I think there’s a little Monica Gellar (the obsessive-compulsive one from Friends) in all of us.

If not for our organized and scrappy nature, then for our need to host the best get-togethers with our friends, we’re always looking for new ways to improve and perfect our entertaining skills.


So, we’re going back to the basics and exploring the easiest way to build a delicious, well-balanced cheese plate — but on a serious budget. Because, if you’ve ever ventured to a nice cheese shop, you know those high-quality slabs come with a hefty price tag.

From finding just the right cheeses at your go-to grocery store to adding the perfect extras, here’s your guide for building the perfect cheese plate and staying under budget.


It’s important to cover all the bases when putting together your cheese plate. Be sure to get something strong and sharp like orange gouda, something smooth and creamy like brie, something classic and fresh like white aged cheddar, and funky or different like herb and garlic goat cheese. These run for about $6-8 each.


Include at least three cracker options: two different classics and something with a fun twist.


Keep the board clean and simple, and only put a few crackers out at a time.


I like to keep little labels in my home at all times, as they add the perfect touch to any dish you serve.


You can add nuts and dried fruit to your plate, but I kept it classic with just a few spicy olives. I also set out my gold cheese knives set from West Elm.


And there you have it, the whole cheese plate for under $35. But, what if you’re having only a couple friends over, or $35 is still a little too much? Try this…


Go for two cheeses; something classic (cheddar’s a safe bet) and something fun (bubbling brie just out of the oven or herbed goat cheese), include two different cracker options, a few olives and you can do it all for under $18.