Supermarket Savings: Savvy Ingredient Swaps

If your recipe calls for a fancy ingredient, don't skip the recipe, simply swap the costly item for another less expensive alternative. Our supermarket expert Nicole Cherie Jones chatted with Beth Moncel, author of Budget Bytes, Gabi Moskowitz of  brokeassgourmet.com, Carrie Robinson of thefrugalfoodiemama.com and Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet, to find out how you can save hundreds of dollars at the grocery store and still nail recipes that call for pricey ingredients.

1. Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms are pricey at $5 to $8 per ounce, and they’re also elusive. Save up to 95 percent with baby bella (cremini) mushrooms that register at only 38 cents per ounce.

2. Prosciutto

At $2.33 per ounce this cured meat may make you think twice at the supermarket. Thinly sliced deli ham does the trick at only 38 cents per once, a savings of 84 percent.

3. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

This pasta topper can break the bank at $1.88 per ounce, especially when sprinkled liberally. Pecorino-Romano, on the other hand, is only 72 cents per ounce. By saving 62 percent, you won't be afraid to have seconds.

4. Saffron

Why does saffron seem to appear only in tiny jars? Because at $1,149 per ounce, it is one of the priciest spices around. The flavor of turmeric is quite similar at an affordable $2.05 per ounce.

5. Truffles

Truffles may sound like a great way to turn any dish into a decadent one, but it will cost you a whopping $30 per ounce. Truffle salt (a little goes a long way) is a fair swap at $7.50 per ounce. You'll save up to 75 percent and still get awesome flavor.

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