Here’s how to make a Charcuterie Board beautifully and on a budget.

I don’t know that anything says “elegant gathering” like a pretty charcuterie board. Not to mention, cheese is perhaps one of my favorite things on the planet.

Did you know “charcuterie” is a French word that means “cold cut meats collectively?” Whoever decided to throw cheese on it is my kind of genius.

Charcuterie Boards are great for all kinds of gathering. For patriotic holidays, I make red, white, and blue themed boards. For Baby Showers, you can add touches of pink or blue by adding M&M’s. These boards are incredibly versatile, but one thing remains the same, they add the wow factor at your serving table.

diy charcuterie board

Tip 1 for an inexpensive charcuterie board:

The first tip I can give you for not breaking the bank is with where you need to buy your cheeses. I haven’t found any other place that sells the variety of cheese for the price better than Aldi’s. You could also pick up a variety of crackers, fruit, and nuts there for a good price as well. Fancy at a fair price. Absolutely!

Tip 2 for an inexpensive charcuterie board:

If you don’t have an Aldi nearby, your best bet may be to shop Publix’s buy one get one free deals. This can end up being quite the money saver, and their cold cuts are often on sale. Here in Alabama, it isn’t required to buy both products to get the deal. You can purchase one at half the price. So, check with your local store!

Tip 3 for an inexpensive charcuterie board:

Use a cutting board you already own. If you don’t have one, invest in one that is a simple design. This will last for many years and go with any themed party. The board itself can be purchased just about anywhere these days. It’s important that you love it and that it’s a good simple design that will stay relevant for a long time. Think olive wood or a wood with a lovely grain.

I actually prefer to use a pretty cutting board as opposed to a “charcuterie board.” Most charcuterie boards come with nooks and crannies that can be tough to clean. “Gees Karen, you tumped over all of the olives again.” Check out this board if you want one that is pretty, simple, and does the job well. If you prefer an all in one board that includes the cheese knives, here is a great one.

Tip 4 for an inexpensive charcuterie board:

Maybe you don’t want to make a board but more of a table runner that will be the centerpiece of your party. Use your beautiful table runner as you usually would, and then take a roll of wax paper and run it the entire length of the table. Arrange the toppings as you would on a board. This saves your table runner from grease stains.

Your Shopping List:

  • 5 different types of cheese (Brie, Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar, etc)
  • 3 different types of crackers/breadsticks
  • 1-2 types smoked meat, like pepperoni and salami
  • Two fruits (blueberries, grapes, etc)
  • Olives
  • 1-2 varieties of nuts (pecan, sunflower seeds, cashews, etc)
  • Sprigs of Rosemary if you have it

To start, lay out your cheeses on your board. Add your smoked meats. You can fold them in halves, triangles, or form them into roses like I did. Place any small fruit, olives and nuts in little bowls or cups. Arrange these bowls on your board. Add grapes. Finish off with your crackers/breadsticks. Lastly, stick in your Rosemary sprigs.

There is no perfect pattern here. Arrange it until your heart is content! Make sure to set out some toothpicks and cheese knives for your board. All done!

Need more appetizer ideas? Try this most requested buffalo chicken dip.


Rachel is a Postpartum Nurse of 15+ years. She is also a Spinning Babies® CPE, Childbirth Educator, Published Author, and Recipe Creator. Rachel's passion is to encourage and empower women in all things related to motherhood.

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