This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated. However, all opinions are all mine. I know I say how much I love the holidays A Lot. But I truly do. It is the one of the few times a year all my babies are together. And the parties! Oh how I love a fun holiday party! I get such a kick from having my house packed full of friends and family. There is holiday music in the background, lots of laughter, goofy photos and great food. The drawback from these parties is the cost can wreck my budget. And I am not skimping on the kids gifts to make a fancy smancy menu.
Over the years, I have discovered a lot of great ways to have a party without spending a fortune. Here is one of my most popular posts, Tips For Planning The Perfect Holiday Party. One of my favorite appetizers to serve is a spread of yummy fruits, nuts, meats, cheese and other goodies. But, that can get expensive mighty quick! So, if you want to create a similar spread for your next party, here is how to make a meat and cheese tray on a budget!
- Check Your Inventory: I stock up on certain foods the family eats regularly. This includes pickles, peppers, crackers and nuts. Before I make my shopping list for party foods, I always check the pantry for items I can use. This saves me time and money!
- Wholesale Clubs: We shop at our wholesale club at least once a week. During the holidays, they often have savings on party staples I need. This includes food and beverages, like cheap, but tasty wine and crackers, bread and nuts. I also get my disposable serving and dining goods at my wholesale club.
- Grocery Salad Bar: When I think of how to make a meat and cheese tray on a budget, I think of my grocery store salad bar. Does yours have one of these goldmines? You can get smaller portions of marinated mushrooms, trendy peppers and olives and freshly made mozzarella.
- Serving Tray: I like to have an elegant serving platter for my meat and cheese trays. To make sure I have plenty of room for all of my goodies, I want something that is large enough. I also want something that will look amazing in the middle of my table. My favorite, hands down is my gorgeous wooden cutting board from Labell Boards.
- Meats: When choosing meats, stick with a variety your crowd will eat! I have served some pricey meats that were super hipster and no one touched them. When I serve up salami, prosciutto, roast beef or ham and turkey. This ensures even the kids will find something they like!
- Cheese: When buying cheese, choose those without rind or wax, especially if you are paying by the pound. Also, check if your grocery has an end piece section. You can save a bundle by serving a variety of smaller pieces of cheese. I love to serve Asiago, mozzarella, a cheddar and a brie. That way, I have a mix of hard and soft cheeses.
- Seasonal Fruits: When you choose fruits and other foods in season, you save. I love to serve grapes, apples, and figs. All of these go perfectly with many cheeses, nuts and meats.
I don’t know about you, but my husband is not one to notice a lot of what goes on in the kitchen. He loves the end result, but otherwise, he leaves me to do my thing. When my new cutting board from Labell Boards, he was at home. I opened the box and he said, “Wow! That is really nice…right?!” I assured him it was VERY NICE! I knew immediately I would be serving this years meat and cheese tray on it!
Now, of course I had to do a trial run for my meat and cheese tray before our party…right?! I had just about everything at the house to make a good go of it. We ended up having this for dinner. It was a feast to behold. And when all the food was gone, my gorgeous baby was there in all her glory! I cannot tell you how much I love my cutting board from Labell Boards. I honestly have had a hundred cutting boards in my life and this is by far the best I have ever had!
The boards from Labell Boards are made from premium Canadian recovered/recycled hardwoods. They are made with the highest production standards. I love that Labell can take these raw materials that would have otherwise been disposed of, and turn them into culinary works of art. You can choose from over 90 styles, including Serving Platters, Paddle Boards, Utility Boards and Butcher Blocks. You can purchase them online from the Planches Labell website. Follow Labell Boards on Facebook and Twitter.
One USA reader will win a Planches Labell Butcher Block Cutting Board (pictured above) ARV $92
Do you love to throw a killer holiday party? What is your favorite appetizer to serve that your guests love?