How many times have you been ready to cook or bake something, and you realize you are missing one crucial ingredient?

Usually if this happens, you either try to substitute, or make something off-hand that you know won’t taste as good in the end.

Without even knowing it, you could be using ingredients that may taste wonderful, but are exploding your budget, and not giving you any freedom to spend in other areas of your life.

So, let’s work on getting the right ingredients in our pantries, instead of the expensive, money-wasting ones.

In order to use inexpensive and cost-worthy ingredients, you must have a wide range of recipes that will cater to them. As I give you the list of 5 inexpensive ingredients, keep in mind what recipes you might be able to use, or search on your own to find new ones that will be keepers! Later on I will post more recipes that will give you ideas, but in the meantime, try cooking with a few of these, and you will love to see your budget shrink every week!

5 Inexpensive Ingredients

#1: Lentils

Used in soups, pasta dishes, stews, and all kinds of heart-warming meals, these little seeds are not only tasty, but extremely filling. Lentils have been used for quite some time to complement either the main meat in the dish, or the other ingredients. They are the perfect base for an inexpensive meal!

 #2: Onions

Onions are extremely common in many supermarkets, and although some of you already might use this ingredient in a lot of your dishes, it’s worth it! Onions can be used in many different dishes, and the beauty of this ingredient is the punch of flavor that it adds. With very little cost, you can have a delicious gourmet meal to serve for guests.

#3: Whole Chicken

Depending upon which store you normally shop at, you can sometimes steal a raw whole chicken for a fraction of the price you would pay for a pre-cooked rotisserie one. All it takes is a long day in the crockpot, and you can have the same flavor and tenderness you wanted in the first place! The best part about cooking a whole chicken is that it keeps on giving. Use the carcass to make home-made chicken broth (which you can also use in almost anything), and use the meat to make chicken sandwiches, salads, or soups.

#4: French Bread

One of the things I love about French bread is the light, flaky texture that broils so well in the oven. Add this to any casserole, sauce, or baked pasta dish, and you will have a complete and satisfying meal. I usually pick up a loaf at my local supermarket the day I am making a meal, (it must be fresh or it won’t be worth it!), and usually pay less than $2.00 for a full loaf. This will feed a crowd, and can also be used to make delightful appetizers.

#5: Eggs

Eggs are one of the cooking wonders of the world, not only because of their versatility, but also because of their great nutrient value. An egg is a complete protein, which makes it much easier for your body to process it and turn it into fuel. Eggs can be used far beyond their breakfast signature. Try them in frittatas with a side salad, baked casseroles, batters, crepes, and even hearty dinner omelets. Eggs are a definite money-saver, and will get you closer and closer to that budget!

By: Erika Pizzo

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5 Inexpensive Ingredients

One thought on “5 Inexpensive Ingredients

  • May 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Great tips Erika! Also If you have extra french bread- Its time to make some amazing french toast or bread pudding with some milk, eggs, sugar,and vanilla. I did that this morning- and I got a WOW, from my husband!


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