Frugal Substitution for Gourmet Ingredients – Guest Post

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on April 18, 2012

Are you a foodie on a budget?

Here are 5 frugal substitutes for fancy ingredients.  Swap and save!

  • Asiago for Parmesan.  Subbing Asiago cheese for Parmesan can save you over double what you would pay for Parmesan (typically around $5.99/lb vs. $11.99+/lb).  And for more savings, buy cheese whole and slice/grate it yourself instead of buying it pre-grated.
  • Sweet savings!  Swap a Maple/Agave Blend for 100% Real Maple Syrup on your french toast, pancakes or yogurt and save 20-30%.
  • Firing up the bbq for grilled fish?  Making fish tacos?  Replace Ahi tuna or Cod for Mahi Mahi and save 15-40%.  You can find ahi or cod for between $5-7/lb versus $8-12/lb for more expensive white fish.
  • Let them eat beef!  Go for chuck eye, flank or skirt steak instead of more expensive cuts and save dramatically!  A good marinade will be your friend as these cuts can be a but tougher, but on the grill, in your favorite Mexican dish or served over rice, these steaks will be a crowd-pleaser that will make your budget happy too.
  • For quiches, tarts, pastas or casseroles, substitute swiss cheese for gruyere and save some dough without sacrificing flavor.  Gruyere can run upwards of $8 per pound, compared to $4-5 for Swiss.

Kelly started Frugal Foodie Family to marry her passion for cooking and eating well with her love for budgeting. Her goal is to help families eat well on a budget, typically around $400/month for a family of 4. Get recipes, tips, restaurant recommendations or learn more at

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Mims April 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Thanks for the info on frugal substitutions!


Stuart Niesen April 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Very excellent ideas!


Carol Haycock April 27, 2012 at 5:06 am

Great ideas, look forward to email up date.


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