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If you want to replace butter, oil or bananas work just as well in some recipes: cheaper alternatives to expensive ingredients

Whether a master of cooking or a brave experimenter, many people are keen to explore a world of exciting recipes.

But many of the recipes list ingredients that are not the cheapest, especially in these days when food is becoming more and more expensive. Fortunately, there are many ingredients that can be substituted with more budget-friendly ones. Here are some tips.

Replacing expensive ingredients with cheaper ones

The following ideas are worth remembering not only because they are cheaper than the original ingredients. Sometimes one ingredient is harder to find, but sometimes you don’t have one of them at home and you can’t go shopping at the moment. The following solutions are also useful in such cases.


Butter is often used in sauces, side dishes or roasts, but this ingredient in the recipe can be easily replaced with sunflower oil. If you need butter in a cake, overripe bananas are a good substitute.


Quinoa is used in side dishes, salads and as a filling, but it costs twice as much as millet, for example, which can work well as a substitute.

Dates, cranberries, other dried berries

These sweet ingredients can be substituted with simple raisins, which have the same texture and taste somewhere between sweet and slightly sour.


You can make a good substitute for cooking cream by melting some butter into heated milk. For 100 ml of milk, you need 20 grams of butter.


Recipes for Italian pasta sauces, cheese soups and sauces almost always call for Parmesan, but this cheese is very expensive. If you want to imitate its taste, you can substitute it with a little brewer’s yeast.

Sour cream

We know that yoghurt is much thinner and waterier than sour cream, but these two dairy products taste very similar, so yoghurt can be a very good substitute for sour cream in soups, stuffed cabbage, casseroles and many other dishes.


In cakes that require a lot of honey, you can replace some or all of honey with corn syrup.