In recent months, grazing platters have become all the rage, with businesses up and down the country offering sumptuous metres-long feasts for parties and events.
But while these are beautiful, often such platters cost hundreds of dollars – and making your own at home is just as expensive.
Gold Coast woman, Sarah Schmith, recently decided to try her hand at creating her own grazing platter for a party – and managed to pull it off for just $80.
Here, the 24-year-old reveals to FEMAIL exactly how she did it – and her tips for your own perfect platter.
Gold Coast woman, Sarah Schmith (pictured), recently decided to try her hand at creating her own grazing platter for a party – and managed to pull it off for just $80
Sarah revealed to FEMAIL how she created her grazing platter (pictured) for just $80 by buying things on special and using items she already had at home
According to Sarah, while she has hosted parties and celebrations for several years now, because she is ‘young and broke’, she likes to make sure they are on a budget.
‘I know grazing platters are a big hit at the moment and can be insanely expensive, so I decided to change a few things to make it look amazing but cost a fraction of the price,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
To make her grazing platter – which needed to feed 14 people – Sarah confessed she didn’t buy a single thing full price, instead opting for specials, deals and sales.
‘I bought fruit and veg that are in season like strawberries, blueberries and the like,’ she said.
‘Then, I got the $2 dips from Coles, four different types of cheese on special and just two types of deli meat – as this is often the most costly element.’
The thrifty 24-year-old said she opted for salami, as it’s one of the cheapest deli options, and bought just 300 grams of it.
While Sarah has hosted parties and celebrations for several years now, because she is ‘young and broke’, she makes sure they are on a budget (pictured: her table before she started)
‘Packet food is also a really cheap easy way to fill out a grazing platter,’ Sarah advised – saying you’d also be surprised how many crackers you have at home
What did Sarah purchase for her $80 grazing platter?
* Coles mudcakes x 3 – $4.40 each
* Coles dips – $2
* Strawberries – 99 cents per punnet
* Blueberries – 99 cents per punnet
* Caramel popcorn – $2
* Nuts – $3
* Double chocolate cookies – $1
* Waffle biscuits – 57 cents
* Crackers – 90 cents
* Sundried tomato – $3
* Dried apricot – $4.70
* Honey cheese – $2.40
* Chilli cheese – $2.80
* Camembert – $5
* Salami and deli meat – $6
‘Packet food is also a really cheap easy way to fill out a grazing platter,’ she said.
‘And when you take a good look, you can really get a bargain.’
Sarah bought caramel popcorn for $2, nuts for $3, pretzels, $1 double chocolate cookies, 57 cent waffle biscuits and 90 cent crackers.
She then spread them out across the table ‘to use up space and fill in the gaps’.
The 24-year-old completed her platter shop by buying $3 sundried tomato, $4.70 dried apricot, honey cheese for $2.40, chilli cheese for $2.80, camembert on special for $5 and three Coles mudcakes for $4.40, which she hacked by putting them together and making her own icing.
She also used items she already had at home to save some money, including the cake stand, martini glasses, boards, cheese knifes, napkins, spoons, bowls and jars.
Speaking about her tips for others who want to create an incredible looking platter on a shoestring, Sarah said it’s all about embracing as many colours as possible
Speaking about her tips for others who want to create an incredible looking platter on a shoestring, Sarah said it’s all about embracing as many colours as possible:
‘We eat with our eyes,’ she said. ‘I used different colours to make it look yummy and like something you might want to share on social media.’
She also said it’s a great idea to ‘use your imagination’ and what you’ve already got at home:
‘I already had martini glasses, mason jars, wooden boards, cheese knives, plastic plates, napkins and white plastic bowls – which saved me heaps of money,’ she said.
‘It’s worth raiding the fridge and pantry to use what you’ve already got. You’d be surprised how many packets of biscuits and crackers you may have stashed away.’
The 24-year-old said that when you’re setting the table, you should space things out across different levels to create dimension – Sarah hacked three Coles mudcakes to create her cake
‘Hosting needn’t be expensive,’ Sarah (picutred) said. ‘My next events will be a girls’ cocktail night and a Halloween party’
The 24-year-old explained that when you’re setting the table, you should space things out across different levels to create dimension:
‘I put four white dishes under the cutting board to give it height and to balance it when people cut the cheese,’ Sarah revealed.
When it comes to timing, Sarah said she gave herself an hour before the party to set up the grazing table – and she spent the night before cutting up the fruit and vegetable.
She also advises keeping a rotating fan close to the platters to keep any potential flies away.
At the end of the evening, Sarah sent home her 13 guests with a doggy bag filled with any of the leftovers – meaning her grazing platter ‘could easily have fed 30 people’.
She later shared the results of her endeavours to Facebook, quickly amassing almost 2,000 likes and hundreds of complimentary comments.
‘Hosting needn’t be expensive,’ she said. ‘My next events will be a girls’ cocktail night and a Halloween party.’
To follow Sarah’s page, Hosting on a Budget, on Facebook, click here. You can also follow her on Instagram here.