Here's How to Get Fancy Cheese for Less Than $5 at Whole Foods

You need to know this before you make your next charcuterie board.

Whole Foods Storefront
Photo: Getty Images/Allrecipes

Many hosts know that buying cheese for a charcuterie board or other appetizer plate can be expensive. If you buy directly from the cheese counter, you could be looking at upwards of $10 per pound—and even some blocks in the refrigerated section have a steep price.

So when you're buying an assortment of cheeses to serve at your gathering, it's pretty easy to fork over a good chunk of change. And half the time only one of the cheeses gets eaten and one is left on the plate basically untouched because no one really liked it—leaving you with a fridge full of just-ok cheese to figure out what to do with.

Luckily, Whole Foods has a little-known clearance section that solves all your cheese problems. The grocery store sells smaller, differently-shaped pieces of cheese for shockingly low prices.

Our Whole Foods Hack for Cheese on the Cheap

In the cheese section, you'll find a basket full of fresh cheeses that are left over from Whole Foods' cheese department. Instead of tossing the little bits of cheese that are shaved off the larger pieces, Whole Foods packages them up and sells them for a fraction of the cost.

Whole Foods Clearance Cheese
Bailey Fink

You'll find an assortment of cheeses—like goudas, manchego, and Cheddars—for less than $5 (some for even less than $1). It's priced so low because the pieces are pretty small, most of them are less than half a pound, but when you want an assortment for a cheese board, it might be just what you need, and you can't beat the price.

By shopping in this "clearance" section, you could buy multiple different kinds of cheese for less than $10. Sure, you won't get as much cheese as you would from a regular block, but you'll definitely have more variety.

It's a great way to try new a cheese without the risk of having leftovers that no one really likes. I'd suggest buying a block or two of your favorite, crowd-pleasing varieties of cheese, then selecting a few of these smaller pieces as a filler on the cheese board. That way you'll have a good amount of the favorites, plus a smaller assortment for people to try.

This method is also an excellent way to find your new favorite cheese. Whole Foods' cheese isn't the cheapest, so if you don't want to splurge on a block that you're not sure about, this is an easy $2 to $3 sample.

Whole Foods Parmesan Rinds
Bailey Fink

And that's not the only cheese deal at Whole Foods. The grocery chain also sells containers of just Parmigiano Reggiano rinds, which home cooks know are the best flavor enhancers. Instead of buying a whole block of Parmesan cheese just to use the rind in your sauce or soup, you can buy a couple of rinds for about $2 to $3. Just find Whole Foods' Parm section and you'll see blocks of cheese, grated cheese, and rinds.

Next time you're in the market for cheese, Whole Foods is your best bet for cheap and delicious options.

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