Saving Money on Groceries #6: Accept cheap substitutes!
A gallon of milk around here is over $4 these days. I save a lot of money by always storing a big bag of dry milk powder in the pantry. When I make my homemade yogurt, or a muffin recipe calls for a cup of milk, I don't even have to open the refrigerator. I simply add water to the milk powder in whatever amount I need. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, I can add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for five minutes.
A tablespoon each of soy flour and water can substitute for an egg in most baking recipes. I don't usually make this subsitution, but it's a good one to have up my sleeve, if I've run out of eggs or I'm really trying to stretch the budget.
Instead of buying a specific pumpkin pie spice, you can use cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg to flavor your pies. It's easy to mix up your own seasoning salt, herbes de provence, and Mexican seasoning as well.
Many cookbooks and websites have great ideas of what foods can be substituted for each other. We can learn to substitute the herbs and vegetables that are in season for those that aren't. Rather than run out to the store for the unsweetened chocolate we thought we had on hand, we can use cocoa powder and some butter in our cake recipe instead. Out of brown sugar? You can stir molasses into white sugar and use that in your recipe. Any ideas to share on substitutions that save you money?