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Making the charcuterie board during the holidays has always been my job. It is one of my favorite things to create and I always try and outdo myself year after year. I feel like I finally have it nailed down to a science of making the board appetizing in looks, taste, and cost. Believe it or not, to make all this happen you’ll only need 8 items and it will be under $40. All of these items can be found at Trader Joe’s; I am sure some could be found elsewhere for a little cheaper, however, a one-stop shop is definitely ideal, especially around the holidays.
The first item every board needs is some sort of creamy cheese. This is a seasonal item so grab it while you can! This goat cheese covered in cranberries is perfect to pair with salty and sweet, basically making this a 2-for-1 type cheese. So, by girl math, you are actually saving money. ($4.99)
To go along with the soft cheese, you also need a hard cheese. Something that is going to last as the board sits out for a few hours. I always go for a cheddar personally, so the unexpected cheddar block is the way to go. You can either cut it into little squares or triangles or crumble it depending on the aesthetic you’re aiming for. ($3.99)
Protein time! Meat can be very expensive, so the truffle salami is a great option. It’s cheap and tasty and can be cut up to fit any board! ($4.99)
Next is some sort of dip. While the creamy cheese sort of acts as a dip, we want a variety here. This maple cranberry orange spread is absolutely perfect. It’s got all those wonderful holiday flavors AND can be paired with salty and sweet. So, grab your apple slices or crackers and get dipping! ($3.99)
Veggie and a Fruit
This one can be hard because everyone wants to go for berries because they are pretty (and yummy). However, they are expensive as heck and get smushy so fast! Apples are cheap, delicious, and sturdy. I favor the honey crisp apple, and for less than $2 per apple, you can’t go wrong. For my family and I, 2 apples would be enough, but you can tailor it to your needs. ($1.29 each). For a veggie, mini bell peppers are great, also a sturdy vegetable, and cheaper than other options. ($3.99)
Now we need something crunchy. Pretzel slims are great because they are very neutral and go with the savory cheese but also the sweet jam. They will also look very nice on the board ($2.49)
I feel like this is where I’ll lose most people as nuts are usually super expensive. I hear you and raise you the olive and herb mixed nuts. Getting a variety of nuts for under $5 is insane. It will really elevate your board and add another element of crunch. ($4.99)
Finally, to tie it all together we need a little sweet treat! My favorite sweet treats are the peanut butter cups. The peanut butter to chocolate ratio is perfect. ($4.49)
All in all this board would come out to $37. I feel this is relatively affordable for covering all your bases on the board and for probably being able to feed 7-10 people.