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With prices going so high on things, what different choices have you made in your spending ? What have you bought as subsitutes lately ?

I know with the price of gas, I can't sub anything, but I can go fewer times a week to run my errands. A change in habits :)
 

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I hear you! I live on a farm between 2 small towns. I've recently started taking the kids to school in the morning because it's just easier...though now it really costs me. I can always put them back on the bus (and they do ride it home) but right now I don't want to. Besides there's a much safer place to walk the Pit Bull in the park in town so since I'm driving there anyway it's one trip. But if I have to rethink it at some point, I will.

Right now we go to the BIG town 3 times a week...Sunday for church, Monday for ladies Bible study, and Wednesday nights for confirmation class/choir. I do my grocery shopping on Mondays since I'm in town anyway.

MEDIUM town is closer and has many of the same stores so if there's no Bible study I can just head that direction and anything I need to do in the BIG town can be put off until one of those other days.

BUT, I'm back on here (I'm sporadic at best) to find ways of cutting back. I cook from scratch a lot anyway but plan on using more homemade mixes and other things that can cut down on my weekly shopping.

I already bake my bread and have a couple of recipes for good breads with no yeast so no kneading and rising. :)

I like rubber chicken...can get 2-3 meals out of one. And the dog likes it when I pour leftover broth (not enough to use in another recipe) over his dry food and that saves me mixing in some canned that night.

We don't have dish and I'm willing to rent from Blockbuster (3 movies for $5 if they're not new) but prefer the library. I can look for movies, put them on hold, and they come to the closest branch. If it can't be found there, Blockbuster isn't bad...cheaper than Red Box and doesn't require my bank card info.

I'm taking advantage of warmer weather for drying laundry. Need to get new clothesline installed but until then my drying rack is on the porch. I can also combine smaller loads in the dryer when I need to.

OK, I'm getting psyched! Gotta go read more! :D

 

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I am lucky that between my freezer and pantry I am really in pretty good shape BUT......there are a few things that I haven't 'substituted' anything.........I have just quit buying it.....and most of it is produce. (some seasonal and that 'might' change as we warm up)

Have bought NO: mangoes, 'winter' tomatoes (only cause I don't like them), avocados, peppers......and this is all (other than tomatoes) because of price.

I will have to see what happens with butter when my supply gets low (stocked up at Xmas time).......and I am about to be priced out of Jimmy Dean Sausage buying. I like it but don't NEED it at $3 a pound!!

If the bacon I usually buy is 'out of reach' next time I need some........I will go to a cheaper brand.

Don't know that I will substitute ANYTHING.......will just change my habits and work around it.

Plus.....with garden season coming up I will be planting peppers and drying them. But last year was a crappy year for gardening here........and I got very few peppers.
 

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If something gets too expensive, I sometimes try to make a good substitute for it. Sausage is a good candidate for that, FF. I haven't personally found a great recipe since we don't eat much of it, but there are tons of recipes online and it's easy enough to mix it up and make patties for the freezer. I got ground pork on a special for $1.25/pound recently, so that would save over half compared to the $3 you quoted. It'd probably taste better too, and be healthier.

When gas prices go too high, we tend to use our pop up camper instead of our motorhome. We really should sell the moho but we're emotionally attached to it. Dumb, I know.
 

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Our big one here is meat - it's too expensive (poultry, red meat, or fish) because we live on a really small island and everything has to be brought in - and things that need refrigeration and have to be fresh are crazy expensive, compared to dry foods. So, instead, we eat beans and lentils. My husband is such a champ - he has only said "I miss meat" twice in 6 months.
 

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substitutes

There are baking ones I use if I don't have it or it is to expensive

wine = grape juice and a little splash of vinegar
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup regular milk plus one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice let stand a few mins. then use.
1 teaspoon baking powder = 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter and 1/4 baking soda

here is an interesting one I just learned 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup sugar plus a 1/4 cup liquid -That might com in handy since I don't buy corn syrup anymore.


Others things I just leave out or change plans.
example:
Say peppers are to much might look at frozen ones or change what is for dinner or just leave them out depending on what it is.
 

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To add to Imagine's list:

Cake flour:
1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all purpose flour, subtract 2 tbsp of the flour, add 2 tbsp of corn starch, sift together 5 times, then use.

Confectioners Sugar = regular sugar run through a food processor.

I use a lot of dried herbs in place of fresh. You can't always get away with this but dried parsley and dried celery work well in soups or anything cooked. Dried dill works pretty much anywhere you would use fresh. Rosemary is pretty good dry. Dried basil, thyme, and mint are less successful.

Use turmeric (super cheap) in place of saffron (crazy expensive) in most recipes.

All oatmeal is instant oatmeal. Buy regular rolled oats and stir boiling water into them. They are instantly ready to eat - do not need to buy the instant packets. I put cinnamon and raisins in mine and it costs next to nothing.

I use extracts in TONS of things and they save me money AND trips to the store. Right now on my shelf I have the following extracts: vanilla, peppermint, orange, mandarin orange, almond, lime, hazelnut, peanut butter, cranberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, peach, and maple. I use them constantly - I buy plain tea and add these instead of buying more expensive fruity teas. I flavor my hot chocolate and coffee with them. I bake with them, cook with them, and stir them into yogurt. I make sauces with them, I even do home crafts with them.

Make sauces at home. I started a Homemade Condiments thread last week that should be easy to find - I make mustard all the time, and salad dressings of various types.

I make homemade bread, tortillas, pasta, etc when flour is cheaper per pound than ready-made (which is NOT always the case).

Homemade salsa (both fresh and cooked) are cheaper than purchased and super easy to make. Things like lemon curd and pudding are easy to make at home too and cheaper than buying.
 

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I have a wonderful book (I have the second edition from MANY years ago, but I see a new edition was just published in 2010) called Substituting Ingredients.

(Wow... how weird how it converted my url to this image - is that a frugalvillage thing???)
Amazon.com: Substituting Ingredients, 4E: The A to Z Kitchen Reference (9781402239243): Becky Sue Epstein: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51uEFCCX8WL

It's literally just a book of various substitutions you can do. It's helped me innumerable times over the years when I was preparing a recipe and found out I was short an ingredient.

In general, if something gets too expensive, there are a variety of options I consider and the one I choose depends on the recipe.

* Leave it out entirely (things like pine nuts sprinkled on top of a casserole)

* Substitute identical but cheaper (a generic brand for a name brand)

* Substitute something acceptable (like crushed almonds or potato chips for the pine nuts above for example or broth for wine in a soup)

* Make a homemade version (I did this recently with soy sauce in a teriyaki sauce and also with taco seasoning mix).

* Investigate other purchasing options (can I get it cheaper if I buy in bulk or through mail order with free shipping?)

* Reduce the quantity (I've made beef stew many times with half the amount of beef called for and an increase in the veggies for filler).

* Use a different recipe entirely. (Beef too expensive this week? Chicken it is!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow......you people are GOOD :)

I am thinking of one change we did here. Hubby has this passion for Lay's potato chips. We used to buy 2 bags a week. Then the amount in the bags went down, and the price kept going up. Now he eats cheaper chips. And now, I buy peanuts in the shell, for a major snack item. The shells go out in the garden for compost. A double win.

I buy beef fat and render it, to make bird suet cakes. I can not tell him he can't feed the wild birds, so I had to come up with a cheaper solution. The price of those suet cakes does add up.
 

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Two things I substitute rather than buy :)...

Taco Seasoning
Ingredients:
1/3 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup chili powder*
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.


Dumplings (instead of Bisquick)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix together and drop by TBSP into boiling broth, gravy or soup pot. I use them to make Chicken and Dumplings but you could put them in other things as well.

*NOTE-My family are such dumpling fans I usually make a double batch to add to the pot*
 

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I've made taco seasoning for years. Better flavor, cheaper, and far less salt. I think it's 2 T. and 1/4 c. water per pound of hamburger, but I'd have to check. It's not really that fussy, it's more to taste anyway.

For a zippier flavor, you could put the taco seasoning IN the dumplings!

Almost any meat can be swapped for some other meat in a recipe, beef for pork, chicken for beef, etc, etc. So I just buy on sale and use whatever sounds good. I recently subbed ham instead of chicken in a batch of five OAMC meals, because I had the ham in the freezer and a shortage of chicken at the time.

I make my own Bisquick and again, have for years. I've always thought it was too expensive! We eat a lot of Bisquick meals.

I quit buying icky bottled salad dressings that are loaded with salt and taste so stale and started making my own. I'll never go back! I started DIYing dressings for health reasons but making them is a lot cheaper and better tasting, both huge bonuses.
 

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Spirit Deer is darned close with "think it's 2 T. and 1/4 c. water per pound of hamburger". I just kind of eyeball it. You can also make it zipper as my husband says by throwing in a few dashes of hot sauce.


Shortstack, how many tsp. or TBS. of taco seasoning equal the packets that you buy? Thanks for your reply.

A2M
 

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I don't really substitute but I have cut down on buying meat and ONLY buying the meat on sale.

As far as gas goes, I am combining trips and trying to not go out as often. :)
 

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I recently swapped out part of the hamburger in a few recipes with ground turkey. Doing it 1/2 and 1/2 the family couldnt tell. $2.98 for the cheapest burger vs $1 lb for turkey. It works for me!
 

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Ground turkey & chicken here
 

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nodmicks, that is an EXCELLENT idea! I have a bunch of ground turkey in the freezer I got for $1 per lb, and ground beef is much higher right now. my mom doesn't like the ground turkey, so whenever I make it, I have to either cook twice or make sure there are leftovers in the fridge for her. I will have to try to see what happens when I mix the two... :)

One thing I have been doing is stretchign meals with pureed beans. I cook them up (from dry) and then puree them with a little cooking liquid. Then I add them into whatever I am making to stretch it and fill us up without the "oh no, not beans again" mentality. I have put them in stew, mashed potatoes, meatballs, meatloaf, hamburgers, something we call meat pockets - basically anything they won't be noticed in to stretch what we do have.
 

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I have to substitute for anything that contains corn syrup or HFCS because I developed an intolerance for that stuff...and it is in EVERYTHING.

Unfortunately, all the alternatives except a simple sugar are more expensive it seems.

Maple syrup instead of HFCS pancake syrup
Seltzer water and fruit juice instead of sodas (HFCS)
Chocolate sauce instead of chocolate syrup (HFCS)
Real ice cream instead of the cheap stuff (HFCS)

I recently make my own homemade pecan pie and managed to make my own custom filling, substituted a bit more molasses, flour, and maple syrup for the corn syrup. It was VERY yummy.
 
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