July 24, 2024
6 Simple Swaps To Save Money At The Grocery Store

Experts may say that the economy is improving, but Americans from coast to coast still report soaring grocery prices. Everything from processed foods to pantry basics cost much more than they once did.

A lot of shoppers are tightening their budgets, which means many are shortening their grocery lists in hopes of saving some money. While making affordable meals with budget ingredients is a great way to keep more money in your wallet, you don’t necessarily need to sacrifice your favorite foods.

With a few thoughtful and measured ingredient replacements, you can save money at the register and in the long run. Our team of food experts rounded up some of our favorite money-saving grocery swaps that you can incorporate into your shopping list.

Instead Of Broth, Buy Better Than Bouillon



Boxed broth is one pantry ingredient you can find in almost any kitchen, but we’d argue that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. For one thing, it takes up a lot of space on your shelves. Plus, we often only use a portion of the broth for a recipe, which leaves the remainder to sit in the fridge and be forgotten.

A more affordable and customizable choice is buying a jar of Better Than Bouillon. Our team swears by the product because you can simply dissolve one teaspoon of the paste to create a cup of broth—at a fraction of the price compared to a cup of boxed broth. You can make exactly the amount you need without wasting any, and the compact jar can sit in your fridge for months without going bad.

Our favorite part, though, is the fact that you can adjust the amount of bouillon paste to customize the flavor of your broth. Following a low sodium diet? Use less. Want a stronger flavor? Add a bit more! It’s one product that we’ll recommend again and again.

Instead Of Fresh Milk, Buy Powdered Milk

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Some people start each day with a glass of milk. But for the rest of us that use milk more sparingly, buying a carton every week may not be the most cost-effective choice. Milk can quickly spoil, effectively wasting your money if you don’t end up using it in time. Powdered milk, on the other hand, is the best way to get your dairy without worrying about expiration dates.

A dash of milk powder is perfect for adding a bit of creaminess to your coffee, making your oatmeal more decadent, or completing any baking project. It is technically more expensive than a carton of fresh milk, but the amount you’ll save by not wasting ingredients makes up for it.

And while we’re at it, the same applies for coconut milk. Buy a bag of powdered coconut milk and never let a half-empty can go bad again.

Instead Of Canned Tomato Sauce, Buy V8

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Our Senior Food Director Rob Seixas swears by this unconventional grocery swap. “I am obsessed with V8 instead of canned tomatoes when I make soups, stews, stuff like that,” he says. “I think it lasts a long time once opened.”

Not only does it last a long time in the fridge, but it also contains nutrients from other vegetables that you wouldn’t otherwise get from a can of plain tomatoes. And shockingly, V8 actually costs less per fluid ounce on average than canned tomatoes.

Instead Of Fresh Fruit, Buy Frozen Fruit

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We already know that frozen fruit is typically more affordable than its fresh counterpart, but there are a lot of other benefits that you shouldn’t overlook. For one, it’s usually pre-chopped, which is a serious time saver. That same benefit comes at a premium when buying fresh fruit.

Frozen fruit is also superior in terms of flavor and nutrition, depending on when you’re buying it. Before it drops to subzero temperatures, the fruit is picked at peak ripeness—which means it has the best flavor and the highest concentration of nutrients.

Instead Of Granola, Buy Oats

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As much as we love starting our day with a bowl of granola, we have to admit that the granola industry is a huge racket. Sure, they may throw some nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate chips in there, but it’s ultimately just a bag of oats. Our Emerging Platforms Editor Halle Burns strongly recommends buying oats and repurposing them for homemade granola or making your own oat flour.

We cosign that suggestion not just for cost reasons, but also for flavor. Making your own granola is a low-effort, high reward project that allows you to customize it exactly how you like it.

Instead Of Sour Cream, Buy Yogurt

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Sour cream is great for dolloping on top of chili, adding to cakes, and even for upgrading your scrambled eggs (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it). But here’s a hot take: anything sour cream can do, yogurt can do more.

Yogurt is typically more affordable than sour cream, and it’s far more versatile. It has the same lactic tang that sour cream offers, which means you can use it in virtually any recipe that calls for the latter and achieve the same result. But you can also use it for parfaits, smoothies, marinades, and more.

Opting for yogurt in the dairy aisle is the most resourceful and affordable option. And, if you want to save even more money, Burns has a tip to make never-ending yogurt. Leave about a tablespoon of yogurt in your tub, add some more milk, and let the cultures do their thing.

Headshot of Gabby Romero

Expertise: TikTok Trends, Drinks, Pop Culture

Education: B.A. in Journalism and B.S. in Communications from NYU, Culinary Arts degree from The Institute of Culinary Education

About Me: As an associate editor at Delish, Gabby works on everything from features to recipes to content on our social media channels. Before joining the team, she wrote for StarChefs Rising Stars Magazine, Mashed, and Food52. When she’s not developing cocktail recipes, she’s making cocktail-inspired dishes like and . Her features cover online trends like the , rank everything from to , and answer some of your most pressing food safety questions. You can also find her posting content on Delish’s TikTok, including her about cooking like influencer Nara Smith that garnered over 3M combined views.  She loves eating spicy food, collecting cookbooks, and adding a mountain of Parmesan to any dish she can. 

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