Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days:: Substitute on the Fly

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 $ 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 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)
Bobbi over at Favorite Family Foods is a girl after my own heart when it comes to substituting on the fly!  Check out how many substitutions she made in this recipe for Cabbage Crunchy Apple Slaw (which is delicious, by the way!).

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.


  1. First off ~ I am SO enjoying your "31" series. I want to comment EVERY day, though I do not want to be annoying! Comments are fun, but,no one want to hear from me ALL the time! Second ~ you have taught me 3 new things, crushing your own pineapple, making your own seasoned bread crumbs and MAKING your own cheese sticks. Genius. Thanks. I will be doing ALL those! Thirdly. I feel that I am always subbing cause "my pantry failed me" (I like to say....) ~ my most favorite subs are pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, homemade cream soup, onion soup mix, taco seasoning....oh and more. I look forward to sharing some of those over time. (You mentioned how we often make the same things or post similar things....get this....earlier this week I started formulating up my post for a few of the spice substitutions I use...was going to share it this week or next. FUNNY!!! I think if we lived nearer we would be great friends.....Just have to settle for 2 minutes chats every once in a while!) Anyways. Sorry I am wordy. True to me. Keep up the good fun work!! :)

  2. I just posted about this topic:

    I love avoiding a trip to the store whenever I can!

    1. For some reason your link isn't clickable now that I published the comment, but it does work for me to copy and paste it into my browser. Sorry about that! And now that you say this, I do remember that post...but I think I was mostly focused on the oyster snack recipe because I remembered talking about it with you. As we've said before, we have a lot of the same interests, so I guess I'm not surprised that we posted about the same topic :)