Trader Joe’s Cheese Board: $65 Budget

As always, this post contains collections of products that I personally recommend so you can get your board on. Post may contain affiliate links.

Trader Joe’s is my go-to for boards. Great selection, yummy cheeses and good prices!

There are certain cheese board items that I continually go back to every time. You can find the full list on my ONE-STOP SHOPPING LIST. But since you always ask about how much boards cost, I wanted to focus in on two different price points. First, a $65 board with all the items I love without too much skimping. And then, a $35 Trader Joe’s budget cheese board keeping costs down (click on the link for that follow-up post).

Full breakdown of costs in recipe at bottom.

So, here’s what our $65 board looks like…

CHEESE BOARD 101

This is my idea of the Perfect Trader Joe’s board; using all my tips and tricks for creating a well-rounded, balanced platter:

  • A variety of cheeses; a mix of hard cheeses (“Unexpected Cheddar” and Manchego) and soft cheeses (French Brie and Port Salud)
  • A couple different meat options (a subtle/smooth option with the Salami Secchi and a spicy option with the Calabrese)
  • Cracker options; A hearty cracker (Fig & Olive Crisps) and a gluten-free option (Savory Thins)
  • Colorful produce; I usually like to add lots of fruit, but for the sake of focusing and keeping within the $65 budget, I choose 2 items in different colors. In this case, green grapes and red raspberries. Since produce is seasonal, you can choose the most affordable items within that season. Browse the produce section and choose two items for under $10. NOTE: choosing organic options is obviously more expensive than conventional.
  • A sampling of accoutrement; While you could technically make a tasty cheese board with all the items above, these items take the board to the next level. Salty, briny items like olives, cornichons and marcona almonds add a tangy crunch. Plus, the sweetness from the dark chocolate and dried persimmons are the perfect compliment to the salty cheeses. Note that some of these items, like the marcona almonds and persimmons are on the pricey side. As a result, they wont be making it to our $35 budget boards. Stay tuned to see what I opted to keep in and take out.

Account For Leftovers

This round board is 14.5in in diameter within the lip, so there were plenty of leftovers. You can see the extra crackers, almonds, grapes laying around the board in the photo. For reference, I’ve added another photo below of the additional leftovers I did’t put out with the spread:

  • More grapes
  • half the dark chocolate
  • half the Salami Secchi, half the Calabrese
  • 1/4 of the Unexpected Cheddar
  • the rest of the dried persimmons.

RECTANGLE BOARD VERSION

To give you a better idea of what kind of board all these items would fill, I’ve also shown a version on a 20in x 14in rectangle board. There are still some items in bowls around the spread (olives, almonds, chocolate & savory crisps), but most of the ingredients are used within the board.

A FEW THINGS TO NOTE

  • The olives at Trader Joe’s are not my favorite. I love castelevetrano olives, but since they are not available (other than a TINY pack of green olives for $0.99)…I went with the marinated olives in the vacuum seal. Note that many people like the refrigerated olives. All that said, these do a fine job. But if you keep a jar of castelevetrano olives in your pantry, you may want to choose those over these.
  • For all the cheeses here (except Unexpected Cheddar), the price of the cheese depended on the size/weight. Be mindful of this as you try to stay within a budget. Obviously, the smaller the piece, the lower the price, BUT the less people you can serve.
  • Trader Joe’s has great seasonal cheeses at a good price. Be on the lookout for affordable options that might only be there a limited time.
  • I am a big fan of dried persimmons, but some people prefer the sweetened dried oranges. The oranges are cheaper, so if that’s your preference anyway, you can easily just to straight for the oranges.

VIDEO SHOPPING GUIDE

For a little recap of these items, here’s a Tik Tok video showing what the items look like in store. Prices included:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9LBYNcB6pX/

How Low Can You Go?

If you’re looking to cut this $65 budget in half, here’s my Trader Joe’s $35 Budget Cheese Board. You can check it out to see what I kept from this board and where I skimped!

Where Do I Get a Board Like That?

As always, I’ve added similar boards and accessories in the SHOP THIS POST BELOW. Please always be sure to cross reference the dimensions of these boards with the ones use in this post. A different-sized board would fit a different amount of food. For reference, here are the sizes of these boards:

  • ROUND BOARD- 14.5in inside lip
  • RECTANGLE BOARD- 20in x 14in

Show Me Your Board

Nothing makes me happier than seeing you create beautiful boards from my tips. If you make a spread inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttoooproudtomeg and #AintTooProudToCheese so I can see and share!

And, if you liked this board recipe, please rate and review.

trader joes cheese board

Trader Joe’s Cheese Board $65

5 from 61 votes

Description

For an affordable board and one-stop shopping, hit up Trader Joes' great selection of goodies. P.S. the ⭐️ = my go-to items.

Ingredients
  

Cheese

  • Unexpected Cheddar sliced ($3.99)
  • Manchego sliced ($4.68)
  • French Brie ⭐️ whole ($5.58)
  • Port Salud whole or sliced ($3.90)

Meat

  • Salame Secchi ⭐️ sliced ($7.49)
  • Calabrese folded ($2.99)

Carbs

  • Fig & Olive Crackers ⭐️ ($3.99)
  • Savory Thins ($1.69)

Produce

  • Raspberries ($2.99)
  • Grapes ($5.49)

Accoutrement

  • Marcona Almonds ⭐️ ($5.99)
  • Dried Persimmons ⭐️ sliced ($3.49)
  • Marinated Olives ($1.79)
  • Cornichons ($2.69)

Garnish

  • Rosemary sprigs ⭐️ ($1.79)
  • Dark Chocolate broken into small pieces ($1.79 – 3 pack)

Instructions

  • As you know, I like to start by adding the olives, cornichons, and Marcona almonds to separate small bowls or ramekins and place them in the center of the board to anchor it.
  • Place the prepared cheeses around the outside edge of the board.
  • Next, fan out a handful of savory thins and figs & olive crackers around ramekins. Serve any remaining crackers on the side.
  • Add the dried persimmons, raspberries and grapes sections throughout the board, paying attention to color placement.
  • Tuck the Calabrese salami folds and Salami Secchi slices into any remaining spaces around the ramekins and produce sections.
  • Garnish with rosemary and chocolate to serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




77 Comments

  1. Pat wrote:

    Saw you on The Kitchen today. Loved your suggestions and reasoning for pulling the Boards together!

    Posted 3.29.20 Reply
    • Allegra Hale Nieto wrote:

      5 stars
      Love these suggestions!

      Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  2. Jami wrote:

    5 stars
    Did this for a girls weekend and it was a hit! I was nervous I didn’t know what I was doing, but it turned out great and looked impressive. I saved your recommendations in my notes and have gone back to it several times. Thank you for this!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  3. Kim wrote:

    5 stars
    Absolutely love every board you create but this one is AMAZING! Did my best recreation for thanksgiving and got rave reviews!! Thankful for you!!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  4. Samantha wrote:

    5 stars
    My go to cheese board list!!!!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  5. Erin wrote:

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make a smaller version of this for my hubby and I in a couple weeks when we will be childless for a night!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  6. Brandy wrote:

    5 stars
    you made boards seem doable for me! and i always check your pics for ideas. my go to’s are Trader Joe’s and Aldi for adorable boards for a crowd!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  7. Kendra wrote:

    5 stars
    This is the blog that started it all for me to realize how easy cheese boarding can be! It’s still my go-to for quick entertaining but always looks so great.

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  8. Kelsey W. wrote:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this! 5???? al the way. I love all the details you put in it. Would you ever consider taking pictures of the cheese in their original wrappers? I can have a hard time finding them in stores sometimes!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  9. Rebekah wrote:

    5 stars
    We’re planning to do a Trader Joe’s run soon so I’ll be putting a list of things from here to grab! As always, beautiful board!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  10. Amy wrote:

    5 stars
    This is information is so helpful! I get overwhelmed by all the cheese options and what to pair with my choices. Then I end up buying all the things and jam it on to a board. With following your tips, my last board was beautifully balanced, budget friendly, and everyone loved it!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  11. Eva wrote:

    5 stars
    LOVE all the TJ info. A store just opened 15 minutes from me! ♥️♥️

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  12. Eva wrote:

    5 stars
    Love all your inspiration and love sharing your ideas!! ♥️♥️

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  13. 5 stars
    Love how easy you make this! Also a great excuse to go back to TJs ????

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  14. An wrote:

    5 stars
    I can’t wait until we can hang in large gatherings again so I can try the various boards! I’ve gotten some of the supplies already, now just waiting for the day. Love everything you’ve made! So very helpful!

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  15. Brianna wrote:

    I love how simple you made shopping AND preparing! Love a good TJs board 🙂

    Posted 12.3.20 Reply
  16. Kerri wrote:

    5 stars
    Had so much fun shopping for and making this board! Definitely going to come back to it again and again!

    Posted 12.4.20 Reply
  17. Lexie wrote:

    5 stars
    Beautiful charcuterie board! Unexpected cheddar is one of my favorites from Trader Joe’s!

    Posted 12.4.20 Reply
  18. Aisling wrote:

    5 stars
    Love that you can make a great cheese board with one stop shopping!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  19. Julianne hilley wrote:

    5 stars
    Trader Joe’s has the best cheeses around imo! This is a great roundup and I am obsessed with this board ????

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  20. Noor Stoin wrote:

    5 stars
    Meg, this is the FIRST board I am making once we can gather again! Simply fantastic!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  21. Lauren P wrote:

    5 stars
    I love all these helpful tips! I don’t have a Trader Joe’s close by but when I visit family I try to go.

    I would love to see more store specific cheese board ideas. I think I saw an aldi one but maybe like Target or even Sam’s club! Give me all the ideas for all the entertaining I hope to have!

    Also maybe how to travel with a charcuterie board? Like a pack and go option or tips for assembling when you get somewhere.

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  22. Christina L wrote:

    5 stars
    I made this board for a small family get together and it was amazing! Thank you for all the tips and tricks!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  23. Janelle wrote:

    5 stars
    BRB heading to Trader Joe’s for my holiday board!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  24. Samanthha wrote:

    5 stars
    Wish we had a Trader Joe’s in EPTX to make this!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  25. Cami wrote:

    5 stars
    I used the ideas from this post back in February to create a board and it was so easy and fun! Thank you!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  26. Robyn wrote:

    5 stars
    This is great for those of us beginners!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  27. Cami wrote:

    I used this post to make a board in late February and it was so easy and fun! Thank you! I’m looking forward to the days of big gatherings so I can recreate it again!

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  28. Emily A wrote:

    I wish Trader Joe’s was closer to me! ????

    Posted 12.17.20 Reply
  29. Tomiko wrote:

    5 stars
    Love! One stop shopping! And I love the persimmon idea! That pop of orange is perfect!!

    Posted 12.18.20 Reply
  30. Bridgid wrote:

    5 stars
    This board inspo was everything!!! Trader Joe’s has such a great variety of cheeses to choose from and I loved reading Meg’s take on it all. This has definitely been a go-to of mine. Thanks for sharing your great ideas, tips and tricks!

    Posted 12.18.20 Reply
  31. Lindsey wrote:

    I make this board often with a few swaps to make it gluten free friendly and everyone LOVES it. So colorful and lots of options and feels way fancier than it is. Styling is super easy too with Meg’s tips. Highly recommended ????????

    Posted 12.18.20 Reply
  32. Penny wrote:

    5 stars
    Trader Joe’s is honestly where I shop the most so I’m glad to see a TJs board. I’ve made a smaller version of this for my family and it was a hit! Can’t wait to one day host people again so I can fully recreate this!

    Posted 12.18.20 Reply
  33. Jen wrote:

    Thank you for this one! Love that you can get everything from Trader Joe’s

    Posted 12.18.20 Reply
  34. Cari wrote:

    Well, now! Headed to Trader Joe’s tomorrow morning! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  35. Haneen wrote:

    5 stars
    I loveee the step by steps on your blog! Trader Joe’s is just down the street and I can’t wait to use your tips and tricks to make my own Trader Joe’s board!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  36. Kelci wrote:

    5 stars
    Love, live this blog! Finding so much inspiration! I love how you break down the different cheeses & price points, etc because honestly staring at the cheese section is soooo overwhelming to me! Lol (it usually goes: ohh goat cheese, Gouda, & a fancy sounding one…ok, this should be fine ????????????‍♀️)

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  37. Jenny wrote:

    5 stars
    Recreating this exact board for Xmas. But with sugared cranberries of course 🙂

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  38. Nancy Lynch wrote:

    5 stars
    Your posts are always super informative and helpful!! I am heading to Trader Joe’s with a list in my hand…thanks to you!!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  39. Mandy wrote:

    5 stars
    I love the TJs shopping list. We started bringing boards to parties after I found you on insta, and now it’s our thing to bring for any holiday. Im still pretty new at picking things out so this is super helpful!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  40. Ann wrote:

    5 stars
    Love it! I’ve always spent to much on charcuterie- although i buy way too large qty’s – this is so super helpful!!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  41. Kim wrote:

    5 stars
    I appreciate you giving such detail on how to create your boards. It’s very helpful to see the products you use etc. quick question, how do you keep the fruits and cut veggies from sweating? I do use ramekins for some items but cut strawberries for example always sweat. You are very creative and talented!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  42. Tara wrote:

    5 stars
    I love cheese selection at Trader Joe’s. This is a really good resource to stay on track with budget!

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  43. Kimberly wrote:

    Love that you gave 2 different priced boards with lists.

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  44. Kimberly wrote:

    I appreciate that you gave 2 different priced boards with lists.

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
  45. Ashley wrote:

    Look beautiful and mouthwatering!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  46. Tria wrote:

    5 stars
    I am so inspired by your boards! They have become a must for all my get-togethers!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  47. Andrew lobo wrote:

    5 stars
    This was super helpful and I love that there’s a $35 board as well! Great insights into every aspect of the board!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  48. Lisa Riley wrote:

    5 stars
    Great blog post. As a amateur at putting boards together this post was very informative and helpful. It will help with shopping and how to design the board to achieve the the master pieces you put together. Excellent job!!! Thank you.

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  49. Nicole wrote:

    5 stars
    I love Trader Joe’s and all their cheeses. This post has so much great information for making a budget board from TJs! I haven’t tried those olives before but I did see you share that they are a good gateway olive so I will be trying them in the future!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  50. Nicole Gordon wrote:

    5 stars
    I learn so much from your posts, they help me improve style and selection each time I create a board.

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  51. Tara wrote:

    5 stars
    Absolutely perfect and who doesn’t love trader Joe’s!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  52. Jackie wrote:

    I LOVE all of your tips! I think this would be perfect to make for Mother’s Day! <3 I need to head over to Trader Joe's now!!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  53. Laura H wrote:

    5 stars
    This was very helpful to put together a great board without going over the top! I also love the dried oranges from TJs.

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  54. Debbie wrote:

    5 stars
    This is my go to board!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  55. Courtney wrote:

    5 stars
    Unexpected Cheddar is amazing! Love this example of building a board on a budget!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  56. Christine wrote:

    5 stars
    Because of this post, Trader Joe’s is one of my go to spots for charcuterie boards! The unexpected cheddar and the fig & olive crackers are my favorites. Now I can’t see my cheese boards without them!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  57. Ariella wrote:

    5 stars
    The stars for the most key items is the best!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  58. Jessica wrote:

    5 stars
    Charcuterie is my favorite! Thanks for always bringing fresh inspiration to my feed!

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
  59. Emily wrote:

    5 stars
    I haven’t had a chance to make this board yet, but it looks so amazing. I’m always trying to find options to replace the olives since I’m not a fan. Any suggestions?

    Posted 4.24.21 Reply
    • Meg Quinn (Ain't Too Proud To Meg) wrote:

      I’d say you can add another nut instead of the olives. Another salty choice to replace the salty olives. Or…I love TJ’s candied peacans for something sweet. If you like pickles, the cornichons (mini pickles) will be enough of a salty item that you don’t need another 🙂

      Posted 4.25.21 Reply
  60. Cheryli wrote:

    5 stars