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Cost-Saving Tips: money-saving dairy substitutions

25th Apr 2024 - 04:00
Don’t want a fridge full of different milks, yogurts and cream? The good news is, these are easy to swap if you can’t find what you need.

If you can’t find buttermilk, use yogurt or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice to provide the acid. Crème fraîche and soured cream are largely interchangeable and even a dollop of Greek yogurt would work instead – you can try it in mash.

A word of warning, though, one thing you should never try to swap is double cream because single cream will not whip or thicken like it so save this for pouring only.

But coconut milk makes a fragrant alternative to cream in a curry and can be used as a tropical (and vegan) alternative to whipped cream for desserts.


Did you know you can use yogurt as a substitute for a number of other ingredients in recipes? It is versatile and can be used as a replacement in both sweet and savoury dishes. One of the cheapest dairy products, try swapping it for the more expensive items.

Replace cream

Swapping out cream for yoghurt could substantially cut your costs if you use cream frequently. Not only is it cheaper than cream, but yoghurt can be used as a replacement for cream in a huge number of recipes, whether it’s adding it to a curry, or putting it on a dessert.

If you’re looking for a pouring cream consistency then you can mix the yoghurt with milk to achieve this. If the recipe calls for whipped cream, remember that yoghurt won’t whip up in the same way, but opting for a thick Greek yoghurt could make a healthier alternative.

Replace butter

Yogurt can also be used as a butter alternative in a variety of recipes, particularly in baking, and with 250g of butter costing an average of £1.93, versus £1.10 for 500g of Greek yoghurt, this swap could save you a fair few pennies.

Proportionately you can replace butter in cake recipes with a 1:1 ratio with full-fat Greek yoghurt. It’s important not to use low or no-fat options as these won’t work in a cake. Greek yoghurt has a tenth of the fat of butter, so it’s already considerably better for you too.

Replace mayonnaise

While this isn’t strictly a dairy product, yoghurt can make a great replacement for mayonnaise when it’s used in salads and dressings. Price-wise, yoghurt is generally cheaper than mayonnaise, particularly if your favourite mayo is a brand-named product.

Use yoghurt in 1:1 ratios for mayonnaise, such as in pasta or potato salads or in a creamy dressing. If it doesn’t have that savoury taste you’re after, try adding a touch of mustard powder and a splash of vinegar. Not only does yoghurt make a great substitute for mayonnaise, but it’s lower in fat and is loaded with vitamins and minerals so it packs a bigger nutritional punch.

Written by
Edward Waddell