How to Bring a Frugal but Fabulous Charcuterie Board to a Party


If you're invited to a charcuterie party and you're on a budget, you might be wondering what to bring that won't break the bank but will still impress your hosts and fellow guests. Charcuterie, which means "cooked meat" in French, is a term that refers to a variety of cured meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, nuts and other accompaniments that are arranged on a board or platter and served as an appetizer or a light meal. It's a great way to showcase different flavors and textures, and it's also very easy to put together.

But how do you make a charcuterie board that's frugal but fabulous? Here are some tips and ideas to help you out:

Choose Your Board Wisely

You don't need to buy an expensive wooden or marble board to make a stunning charcuterie display. You can use any large cutting board, tray, baking sheet or even a piece of parchment paper as your base. Just make sure it's big enough to hold all your ingredients and has some edges to prevent anything from falling off.

Shop Smart

The key to making a frugal charcuterie board is to shop smart and look for deals and discounts on your ingredients. Here are some places where you can find affordable but quality items for your board:

  • The deli counter: You can often find pre-sliced cured meats like salami, prosciutto, ham or turkey for cheaper than buying them pre-packaged. You can also ask for smaller portions or samples if you don't need a lot.
  • The cheese section: Look for cheeses that are on sale or marked down because they're close to their expiration date. You can also buy cheese in bulk and cut it yourself into smaller pieces. Choose a variety of cheeses with different textures and flavors, such as soft cheese (like brie or mozzarella), semi-hard cheese (like cheddar or gouda) and hard cheese (like parmesan or manchego).
  • The produce section: Fruits and vegetables add color and freshness to your board, and they're also usually inexpensive. Look for seasonal fruits like grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, figs or apples, and cut them into bite-sized pieces. For vegetables, choose crunchy ones like carrots, celery, cucumber or radishes, and slice them thinly. You can also add some pickles or olives for some tanginess.
  • The bakery section: Bread and crackers are essential for spreading cheese and meat on, and they also fill you up. Look for breads that are on sale or day-old, such as baguette, sourdough or ciabatta, and slice them thinly. For crackers, choose ones that are plain or lightly flavored, such as water crackers, wheat thins or triscuits.
  • The condiment section: Jams, spreads, dips and sauces add some sweetness and spice to your board, and they also help balance out the saltiness of the cheese and meat. Look for jars or bottles that are on sale or have coupons attached to them. You can also make your own dips with ingredients you already have at home, such as hummus, pesto, salsa or guacamole.

Arrange It Artfully

Once you have all your ingredients ready, it's time to arrange them on your board in an artful way. Here are some tips to make your board look amazing:

  • Start with the largest items first: Place your cheese blocks or wedges around the board first, leaving some space between them. Then add your meat slices around the cheese, folding or rolling them if needed. Next, fill in the gaps with your bread and crackers, stacking them neatly or fanning them out.
  • Add some height and dimension: Use small bowls or plates to hold your jams, spreads, dips and sauces, and place them on top of your board. You can also use toothpicks or skewers to stack some fruits or vegetables together and create some height.
  • Add some color and garnish: Sprinkle some fresh herbs like mint, rosemary or basil over your board for some greenery and aroma. You can also add some edible flowers like nasturtiums or pansies for some extra color and flair.
  • Serve it with style: Don't forget to include some knives, spoons and napkins for your guests to use. You can also add some labels or tags to identify the different cheeses and meats on your board.

Enjoy It with Friends

The best part of making a charcuterie board is enjoying it with your friends and family. You can serve it as an appetizer before a main course, or as a light meal by itself. You can also pair it with some wine or beer that matches the flavors of your board. For example, you can try a dry white wine with soft cheese, a fruity red wine with hard cheese, or a crisp lager with cured meat.

A charcuterie board is a fun and easy way to bring a frugal but fabulous contribution to a party. It's also a great way to showcase your creativity and taste. With these tips and ideas, you can make a charcuterie board that will wow your hosts and fellow guests without spending a fortune. Bon appétit!

Extra Tips

If you are ordering food online then remember to use cashback websites to get extra discounts such as TopCashback or Quidco

Check out Party Fever for novelty items to add to your board or to bring with you to the party

Check out the following blog articles for more information: