Budget-Friendly Cheese Board (Using Items Already in Your Pantry!)


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Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares a handful of budget-friendly cheese board ideas on Diary of a Debutante

Over the years I’ve become an expert on throwing snacks together on the fly. Guests just show up sometimes, and the southern girl in me has a panic attack when I have nothing to offer snack-wise. I like to think that platters and boards are kind of my specialty, and as much as I love putting together fancy charcuterie spreads, I’m never going to be that hostess who has prosciutto and fresh figs just hanging around in her kitchen. Kudos to you if you are. You’re a master hostess and 1000% fancier than I ever will be.

Anyway, to prove it’s possible to throw together a scrumptious cheese board without a pricey grocery run, I raided our pantry and fridge and came up with this budget-friendly snack board. It actually tasted pretty darn amazing, too! I mean, who knew clementines, goat cheese, and Triscuits went so well together?! Keep reading for affordable cheese board ideas, plus a handful of tips on how to assemble your own!

Budget-Friendly Spring Cheese Board

Guide to making a cheese board with pantry ingredients by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

If I’ve learned anything from Beautiful Boards, it’s that there is no perfect cheese board. It’s all about what you like and what you’ve got on hand. Whether that includes grapes and cured meat or pizza rolls and tortilla chips, there’s always a way to make it work. Case in point, here’s everything I pulled from my pantry to create this budget-friendly DIY cheese board–

  • Triscuits– Everyone loves Triscuits! If you haven’t tried it, their smoked gouda flavor is to die for. Obviously, crackers are a classic alternative. So are chips, Cheez-Its, Chex Mix, and pretty much any other baked snacks. 
  • Green olives– Olives are my favorite. I used to eat them right out of the jar when I was a kid, which is probably why we have extra jars lying around. I grabbed some colossal green Mezzetta olives from our pantry, and they added the perfect amount of saltiness to this DIY cheese board!
  • Clementines– Our fruit bowl was flush with clementines, so I peeled three or four and put them on the board. They’re delicious and added such a fun pop of color!
  • Green D’Anjou pears– Kyle and I signed up for Misfits Market, which is a super cool organic fruit and vegetable subscription box. We ordered a bunch of green D’Anjou pears because they’re in season, so I threw a few on my board. Pretty much any other fresh fruit works well, too, so scour your fridge and fruit bowl!
  • Dried apricots– Dried fruit is a cheese board staple in our house. It’s the perfect substitute for fresh fruit when you don’t have any on hand. It also takes months (to years) to go bad, which is a plus. Dried apricots are my personal favorite, but dried mangos, figs, dates, cherries, and even Craisins work well and add a touch of sweetness to your board. 
  • Cashews– I’m OCD about covering the board’s entire surface area, and nuts are my favorite way to fill space. We always keep a variety in our pantry for snacking, too, which is handy. If you don’t like cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and pistachios are great options, too.
  • Gouda cheese– I lucked out and found a leftover wedge of gouda in our fridge. Use whatever you have, though! Doesn’t matter if it’s string cheese from your kids’ lunches or a wheel of brie from the fancy cheese section of the grocery store. I’ve even taken sliced deli cheese and cut it up into strips before. It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was still pretty darn delicious with crackers!
  • Goat cheese– We almost always keep goat cheese around for salads, so I sliced some up for this board. It’s amazing on Triscuits!
  • Fresh thyme (for garnish)– Fresh herbs are super extra, but if you’ve got some growing in your herb garden, throw them on! They look super pretty and always smell amazing.

Other cheese board ideas, which you probably already have some variety of in your pantry, are pretzels, popcorn, chocolate, pickled veggies, fresh veggies, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and deli meats. You can also put some honey or jam in a small bowl or ramekin to pair with the cheese and fruit!

Budget-friendly cheese board recipe featuring Triscuits, Mezzetta Colossal Fancy Green Olives, dried apricots, and other common pantry items by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante Pretty DIY cheese board made with pantry items by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Kyle’s mom got us this cheese board for Christmas a few years back, and I love it so much. It’s seriously the perfect size– large enough to serve a group of people but easy to cover! This exact board is no longer available (I think it’s from the Savannah Bee Company,) but this one is almost identical. 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to use simple cheese board ingredients to create a gorgeous DIY cheese platter on Diary of a Debutante

More Cheese Board Ideas

In case you need more cheese board inspiration, here a few of my favorite platters and boards from over the years–

  • Summer Charcuterie BoardLiterally all my favorites things about summer came together on this charcuterie board! 
  • Game Day Snack Board– This fun snack board is shaped like a football and perfect for Game Days! I used veggies to create a green football field, too. Kids loved it!
  • Southern-Inspired Charcuterie Board– I used three different types of cured beef to create this gigantic charcuterie board. I also threw on some baked pimento cheese dip, and it was a huge hit!
  • Fall Cheese Board– I was inspired to add fresh eucalyptus to this fall cheese board, and it looked so pretty! Now I added flowers/greenery to all my platters and boards. 
  • Holiday Charcuterie Wreath– Charcuterie wreaths have become one of my favorite holiday traditions! This one is garnished with fresh rosemary and smells amazing.

Also, if you need some non-seasonal cheese board ideas, I wrote a post about six of my top tips for creating the perfect cheese board a few years back. Hope they’re helpful!

Thanks so much for reading, y’all! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about anything in this post. I love hearing from you guys, and I’m happy to help!

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Just so you know, I was reimbursed for the cost of these products as part of a sponsored social campaign with Triscuits. I loved this project so much that I decided to feature it on my blog, as well, although I had no obligation to do so. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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