Wednesday, 11 May 2022

20 Groceries We Don't Buy And The Cheap / Free Alternatives - Part 2

 The supermarket is filled with brightly colored packaging,  designed to catch your eye.  Before you know it that grocery item is in your trolley and you wondered how you ever lived without it.   Chances are your parents and grandparents managed just fine without it .

The next time you go shopping,  have a look at what you are buying.  Are you buying mostly whole foods or processed foods ?  Are you working long hours to pay for your expensive grocery bill ?

Here are another 20 grocery items we DON'T buy and how to save money on them -

Microwave rice pouches -  They are so expensive compared to buying a bag of rice.  Some are flavoured but I don't need flavoured rice when the rest of the meal is tasty.  I cook extra rice and freeze.

Creamy pasta packets - I've make my own with pasta,  milk,  butter,  flour and seasonings.

Marinated meat.-  It never tastes as good as it looks. I use ingredients like soy,  honey,  garlic and herbs.

Herbs and spices in little jars - I buy in bulk from a herb and spice wholesaler.  Extremely cheap.

Sweetened condensed milk - I make my own from butter,  sugar,  water and milk powder.  The recipe I use makes 2 tins worth for less than the price of one.

Evaporated milk - I don't have recipes that use it.  If I did I'd make it from milk powder and water.

Fresh herbs in plant form or pastes -  I use dried or grow a few.

Iced tea - If I wanted it I would make it from a teabag,  water,  sugar and a squeeze of fruit.

Porridge sachets - I make porridge from quick oats.  If I need flavour I can add cinnamon,  brown sugar,  maple syrup or dried / tinned fruit.

Avocado / grapeseed / almond / peanut / coconut oil etc etc - I use rice bran oil for cooking and baking.  It's cheap compared to the fancy oils.

Bread flour - I use plain generic flour.

Salad dressings - I only buy balsamic glaze.  A little bit goes a long,  long way.

Tinned veggies - I only buy corn ( for soup ),  tomatoes ( in case my harvest is poor ) and beetroot.  Fresh is cheaper for other veggies

Salad kits -  We grow some of our own salad ingredients and buy the rest as whole foods and make the salad ourselves.    Cheaper and fresher.

Serviettes -  We just don't eat sloppy food to need serviettes ( except for hamburgers with dripping sauce or tacos ).  The rare times we do eat takeaway we are always given too many serviettes.  Those that are not used are brought home for when we do need them.  It seems like a waste to throw them out.

Pancake shakers -  I make pancakes from scratch using milk,  eggs and flour.  How easy and cheap is that?  I think we've only bought them once or twice as a treat when the girls were little and we were on holidays.

Meal kits - They are just too expensive and you still need to add meat and veg.   Just use the herbs and spices you already have and add your own ingredients.

Rice cream in tins - I make creamed rice with rice,  sugar and milk.  My recipe would make four times the amount in a tin for the same price.

Meals in a can -  If we were camping people we might buy them.  I remember doing a tv story years ago where the husband liked spag bol meat sauce in a tin.  I didn't even know you could buy it in a tin.  I showed the family how to make a big pot of meat sauce for the same price.  All you need is mince,  tinned tomatoes,  Italian herbs and tomato paste

Frozen potato chips -  I never understood their appeal.  I think they have an artificial taste about them and I've been served a variety of brands over the years.  I have a Nicer Dicer and a chip machine ( present ) that makes chips in just a minute or two including seasoning.  Since buying an air fryer this is how we cook them.   They are a healthier option too.


I buy herbs / spices in bulk and fill my own jars

homemade pancakes

Picking our own lettuce

Do you  make and bake from scratch as much as possible ?

How many of these items do you make cheaper ?


  1. Thinking of you and your family on this difficult week,take care

  2. I have the problem that I buy a few convenience foods to have on hand in case of an emergency, and then dds find them and finish them ......

  3. Hi Wendy, thank you for another great post at this difficult time. Would you mind sharing your recipe for sweetened condensed milk, when you are able please? Thinking of you, Tracy

  4. I have been remember to pray for you family.

    Most our food is made form scratch but I do have some cheat options. There is one particular bean mis I like and I buy that. We do have some tins of spaghetti sauce. My mother thinks it is wonder and I don't like it but it is the cupboard for a quick meal if needed. As I am my mother's carer some strange things have to be done to keep the peace. Buying the cheapest homebred cake mix and using to make biscuits etc is another. At present I have a number of rice pouches bought for 20 cents each from the reject shop.

    God bless and keep you safe and in his love.

  5. My thoughts and prayers are also with you and your family this week. Go gently.

  6. I visited a friend from childhood. She asked if I cared to have iced tea and I replied that I only wanted it if it was already made--I didn't want her to make it just for me. My brother who was with me seemed embarrassed at my remark. She produced a bottle of ready made ice tea. My brother, more experienced in worldly ways, knew that was what she was offering. Iced tea can be so simple with instant tea mix that it is mind boggling that someone would buy it ready made.

  7. We cook mostly from scratch but I do get canned veg for hubby. (he likes them, I do not.) Your list was mostly no's for me. :) I make my menu out each Sunday and check the pantry for what I need to get or prep. I dislike the added chemicals in prepackaged foods.


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