How many times haven't you been in the middle of making supper, only to realize that you are missing an ingredient? Or there's this yummy-looking recipe on Pinterest that you just can't wait to try, but it calls for some weird, random ingredient that you don't have in the house. You could just quick run out to the store a minute, right? While you're there, you'll see that your kids' favorite cookies are on sale, and "oh that's right, I should pick up another package of hotdog buns," and before you know it you're spending $30...in addition to the gas you spent getting to the store.
I'm pretty fortunate in that I have 4+ neighbors that I can "borrow" ingredients from. They "borrow" other ingredients back, and it all evens out in the end. However, there are times when the ingredient I'm missing is weird, or not something I feel comfortable borrowing. Sometimes I get creative, but other times, I'm just not sure what to use. In that case, I simply type "substitute for ____" in my search engine, and I instantly have multiple websites/blogs to click on that might suggest an acceptable substitute. Sometimes it takes some clicking around, but I often have my answer in less than 60 seconds.
Here are some examples of my recent substitutions:
- canned mushrooms instead of fresh for Chicken Breasts in Wine Sauce
- plain breadcrumbs plus various spices for Italian Breadcrumbs
- Ritz crackers for panko breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs are a trendy, Japanese ingredient that is used for coating things like fish or homemade mozzarella sticks...recipes coming!)
- coleslaw mix for shredded cabbage (and vice versa)
- sour cream for plain yogurt (and vice versa)
- milk plus vinegar for buttermilk
- pineapple chunks run through the food processor for crushed pineapple
- a block of mozzarella cheese cut into chunks for string cheese (again, the homemade mozzarella sticks)
What have you substituted lately? How much money do you think you can save by not making that third-trip-this-week to the store?
Looking for more ways to Save Money in the Kitchen? Check out the rest of the articles in this series, here.