latter will work great with something crunchy.
  • Put the bowls with olives. Black or green olives are both tasty and will enrich any cheeseboard.
  • Enlarge the cheese platter with crackers or bread. You can never go wrong with butter or whole wheat crackers. Breadsticks are also a great thing. Another good money-saving advice will be slicing a leftover bread, wetting with olive oil, and baking it for a couple of minutes.

Making the cheapest cheeseboard shine with honey, jams, and mustard

  1. Adding different flavor spectrums is a good idea. To add some sweetness, use honey. It’s a sweet condiment and a household staple that most people have on hand. Jams also bring sweetness. To get some acidity and tartness, put veggies and pickles onto your board.
  2. Have them introduced in bowls. Here’s a thing: you can start by placing first the bowls on the plate. It helps design the plate beforehand. Then, it’s just about fleshing out the platter. Besides, the height and round shapes make it more compelling to look at.

Paying only for what everyone can eat

  1. When surveying options, pick cheeses with edible or no rind. At the end of the day, this little advice can save your budget. It especially makes sense when purchasing hunks of cheese priced by the pound.
  2. Calculate ounces per person. If your cheese board comes as an appetizer, 2–3 oz. of cheese per person will be enough. If you’re adding a lot of accouterments, guests will eat even less cheese. And vice versa. If it’s a cheese platter for dinner, 4–5 oz. of cheese per person will be fine. Jazz up it with tiny tomatoes, olives, fruits, and other accompaniments.
  3. Estimate your contingent. If you know your guests are not big cheese eaters, you shouldn’t buy too much and have it cut. If they adore cheese, then you should stock up. Anyway, to avoid any waste cut all your cheeses in half and serve at a time. Add the rest later, if needed.

Making inexpensive charcuterie board look expensive

  1. Choosing a beautiful charcuterie and cheese board is already a win. Think of some wooden ones like bamboo or oak. Nothing can beat the solid look of the wood, especially plastic. To kill two birds with one brick, you can buy a large cutting board. It is usually double-sided and reversible to use it as both a chopping board and a serving platter.
  2. The empty spaces are not allowed. There’s nothing worse than a spare cheese platter. The accompaniments like crackers and herbs will come in handy here. They will make it look lush and elegant. Also, add flowers and decorations.
  3. Lovely bowls and knives are a no brainer. They also make the board stylish. You can always purchase some solid sets and use them every time you host an event.



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