Ingredient Substitutions

Ingredient substitutions can be a great way to save money easy.  Simply substitute something you do have for something you are missing in a recipe and save yourself a trip to the shop!

I just found this great list of ingredient substitutions.

Do you have any other tried and true ones you'd like to share?

Cheap Anti-Static Solution For Your Tumble Dryer

Re-use your Aluminium Foil AND save money on anti-static by adding a ball of foil to your tumble dryer to reduce dryer static.  Who'd have thought?

Homemade Chicken Stock

Making your own chicken stock is easy to do and can save you quite a few dollars with not a lot of effort.

If you have a slow cooker, that is the simplest way to make it as you can set and forget it and leave it simmering away all day (or all night). Otherwise, you could make it on the stove in a saucepan.


Place whole chicken in crockpot with desired seasonings* and cook as usual. When you have removed the flesh from the chicken, return carcass to crockpot, top with water and simmer for 10-12 hours.

Allow to cool a little then strain out the bones, flesh and skin. This will leave you with mainly liquid.

Place liquid in the fridge.

Chicken fat is still slightly liquid at room temperature so you want to chill the stock to allow the fat to rise to the top of your container. When cold, scrape off fat and you'll be left with a delicious, thick stock to use. Freeze in usable portions.

* You can go as simple or as fancy as you like with seasonings. I tend to add some shallots or onions and parsley and occasionally some chicken seasoning.


Contrary to popular belief, you can make chicken stock with the carcass of a chicken that has already been cooked. The advantage of store bought cooked chickens when making a stock is that there are already many flavours added so it's simply a matter of boiling the carcass, skin and any other pieces in water to absorb as much of the leftover flavour and goodness as possible.

The stock won't be as thick or as strong but it still makes a tasty stock and is a great way to squeeze an extra meal out of any chicken.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe

Can of Black & White condensed milk for intern...Image via Wikipedia

This sweetened condensed milk recipe works well and is a great way to save money easy. It's one less thing you need to keep on hand in the cupboard as well and means you can make a recipe requiring condensed milk without having to plan (or duck to the shops).


This recipe makes the equivalent of 1 can of condensed milk. Most recipes use either a full can or half a can.

1 cup milk powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine

Put butter in a bowl or jug and add hot water. Stir. Add milk powder and sugar and stir until smooth.

It takes only a minute or two to put together but can really save you money!
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Powdered Milk Saves Money Easy

Photo of powdered milkImage via Wikipedia

Not everyone is a fan of powdered milk for drinking. However, one place I find it easy to use is in cooking. Some of my most common recipes I have actually done a conversion in my recipe book so that when I am cooking, I simply add the powdered milk and water separately to the dish (rather than having to make up the powdered milk).

It's only a small change to make and may only save cents per use. Those cents can add up to dollars over time.

This also means that I don't use up our supply of fresh milk when cooking which saves me having to run to the store to purchase more (and inevitably buy several other items that you weren't expecting to buy when entering the store).
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Homemade Muesli

If you're a fan of muesli of any description, you'll be familiar with how expensive it can be. The thing is, it's so simple to make your own for half the cost of a premixed pack. You can make it up to your own taste as well. Plus there's the added bonus of using generic products without complaint (if you have a family that tends to complain). Simply mix the products into your own container and no-one will know the difference.

I never make 2 batches the same but here is what I put in our latest batch:

* 1 x 900g packet generic quick oats
* 1 x 500g packet generic processed wheat bran (it looks a little like All Bran)
* 1/2 x 500g packet generic cornflakes (we like crunch in our muesli)
* 1 x 200g packet diced apricots (you can save more by purchasing whole and dicing yourself - I was too lazy)
* 2 handfuls sultanas
* 2 handfuls pepitas

Stir together in your own container.

I mix it in a large bowl with an airtight lid and scoop into a plastic pour all style container.

I usually spend $5-$6 on the equivalent of $12 of muesli.

Play around with what you like and see what you come up with.

Simple Take Away Lunch

When we get stuck out shopping around lunch time, the quickest and cheapest lunch we've found is to grab a packet of fresh cheese and bacon rolls from the nearest supermarket. We can feed the family for the price of 1 take away meal. No preparation or filling is needed. Fresh, they taste great just as they are. The kids love them so for them it's still a treat.

A packet of donuts is a popular dessert to finish off the meal too.