One thing you will always find at our home when we have people over is a cheeseboard. However, with the trend of cheeseboards on the rise over the past few years, I remember being SUPER overwhelmed at the beginning on what to buy to put on my first cheeseboards!
One stop at Trader Joe’s and $30 was my goal to create a cheeseboard with some variety that everyone could find some favorites!
My cheeseboard goal is never to have the fanciest cheeses – but to have some variety. In fact, I think that my FAVORITE part of a cheeseboard is the extras that can be added to make it even more exciting!
I love having some cheeses fruit, veggies, crackers, meat, and different dips/spreads to jazz it up!
Every item was found at Trader Joe’s and the total was $29.28! The board you see pictured was only HALF of what we purchased. There was more cheese, meat, crackers, and dips that did not fit on my board – so with all of these items, the cheeseboard would be the perfect sized for 6-8 people! Either you could do one giant board, 2 boards next to each other, or refill the board once most things have been eaten!
1.) Cheese Party Tray – $5.49
I love having a variety of cheese on a board. A lot of blogs/recipes have wild cheeses and most of them can be expensive. I love Beecher’s Flagship, but a block of it is around $10, so when I’m trying to keep things simple and inexpensive, I love getting these Variety Packs of cheese to get a lot of variety and even quantity on my board without breaking the bank! Plus, I find that standard cheeses like Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Swiss, and Colby Jack will always get eaten! Especially by picky eaters! Also – the presliced cheese makes setting up a cheeseboard SO quick! (For a larger group, Costco has a great sliced cheese variety pack that is around $10 and is a great option!)
2.) Goat Cheese – $2.99
My friend Liz had a girls night a few years ago and served Goat Cheese topped with Pepper Jelly and I instantly fell in love! The goat cheese is tangy, and the pepper jelly really balances it out! Even people who have never had goat cheese have told me that they LOVED this! (Costco also has a double pack of goat cheese that is a super great deal if you are planning on making multiple cheeseboards in a month – or if you like goat cheese! We love adding it to salads!)
3.) Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly – $2.49
THIS is the only pepper jelly I use – Hot & Sweet Pepper Jelly from Trader Joes’s! It’s sweet but not TOO hot and perfect on goat cheese (or cream cheese) and spread onto a cracker! One of my favorite cheeseboard additions! Make sure to put it in it’s own bowl or container, because it is liquid and will spread all over your board! Find it over by the peanut butter!
4.) Apple : Green & Red – $.69 each
Fruit & cheese go together like PB&J. An easy way to add color & crunch to a cheeseboard! Plus, I love having options for people who are dairy free or gluten free. Fruits & veggies are a great way to have things on your cheeseboard that everyone can enjoy!
5.) Bell Pepper – $1.19
Like the apples : An easy way to add color & crunch to a cheeseboard! Plus, I love having options for people who are dairy free or gluten free. I chose an orange bell pepper – because I already had a red and green apple. I think the more color on a cheeseboard – the prettier it is!
6.) Mini Persian Cucumbers – $2.29
Perfect for dipping in hummus or tapenade – and also are a great option for people who have food sensitivities.
7.) Genoa Salame & Provolone Cheese – $3.99
This was a great option to add some meat to our board without breaking the bank! Some of the meat options were over $7 – and these salami pieces were GIANT. I could easily cut them into quarters and they would go really far on a board! Same with this cheese!
8.) Hummus Dip – $1.99
Perfect for dipping veggies in! We chose a simple plain hummus for this board – but TJ’s has SO many options for hummus/dips. Wether you like a spicy hummus, or want to try a spinach dip or something that is vegan – TJ’s has some great options!
9.) Pita Chips with Sea Salt – $1.99
Because nothing goes better with hummus than pita chips! Plus, these go a long way on a board, and are even great with the goat cheese + pepper jelly!
10.) Olive Tapenade – $1.99
I LOVE olives, but they can be expensive. This is one of my favorite things to put on a board. Olives are briny and yummy and salty – this tapenade is super good. Not the prettiest, it’s a lovely brown color. But put it next to something else and I promise people will dive right in!
11.) Cracker Assortment – $3.49
One of the WORST things is getting a cheeseboard on a date night and it comes with like 3 crackers. I’m sorry – but crackers are maybe MORE important than the cheese. This variety pack had 4 different types of crackers and was a great deal! Choose any crackers you like, but make sure you have enough!
So – those are all the things I added on my $30 cheeseboard. If I was making a cheeseboard for more $$ -or- had more people to serve I would add some Marcona Almonds, some Brie Cheese, and also some berries! Those are some of my favorite additions to a cheeseboard, but they also can be spendy!
I think all of us lead busy lives. Whether its work, or school, or families – life moves quickly and so often weeks and months can go by with us spending time with people! So – I have an idea. Grab $30, buy some things for a cheeseboard and a few bottles of things to drink – whether it’s some LaCroix, or wine, or maybe some cold brew – text some friends and set up a quick get-together. You can make the cheeseboard TOGETHER – just put all the ingredients on the counter, get out a giant cutting board & a few knives – you’ll be able to put it together in 10 minutes and you’ll spend the next couple hours grazing and chatting.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be complicated, & it doesn’t have to be expensive for it to be meaningful.