Earlier in the week I wrote about all the super-stingy things I do to save money. Since I wrote it I’ve thought of even more that would probably cause much embarrassment if I was to share them (anyone else re-use tea bags?).

I mentioned that I try to find substitutes for things before I spend my hard-earned moolah. You’d be surprised how many exclusive ingredients can actually be replaced with much less expensive substitutes.

Here are some of my favourites:

  • buttermilk 1 cup – 1 cup milk + 3 tsbp lemon juice
  • sour cream, natural yoghurt and cream can all be used in place of each other in most recipes
  • sour cream – cream with a few tbsp of lemon juice
  • oregano, thyme and marjoram can be used interchangeably in most recipes
  • egg – 1tsp cornstarch + 3tbsp water
  • self-raising flour 1 cup -2tsbp baking powder +1 cup plain flour (I never buy SR flour)
  • golden syrup, molasses, treacle and corn syrup are pretty much interchangeable
  • honey with a bit of brown sugar can be used instead of any of the above
  • brown sugar – white sugar with a bit of golden syrup or similar
  • icing sugar – sugar whizzed in the blender
  • bread crumbs – crushed wheatbix, cornflakes, potato chips, corn chips, savoury crackers
  • cream of tartar, lemon juice and vinegar can be used interchangeably except when the lemon is for flavour
  • ricotta and cottage cheese can be used for the same purpose
  • wholemeal flour 1 cup – 3/4 cup plain flour + 1/4 cup rolled oats

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is also a fantastic thing to have on hand. These are just a few things I’ve used it for

  • 1/2 cup bicarb followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar, left for 1 minute then followed by a kettle full of boiling water will clean the drains
  • absorb smells – place a tub of it somewhere stinky (I have a jar 1/2 full of baking soda with some holes punched in the lid in each bathroom)
  • clean jewellery
  • mix it with a little water to form a paste and use it to clean tough grime
  • you can use it to exfoliate your skin just rub it on with a little bit of water

Subsitutes aren’t just for the kitchen. I use $1/L shampoo to fill my hand-wash dispensers. I DIYed a reed diffuser and put a few drops of lavender oil, with a bit of water in a jar with skewers. I have lots of other tricks up my sleeve but I’ll save them for another day.

What about you? What do you substitute in your house?

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