Pretty much everyone knows that Whole Foods is the market to shop at, especially if you're healthy, nutritious, and hip, or just really love good food. Not only does Whole Foods offer an amazing Mac and Cheese bar in Denver, but they have one of the best selection of cheeses that you could ever want. Cheese is often used as a conversational starter, and an expensive conversation starter at that (especially when you're shopping at Whole Foods!). Think about it: You're at a party and suddenly you find yourself at the cheese plate talking to some stranger, yet you've bonded over the cheese. Although it's pretty easy to create a cheese plate, these tips will have your guests (and you) eating and talking cheese on the cheap. 

The Cheese

Probably the hardest part of putting together a bomb cheese plate is actually choosing what kinds of cheese you want to include. For starters, make sure to include a variety of flavors and textures. Most cheeses belong to one of these categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. Try to get at least one from each group, but don't serve all unfamiliar cheeses; make sure you pick at least one familiar cheese. Next, offer different textures. Brie cheese offers a smooth, creamy texture while gouda and cheddar are more often firm. 

Three great kinds of cheese to serve could be Gouda ($5.99), Brie ($7.99), and Gorgonzola ($3.99). Each of these brings a unique texture and a delicious taste to the plate, which will keep you coming back for more. 

But remember, unless your guests are lactose-intolerant or vegan, they'll probably be happy with whatever cheese you serve. 

The Meats

What's a cheese plate without meat? Cured meats, such as prosciutto or salami, generally bring a salty flavor to the plate. Adding the meat is also a simple way to make your plate look more extravagant. Throw on your favorite cured or deli meats by rolling them up or laying them out flat on the plate. Check out Applegate Genoa Salami ($5.99) or Applegate Natural Prosciutto ($7.99) at Whole Foods for your platter.

Jams, Nuts, and Fruits

To add different textures and flavors to your cheese plate, try adding in some jams and nuts. To start, lay out different kinds of jams that will pair well with the cheese. Blackberry ($3.99) is a great option for those looking for a more bitter jam, while Strawberry ($3.99) is better for those with a sweet-tooth.

Next, add some crunch with the nuts. Almonds, pistachios, and candied nuts work magic when paired with different cheeses and meats. 

Finally, add some delicious fruits. Adding in fruit gives your plate a sweeter taste and combats the saltiness of the meats and nuts. Grapes ($3.99) taste amazing with cheese (similar to wine), and just about everyone likes them. If you're looking for a more bitter taste, try raspberries and blackberries.  

Some Final Tips

Whether you're a cheese connoisseur or this is your first go, you'll want some of these tips to ensure that you have the best cheese plate ever. First and foremost, make sure to never crowd your plate. Your guests don't want to be eating foods that everyone has touched, so be sure to leave some room between items and don't overcrowd. For each type of cheese, make sure to have a separate knife. Not everyone wants their gouda mixed with their cheddar, either. And finally, for your guests' sake, please label your cheeses and meats. This can be done by creating cute little signs with a toothpick and tape, or by purchasing pre-made signs.

Congratulations! You are now basically a cheese plate expert. With all of these tips and tricks, your next cheese plate is bound to be a success. And with the total ringing in just around $30, you (and your friends) won't be breaking the bank. Now go get to it, and enjoy your party.