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Yes, I hopped on the charcuterie board trend and I did it on a budget.
Let me just say that is was a hit and I will gladly do it for all the events that I am attending. People love having a selection and being able to graze eat. That’s probably my favorite thing about this trend.
Charcuterie boards or cheese platters as I like to call them, provide the perfect snack before a big meal. To sum it up, I walked around and told everyone I was bringing the appetizer because that’s what I consider it.
Now, you can go big or go home when it comes to these platters. I didn’t go big but I didn’t go home either, as you can see.
What exactly is a charcuterie board?
According to Google, it’s the art of preparing and assembling meats and other meat products. Technically, that is what the name charcuterie means. I like the name grazing tables/platters better as it can appeal to so many people from vegetarians, meatarians, vegans, pescatarians, etc. It does not always have to be meat.
Above all, it’s a beautiful art of crafted food that is perfect for the Instagram aesthetic. Depending on how you’re preparing and making it, it will take you some time to cut up everything and style it perfectly.
The fun part about your charcuterie board? Bringing it to life. From the vibrant colors of the food and the different textures that will pop.
What to include?
Now, this is totally up to you. For example, I am in a family that loves meat and cheese but I have a sister that is a vegetarian so I wanted to make sure it appealed to everyone. Thankfully, she doesn’t freak out if meat touches the other things that she likes. And, I made sure to include things that I know she loves to eat like hummus and pita chips.
Notably, I was able to purchase everything for this board (besides the board and bowls) at Aldi’s. If you have never been to Aldi’s, you are missing out on a treasure of a place. Everything is affordable. Groceries for two weeks cost about $60 in my household.
For starters, you will want different types of cheese. Soft cheeses, hard cheeses, and/or cheeses that you know your guest will eat. I feel like some directions make it hard because they want to get to the specifics of certain things but you need to work with what people like. I was able to get all of my cheeses (about 5 different types) for $12-$15.
Generally, meat is always a winner. I went with a meat pack that Aldi’s had because it was $5.99 and had about twenty-four pieces of meat which worked out fine as our family Thanksgiving wasn’t a huge gathering (just 10 people, including my son). And, I bought a summer sausage as that is always a winner and can be chopped up.
For fruits, I went with what would be easy for people to grab and eat. Strawberries and grapes were on my tray but you can do so much from blueberries and blackberries to orange slices and kiwis. For instance, a rainbow of fruit on one of these boards is out there on Pinterest and more than likely, delicious.
Thankfully, Aldi has a cracker package that sells an assortment of crackers for around $4 which is not bad at all for the number of crackers I received. As you can see, there are many different cracker types on this board and they all had their own taste. Plus, the pita chips and Italian bread are included and were adored.
Last but not least, condiments. I went with hummus as it was easy and I could grab a pack that I could scoop into the mini bowls. Not going to lie, I wanted to throw in some Nutella and Jam. But, I just didn’t think it would transport well.
Where to shop?
As I mentioned above, Aldi’s is my go-to for projects like these. The cheeses that I selected were under $3, some were around $2. For this project, I knew it could get out of hand as this was my first experience making this board.
My Aldi’s Purchases:
- Colby Jack – $1.84
- Mild Cheddar – $1.84
- Cheddar Ball – $3
- Mozzarella $2
- Gouda $3
- Pepperoni – included in 3 pack for $5.99
- Ham – included 3 pack for $5.99
- Summer Sausage – $2
- Hummus $4
- Pita Chips $2
- Crackers $4
- Grapes $3
- Strawberries $2
- Total: $34.67 for 10 people to eat
Most importantly, I did not want to go overboard with my spending or selections so I think I did pretty well.
You can find different selections at different places around you. I would definitely window shop the different prices which shouldn’t be bad with online delivery. That’s an easy way to price check without leaving your couch so you can plan ahead.
Certainly, your future guests will thank you later. This is the perfect treat for all events — housewarming parties, baby showers, bridal showers, engagement parties, etc. By all means, you can’t go wrong with this choice.
Full disclosure, this is my first charcuterie board so I can only get better from here. Most importantly, I have so many ideas on what to add to my future trays so invite me to your parties!
Have you made a charcuterie board/food platter? What’s your favorite food item to include?