How to save on ingredients

You’re in the middle of a recipe when you realise you are missing an ingredient. Now what? At PAK’nSAVE, we love to use our kiwi ingenuity to help you save money.

How to eat healthy on a budget

You’re in the middle of a recipe when you realise you are missing an ingredient. 

Now what? At PAK’nSAVE, we love to use our kiwi ingenuity to help you save money. 

Run out of olive oil or self raising flour? We can help. Whether you’re substituting for speed or replacing unhealthy ingredients for alternatives – take a look at our handy Swap & Save Chart below.

Plus, check out these ideas on how to swap ingredients in favour of healthier ones without compromising taste:

Non-bake cheese cake – swap the:

  • Sugar with Natvia or Naturals sugar free crystals (Stevia based sweetener)
  • Cream cheese with ricotta cheese
  • High sugar biscuits with low sugar digestives
  • Butter with margarine.

Chicken or salmon wraps – swap the:

  • Wrap with a small-med chapatti (about 70-100 calories same or less than a wholemeal wrap)
  • Cream cheese with cottage cheese (add pepper and pinch of salt for flavour).

Healthy fruit smoothie (contains: banana/mandarin/pear/apple/berries) – swap the:

  • Fruit juice with a teaspoon Stevia to sweeten
  • Dairy with half an avocado (to thicken)
  • One fruit with a handful of baby spinach/baby kale and a quarter of a cucumber for extra veggies
  • Add a squeeze of lemon and lime for flavour and tanginess.

Oats pancakes – swap the:

  • Cow’s milk with almond milk or a light soy milk
  • A whole egg with an extra egg white
  • Flour with oats and a dash of cinnamon
  • Add mashed grilled banana, unsweetened yoghurt and a sprinkle with Stevia on top for extra flavour.

Swap & Save Chart

How to substitute ingredients


Replace with these

Brown sugar (1 cup)

1 cup whole white sugar and 1/4 cup golden syrup

Baking powder (1 tsp)

1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar


Use rolled oats, crushed bran cereal or plain cracker crumbs

Chocolate finely grated (30g)

Use 3 tbsps cocoa and 1 tbsp margarine

Cocoa (1 tbsp)

1 square of unsweetened chocolate

Desiccated Coconut

Shredded or desiccated nuts & dried fruits

Cornflour (1 tbsp)

2 tbsps plain flour

Cottage cheese

1 cup ricotta sauce (Whisk ricotta, salt and pepper until smooth)

Cream, reduced-fat cream, evaporated skim milk, natural yoghurt

All these can be replaced with each other most of the time.

Crumble toppings

Crush packet of sweet biscuits.
Drizzle fruit with manuka honey and bake.  Place under the grill until golden brown. 

Fresh ginger

1/2 tsp ginger powder (or to taste)


Use jam, sugar or golden syrup

Macaroni Cheese topping

Crushed rice crisps add a slightly crispy baked finish.


Natural yoghurt

Meat (as the main ingredient)

Triple the amount of vegetables on pizzas, casseroles, soups and stews.


Milk powder and water

Olive oil

Butter, coconut oil

Raisins or sultanas

Dried currants, cranberries, pitted prunes, dates

Ricotta cheese

Dry cottage cheese

Self-raising flour

1 cup flour plus 2 tsps baking powder

Stock cube

Use vegetable cooking water, marmite or vegemite


Manuka honey

Tomato juice

Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce to 1/2 cup of water


1 tsp lemon or lime juice, or 2 tsps white wine.