Copycat recipes aren't the exact secret recipes from stores and restaurants, but they taste close enough to the "real deal" that they are sometimes called "kitchen clones". The recipes often use common ingredients and are simple to make. I have an entire forum dedicated to copycat recipes at
The first two tips are copycat recipes shared by readers. Enjoy!

Lipton Soup Packet Clone:

2 7-ounce packages of Skinner Fideo Mediano noodles (or similar) 1 jar Wyler's chicken bouillon (or similar)
dry parsley
black pepper
Pour the noodles into a big bowl. Write "3 cups water, boil 5 minutes" on the outside of 10 sandwich-size zip-close bags (or just store the bags in a box or basket and make a single tag for it).
Measure out the following into each bag:
3/4 cup noodles
1 tablespoon bouillon
1/2 teaspoon parsley
a sprinkle of pepper (don't overdo it)
To make soup: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour in mixture and boil 5 minutes. Makes one large single-serve bowl. I'm sure dehydrated veggies could be added to this recipe as well. -- Cricket, Texas

Easy homemade creamer:

I make my own creamer with half sweetened condensed milk and half regular milk. I add vanilla or cinnamon, too. -- Sherry, Minnesota

Add vegetables:

I add finely chopped fresh yellow squash to just about anything, such as rice, spaghetti and chili. It stretches the dish, making it more filling and nutritious. -- R.N., Florida

Deter mice:

We have seen fewer mice and less mouse activity since using mint oil on cotton balls at the entrances where we thought they were sneaking in at our cabin. -- Cheryl, Ohio

Check receipts:

After being charged full price for a sale item, I now step away from the register and check my receipt while I'm still in the store. When your purchases are being rung up as you're putting it on the belt, it's hard to watch the prices. Take the time to look over your receipt. -- Ali, Indiana

One thing at a time:

My advice for someone wanting to make serious life changes would be to pick just one area of their finances and work on it. I gain the most traction when I focus on one area at a time. For instance, when I focused on lowering my grocery bill, I scoured your site ( as well as other sites for tips on eating healthier and cheaper. I compiled the tips and have implemented them to great success. -- Lara, Texas

Re-grow green onions:

The next time you buy some green onions, don't throw away the root; just put it in some water and it will regrow. Do this with a few dozen and you will have an endless supply. -- Niko, Florida

Egg salad:

I saw your deviled eggs with avocado recipe and wanted to share that I make egg salad sandwiches with avocado now. Instead of adding mayo, I add some avocado, a little lemon juice and Greek yogurt to the mix. Or you can keep the mayo and not use the yogurt. Either way, it's delicious. -- Linda, Illinois


photo by feli