One of my all-time favorite meals is a plentiful charcuterie platter, complete with a variety of meats, cheeses, fruit pastes, fresh fruit and veggies, olives, and crackers.

But when cooking on a budget, a charcuterie board isn’t the cheapest option.

Never fear: There are ways to assemble a charcuterie board without spending a lot of money. I’ve got you covered.

How to assemble a charcuterie board on a budget

What Is A Charcuterie Board?

Charcuterie typically refers to a variety of meats, served cold. A charcuterie board is usually served with various accompaniments such as cheese, pickled vegetables, crostini, and olives.

I’m using the term charcuterie loosely in this post: I’m going to be telling you how to create a killer appetizer platter that includes meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, etc. – all the good things you like to nosh on – on a budget. I’m referring to a charcuterie board that is less meat-heavy than the traditional.

Here’s what you need to know:

1: Raid Your Fridge

Before you make a trip to the grocery store, look to see what you have in your fridge and pantry. This is the perfect opportunity to use any rogue cheese blocks, olives or pickles, nuts, jams or other appropriate food items. You’ll assemble a delicious board – and clean out your fridge at the same time.

2: Choose Seasonal Items

Be sure to include some fresh ingredients on your charcuterie board. Pick up some fresh fruits or vegetables from the farmers market, like strawberries, pears, grapes, sugar snap peas or radishes.

Create a budget-friendly charcuterie board

Like the slate serving platter in the photo above? I got it from SlatePlate. I love how elegant it makes all of the food items

3: Use The Grocery Store Deli

Check out your local grocery store deli to buy small amounts of meats (like salami) or cheeses. Variety is key on a charcuterie board. You can buy small amounts of several items for not a lot of money at the grocery store deli counter.

4: Check The Cheese Counter’s Ends-and-Pieces Basket

Some cheese shops and grocery stores (with a cheese counter) have a “cheese ends” bin, selling small pieces of cheese left over from bigger blocks. You can use this bin to pick up several different types of cheeses – 4 or 5 for less than $10.00 usually.

Charcuterie On a Budget

5: Get Your Friends Involved

When it comes to a great charcuterie board, more variety is a good thing. If you’re having guests over, consider making your get-together potluck. Request that each guest bring an item for a charcuterie board, such as a meat, cheese, fruit paste or olives.

When friends participate, your charcuterie platter will be more diverse, your friends will get an opportunity to contribute, and you’ll pay less. It’s a win-win!

Charcuterie for one: Raid your fridge to find items for your charcuterie board!

6: Shop Around

When it comes to saving money on food, where you shop matters.

If you’re looking to assemble a cheap charcuterie board, you’ll want to buy many of your items from stores such as ALDI (which I found to be the cheapest when comparing prices at 8 different grocery stores).

Whenever I throw a party, I buy as much as possible at ALDI. For a charcuterie board, I purchase salami, cheese, fresh vegetables, nuts (almonds and pecans), kalamata olives, and gluten-free crackers at ALDI.

7: Make It Homemade

If time allows, consider making some of your charcuterie board items homemade. Here are some budget-friendly recipes to consider:

Get more ideas and inspiration:

A cheap charcuterie board: You don't have to spend a lot of money to create a great appetizer platter!

What Should Be Included On A Charcuterie Board?

If you’re looking to create a charcuterie board on a budget, keep it simple. More items means more money. Here are the items I would suggest including:

  • 2 meats, 2 ounces per guest (like salami, soppressata, Spanish chorizo or pate)
  • 2 cheeses (try crowd-pleasing favorites like Gouda and Brie)
  • Crostini and crackers
  • Nuts (almonds or pecans)
  • Fresh fruit (grapes, apples or pears)
  • Something briny (olives, pickles or pickled vegetables)
  • Something sweet (fig spread, fruit spread)

Now that you know what should be included on a killer charcuterie board – it’s time to throw a party!

Want more charcuterie inspiration? Stay in touch via Instagram, where I frequently post simple charcuterie platter ideas.

Charcuterie on a budget: Tips and tricks to assemble the perfect board.