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Best Cheese on a Budget

Budget shopping can seem like a daunting task. There’s nothing wrong with having expensive taste, but sometimes your wallet can’t keep up with your high-class demands! We get it, good cheese is pricy. But, instead of crossing cheese off your grocery list or compromising on quality, we have a better solution. Fulfill your casein cravings without putting your budget in the red by following these tips for finding the best deals on cheese.

Be Goal-Oriented

Whether you’re browsing a cheese shop or a chain store, make sure that you always do purposeful shopping. Have you ever heard the wise advice of not shopping while you’re hungry? Well, if you’re on a budget, try to have a clear idea of what cheeses you need and why before getting to the store; this will help guide your purchase!

Bulk Up

If you’re looking for a cheese to melt on burgers or into a soup, you can get away with buying less glamorous but still tasty products like block cheddar or generic Swiss, which can be bought for a cheaper bulk price. These types of cheeses are great to cook with, even if we wouldn’t be too keen on highlighting them as the star of a cheese course.

Party Perfect

If you’re trying to plan a cheese and wine party on a dime but still want to impress your guests, keep these money-saving guidelines in mind while shopping:

  • Instead of featuring 4-5 cheeses, go for 2-3 options. This will allow you to spotlight a nice range of textures, while not going overboard.
  • When deciding how much cheese to buy, average about 1-2 oz. of each cheese per guest. That way, nothing goes to waste.
  • Supplement the space on your cheeseboard with interesting and unexpected flavors, such as cheddar and sweet potato crisps. Your guests will love the chance to try something a little different than the typical cracker! Also include fun basics like dried fruit, honeys, an assortment of nuts, or chilled grapes.

Get Out There

When shopping for your cheeses, try not to overlook imported European cheeses. Don’t assume that international cheeses will automatically be more expensive than domestically produced cheeses. In fact, some European cheesemakers receive subsidies from their government, meaning that their income doesn’t come solely from cheese sales. This helps to keep prices down, despite the long distance that the cheese had to travel. Some deliciously cost-effective European cheeses include St. Andre (a French Triple Creme), Piave (a hard Italian cheese), or Taleggio (an Italian wash rind).

In a pinch, one of the best cheeses to buy on a budget is undoubtedly fresh mozzarella. Meant to be bought and consumed within a few hours after being made, mozzarella can easily be found in markets or Italian specialty shops. This versatile cheese has a rich, buttery flavor that can be used in a wide range of dishes, such as a topping on salads, melted on flatbreads, or pressed in paninis. And with a price tag that rarely rises above $7, mozzarella is one of the most helpful cheeses for keeping you on budget.

Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of Serious Eats

Emily Dangler

Culture Intern Emily Dangler is a creative writer and travel enthusiast, who is always looking for a good story to tell. Originally a West Coast girl, Emily has spent several years migrating across the country and is currently an adopted resident of Boston, where she is enjoying the city's delicious food and rich history.