Try these simple food substitutes to lower your grocery bill and make your favorite dishes more affordable.
Often times, our shopping habits cost us a lot of extra money we don’t need to spend. This happens for various reasons from convenience to not knowing how to budget for our shop effectively. Many times, it's simply buying something because we always have and not considering a cheaper substitute. Here are 6 simple food substitutes to lower your grocery bill.
6 Simple Food Substitutes to Lower Your Grocery Bill
Water instead of juice or soda– This can be a difficult thing to switch to for some people since there is not only the element of taste but also caffeine to tackle. I made the switch a while back so that the only soda we have is when we go out. We do not buy it for the house anymore and we save a lot of money. If plain water is too boring for you, there are many low-cost ways to infuse flavor such as with lemons or cucumber as well as flavored stevia drops.
Dried mushrooms instead of fresh – I can’t tell you how many times I have tossed out a half carton of mushrooms. I always buy mushrooms with good intentions, but it seems like I either get too many or I don’t get a chance to cook them right away. I started buying dried mushrooms a few months back and while they are a bit ‘expensive’, they keep for a long time and they are easy to use in everything from omelets to casseroles and stir-fries. If you consider the amount of money you waste tossing them, this is a saving, especially if you rarely use mushrooms.
Sticky rice instead of long grain– One time when I was shopping in the bulk section, I noticed the sushi/sticky rice was about half the price of the traditional and common long grain rice. I bought a couple pounds of it and find that it cooks up nicely and soaks up sauces well so I buy it from now on.
Almond or soy milk instead of cow’s milk– Hear me out. If you pretty much only use milk for things like cooking or your coffee and don’t really drink it, soy and nut milks can be a great and cheap alternative. They usually contain the same amount of protein and are calcium fortified too. You can even buy them in chocolate. Even if you use cow’s milk for cereal or drinking, it’s worth trying some of these alternatives. If you buy them on the shelf, they are often half or less the cost of the same amount of milk.
Chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts– Depending on what you are using chicken for in your recipes, chicken thighs may be the way to go. Typically, they are much cheaper and since they are dark meat, they add lots of flavor to dishes as well. You can even buy them boneless and skinless now.
Fresh spinach instead of lettuce– I started buying bags of baby spinach in place of lettuce a couple of years ago and I haven’t gone back. Spinach is incredibly cost effective and is more nutrient dense than many kinds of lettuce because it is a dark, leafy green. Try it in salads, stir-fries, and on sandwiches. Typically, I can get a large bag for around $2 no matter what season it is and it lasts for many recipes during the week. Plus, as an added bonus, I find it keeps well in the fridge for longer periods.
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