Building a great cheese board doesn’t have to be crazy expensive to look and taste impressive. I’m here to show you how to build a beautiful and delicious cheese and charcuterie boards on a budget of about $25 with ingredients from either Trader Joe’s, ALDI or Target.

Boards On A Budget by The BakerMama

On my mission to make building boards approachable while inspiring others to build them with enthusiasm and confidence, I’m excited to share how to build boards that are budget-friendly. I know so many people are hesitant to build a cheese board because of the cost and I’m here to show you it can be amazing without being super expensive. In fact, you can build a pretty impressive board for just around $25 that will feed and please 8 or more guests.

I went to three popular local grocery stores with a goal of spending just $25 at each store to get all the ingredients I need to build a great cheese board from that store. These cheese boards turned out fabulous and were thoroughly enjoyed by all. I used an 18″x12″ wood board to serve each of these boards on.

My best tips for shopping for and building cheese boards on a tight budget:

  • Look for 2-3 cheeses in a mix of creamy, soft cheeses, semi-soft and hard cheese. Try to find different types of cheeses that are on special or ones that are less expensive in general. I always like to find a full wheel of brie cheese because they look great on a board, feed several people and most are affordable yet still delicious. Don’t hesitate to ask the person managing the cheese section of your store for recommendations based on your budget and the number of people you’re hoping to serve.
  • Choose at least one meat that comes in a package with several slices. Salami tends to be cheaper than prosciutto and comes in a variety of price points.
  • Choose fresh fruits that are in season, on sale and that will add nice color and texture to your board. For the grapes, just pick out enough for your board instead of buying the pre-packed bags that most grocery stores have set out. Grapes are heavy and can add up in price, but if you pick out just a few bundles, that will allow you to stay within budget better.
  • Load up on good, affordable accompaniments like nuts mixes and cracker assortments. These are great for grazing and pair well with cheeses and meats. Nut mixes with dried fruits and chocolates already in them give you variety without having to buy several different types of nuts and dried fruits to include on the board. And the cracker assortment packages that most stores sell mix things up with the way the board looks as well as how each cracker’s flavor and texture pairs with the different cheeses and meats on the board.
  • Use what you have on hand already. Check your fridge and pantry for accompaniments like spreads, jams, honey, crackers, nuts and fruits before heading to the store.
  • Try to fill the board up so it looks bountiful. A full and abundant board with great dimension and color is just so inviting. You can do this by spreading the ingredients in different areas and in different ways across the board. For example, cut part of a cheese block into slices and crumble the other half into chunks (don’t just leave it in a boring block on the board). Fan out the crackers in a few spots and stack them side-by-side in a few other spots. Split the grapes into two bunches and put one bunch on each side of the board. Same with apple and pear slices.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a wood board to build it on. A large platter or sheet pan would work just fine.

Now that we’ve got some great tips and tricks up our sleeves for building boards on a budget, let’s look at the boards I built for just $25…or a few cents more! 😉 You’ll see the receipt details, the ingredients in their packaging and the completed board for each store. Keep in mind, prices vary by location so you might find things more expensive or hopefully cheaper based on where you live.

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

The Trader Joe’s $25 Cheese Board

This first board was built with everything from Trader Joe’s for a total of $25.51. Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places for finding delicious and reasonably priced cheese board building goodies. You’ll notice that I just got two cheeses here, but they’re both delicious and come in a nice size for serving a crowd. I placed some nut mix in a bowl and then sprinkled some in between items on the other side of the board. I put out an initial variety of crackers and can always replenish as the box includes several different shapes and flavors. I absolutely love the way this board looks and tastes!

Ingredients

  • Goat Milk Brie
  • Unexpected Cheddar
  • Fig Butter
  • Marinated Olives
  • Fruit and Nut Mix (with almonds, cashews, peanuts and dried cranberries)
  • Cracker Assortment
  • Grapes
  • Pear
  • Calabrese Salami

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

The Target $25 Cheese Board

Next up is Target! When it comes to shopping the Target grocery section, just remember that the larger the store, the more options they’ll have. And they do actually have a wonderful selection of cheeses, meats and accompaniments at great prices. I have a smaller Target by my house and the grapes are pre-packed at a set price, so I opted for 2 apples to stay within budget for this board. I love how bright, simple and inviting this board turned out. Target also has a great selection of wood boards, small serving bowls and cheese knives at very affordable prices if you’re in the market for some.

Ingredients

  • Fruit and Nut Blend (with almonds, pistachios, raisins and dried fruit)
  • Cracker Assortment
  • Italian Dry Salami
  • Honey
  • Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • Double Cream Brie
  • Apples

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

The ALDI $25 Cheese Board

Last, but certainly not least, is ALDI! ALDI is a such a great place to shop for a cheese board because they offer a nice selection for a really good value. And I love how easy it is to shop the aisles of ALDI to find items that are seasonal and on sale. I was able to get three delicious cheeses, some great salami bites and a tasty selection of accompaniments. I love the variety and ease of grazing that this board offers.

Ingredients

  • Cracker Assortment
  • Double Cream Brie
  • White Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Dry Salami
  • Cranberry & Nut Mix
  • Gapes
  • Apples
  • Olive Assortment
  • Honey

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

Boards on a Budget with The BakerMama

And there you have it! It is possible and very easy to build a great cheese board on a budget of just about $25. I hope this excites you and inspires you to build a cheese board for your next gathering. You’re sure to impress your guests with not only the way it looks, but also the way it all tastes and the way it brings everyone together.

Whether you’re hosting a crowd at your house, taking the appetizer to a dinner party at a friend’s house, or contributing to your family’s holiday spread, I think you’ll love how easy, affordable and enjoyable these budget-friendly cheese boards are to make. The shopping list of my favorite things is short so you can be in and out of the store pretty quickly, there’s no cooking required so you don’t have to worry about cleaning a lot of pots and pans, and these boards can seriously be assembled in less than 10 minutes.

I hope you found this helpful and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful boards you create. If you make one of these inspiration boards, be sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @thebakermama so I can see! 😍 I just love seeing how inspired and creative y’all get with the recipes and ideas I share. Have fun and enjoy!

xoxo,

 

About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of the best-selling Beautiful Boards and its next-level follow-up, Spectacular Spreads. She started blogging in 2012 and has over 700 original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

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Comments

  1. Thank you for showing exactly what you purchased and where and how it added up! I haven’t yet done a cheeseboard for entertaining but have wanted to and have always been concerned about: What specifically to choose? How much of each? What combinations would go well together? So I appreciate your specificity! My future guests thank you!
    And I also love your flourless breads – I made the oatmeal/apple bread and it was Inhaled in minutes by my co-workers. None of them seemed to miss the flour or sugar!

    1. Hi Kelly! Thanks for your sweet message. I’m so happy you found this post helpful and I’m so excited that you are going to try building boards when you entertain now. You and your guests are sure to enjoy them! Continue to enjoy the flourless bread recipes as well. They’re so yummy, aren’t they? 🙂

    2. Thanks so much for making this easy (and affordable) for us! I love that you broke down all the components, where to buy, how to arrange, and shared thr cost info! I can’t wait to get started!

  2. Hi Maegan! I am so excited about your book that I just preordered it from Amazon and cannot wait for it to be released. I am dying to make boards and am getting prepared. I bought a small board from Cabot Creamery and already have a larger one I can use when I have more people here. I picked up a small pottery bowl during my vacation and already own a vast assortment of seasonal spreaders and fun bowls. This week I plan to make a small cheeseboard for a friend who likes plain and basic foods. I will use some Cabot cheese in slices and cubes, grapes, crackers, red and green apple slices and a cream cheese/brown sugar dip.
    I am a fairly new follower of yours and love and appreciate all of the inspiration you give to us. THANK you so very much for the care and thought you put into your work.

    1. Hi Carol! Thank you so much for your sweet message. It makes me so happy to hear that you’re eager to start building more boards. I love that you have a collection of boards and accessories started and that you’re already planning a thoughtful board for your friend. I sure enjoy sharing my creations in hopes of inspiring others. Your excitement and support of my new cookbook means so much to me. I can hardly wait for you to see it and be inspired by all the amazing boards in it. Enjoy!

  3. This is fantastic! I love a good board, but I always seem to spend close to $100. Your tips are so helpful and the boards are amazing. Can’t wait to pair this with some lovely wine this weekend. Xx

  4. Thanks Maegan! I’m new to the charcuterie game so this is so helpful!! About how many people would you say this serves? I am planning to bring a board to a holiday gathering of about 20 people. I want to make sure I have enough variety and quantity, but without overspending. Thanks so much!!

  5. Hi there,
    These are beautiful and so helpful! I am wondering what size of board you are displaying these on?
    Thanks! 🙂

  6. I am so happy I found your IG and blog!!!! I am a long time lover of board eating I just didn’t k ow it was a “thing” until I found you! You are definitely helping me up my game!!
    I can’t wait to order one of your boards!!!
    Thanks for making life prettier!
    Dana
    PS I found you through Jennifer’s Kitchen on IG

  7. Thank you for putting this together and showing how to do it on a budget. I love charcuterie/cheese boards and have wanted to do one for a long time. Now I have some help and inspiration. I too am curious how many guests a board like this would serve. Thank you, your boards are a work of art!

  8. I found your post through Pinterest and I’m so thankful for it! I just shopped at Aldi for my New Year’s Eve cheeseboard following your suggestions and scored big time. Can’t wait to set it up tomorrow and for sure will post on Instagram and tag you!

  9. Hello Maegan!
    Just today I decided I wanted to make one of these beautiful, delicious boards for some company that is coming for a visit next week. I didn’t Know where to begin and you have just solved my every problem! Thank you for the descriptions, lists, photos, the whole 9 yards! I can’t wait to create this for our company!

  10. I received a signed copy of your book recently from a precious friend, who lives near you, Leila. We grew up in the MS Delta together, where food is decadent and delicious! I still live here and have recently begun making and selling charcuterie boards! I love seeing all of your ideas and am really happy about the ingredients of these three and where to purchase the items!

  11. Thanks for the great ideas for the boards. One question, what is the honey for? I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what I am missing. I’m sure I can substitute another dip or mustard correct?

    1. Hi Karen! We love using the honey on our boards to drizzle over the cheeses. I’ll spread or put a slice of cheese on a cracker or slice of pear and then drizzle it with honey. It’s so good! You could certainly substitute with any jam, spread or mustard. Enjoy!

  12. This post was very helpful. Thank you! I’ve never made a charcuterie board before, but I’m excited to make one on Christmas and maybe one on New Years Eve for just the two of us.

  13. Oh my gosh I found this website off of Pinterest and it’s so helpful!! I wanted to make a cheese board for my boyfriend and I and it helped tremendously to know exactly where everything comes from and where I could buy it!! Thank you so much for sharing this, the cheese board was great and we both loved it!

  14. Thank you for writing this! I’ve been trying to come up with a way to do this for less money and I think you have several ideas that make a difference. Also, your 3 examples are helpful.

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