Charcuterie — just the name alone sounds expensive. But don’t brie intimidated, charcuterie (pronounced shar-ku-ter-ee) is nothing more than a fancy name for a cheese board.
Loaded with fresh meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies, there’s no denying that charcuterie boards are a party staple sure to impress. But is it possible to build a cheese board on a budget? Gouda question.
Begin with the Board
It’s not necessary to go out and buy a specialty slate for your charcuterie spread. Instead, rummage around your house to find the base for your board. Anything from a wooden cutting board to an old pizza stone will do the trick and still make your charcuterie platter look professional.
When it comes to the main attraction of your board, keep it simple. Before taking a trip to the grocery store, raid your fridge in search of any forgotten (but still fresh) cheeses. That way, you can avoid overspending and clean out your deli drawer at the same time.
Next, while it’s ideal to include a variety of creamy, crumbly, and hard cheeses on your board, don’t feel like all of your offerings have to be “artisan” or expensive. Include one standout cheese and nobody will notice that the others are more affordable options.
Instead of browsing through the over-priced prepackaged cheeses, head to the deli counter to take advantage of some serious deals. Kroger has a $5 discount basket at their cheese counter, where smaller pieces of big blocks of cheese are put on sale every day.
Go crazy with the garnishes. Let the coupons from weekly inserts guide what meat, produce or nuts you buy to fill up your board’s empty spaces. Check out what fresh fruits and vegetables are in season, as they are usually the cheapest option. Finally, instead of spending that extra couple of bucks on gourmet crackers, slice up a whole baguette as a homemade addition to your charcuterie board.
Since you’ll be serving this board to your family and friends, why not turn your charcuterie party into a potluck? Save money and time by having each guest bring their favorite cheese or garnish to contribute to the board.
Whether it be for a graduation party or night-in with the girls, you don’t have to spend a lot to make a beautiful cheese board. For your next gathering, offer to bring a charcuterie tray and wow your friends with one budget friendly board.