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Affordable grain ingredients

Many of us are keeping a close eye on our grocery store receipts these days. Prices are increasing for many things in Ontario including the cost of food at the grocery store. Read below some adorable ingredients you can use in your next grain-based recipe.


Barley is a whole grain that is budget friendly, and extremely versatile. Commonly, rice is used in many dishes, and by swapping traditional white rice for barley, you are ensuring you are getting more servings of whole grains per meal. Barley is also high in fibre which can keep you full, longer. This grain has a rich and nutty flavour so it is great for a burrito bowl base, added to soups and as a side dish.


 The possibility are endless with this traditional breakfast grain. Keep oats in your pantry for quick and easy oatmeal breakfasts, granola, for DIY oat milk, for snacks and desserts and you can even add oatmeal to you ground meat dinners (meatloaf or meatballs) to make the meat go further.   further,

Corn meal

Cornmeal is an excellent alternative to flour for baking and cooking. You can cook this up as a side dish or in your next baking creation.


Noodles, spaghetti, or other pasta options are really inexpensive and are great bulk foods that when stored properly, will have longevity in your pantry shelves. And, pasta often goes on sale in the grocery store.

Soy butter- school friendly spread!

Peanut butter: only nut free. Try a soy butter spread for work or school lunches when nut spreads aren’t allowed for allergen concerns. Soy butter makes for an excellent peanut butter alternative sandwich and can be used to make high protein snacks and bars.


Flour has been a staple in many different cultures for hundreds of yers, and for a good reason. This ingredient is very inexpensive and can be used to make many meals in your home. Don’t forget, flour is often a good thickener for soups and sauces as well!

Corn or soybean oil

Did you know two of the largest grains grown in Ontario can be used to make cooking oil? Corn and soybeans can be used to make cooking oils to use in place of the commonly most expensive olive oil. Use oils to make your own dressings or sauces, or to fry meat and/or vegetables with. And, these grain based oils can often last longer in the pantry that other spreads like butter that needs to be refrigerated.

Malt vinegar

Did you know malt vinegar is made from barley? Keep this on hand for homemade salad dressings, as a household cleaner and to use in your next recipe that calls for this tart taste.

These are some great inexpensive grain products you can add to your pantry to use in simple and easy recipes. Don’t forget other kitchen staples that can be inexpensive: canned meats, canned beans, frozen vegetables and dried spices and herbs.

*#TrainwithGrainsTip: Be sure to try to choose whole grain options- often these are the same price as their refined or enriched counterparts. Read the ingredient label and choose the item that contains whole grain items. This means you are getting more nutrients from that item, for the same cost as the refined products. 

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