7 Cheap Grocery Items Available In Canada That'll Last Forever & Level-Up Your Meals (PHOTOS)
Getting takeout? In this economy?! 💰
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
With the rising cost of groceries in Canada, I've had to start getting a little more creative in the kitchen and honestly, it's reintroduced me to some of my favourite ingredients.
I'm generally guilty of being lazy and ordering takeout on a Wednesday night, but once I sat down and really took a look at what I had in my fridge, I realized I had plenty of long-lasting condiments that can help up the quality of a home-cooked meal.
Here are some of the cheap products I've been leaning on recently — most of these I personally bought at Asian grocery stores, but all are available in popular retailers like Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro and No Frills!
Spicy chilli crisp
Spicy chilli crisp.
If you've ever wondered if a perfect condiment exists, look no further than Lao Gan Ma's Spicy Chilli Crisp.
It's essentially a spicy oil with crispy bits that adds the perfect amount of heat and texture to a bite. I'm convinced it goes with anything and everything, but be warned — I'm pretty good with pepper and I do find this quite hot, so proceed with caution!
Price at Loblaws: $3.49
I bought this miso paste to try out Chrissy Teigen's viral Spicy Miso Pasta recipe from a few years ago and it does not disappoint.
Although it's nearly $9, it can last for years in your fridge since it's fermented, and just one tablespoon gives an umami kick to marinades, stews and, of course, soups.
Price for a similar product at Loblaws: $8.99
Fig Flavoured Condiment with Balsamic of Modena.
Ok, so this is actually more of a fig concentrate with some balsamic in it, but balsamic absolutely slaps and should be used for more than just salads and bread.
The other day my bolognese was lacking a little "je ne sais quoi" and a few dashes of this brightened it right up and added some more depth to the flavour, which had previously been a little one-note and tomatoey.
Price at Loblaws: $4.99
Blue Dragon Fish Sauce.
I watched a Bon Appétit video a while ago where one of the chefs suggested using fish sauce instead of salt for many of the instances when you'd typically reach for the condiment.
I'll admit, fish sauce on scrambled eggs sounds like a bit of a strange idea, but I'm a convert!
It performs the same seasoning function as salt but adds a lil' extra sharpness, in a good way.
Price at Walmart: $3.17
Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste.
I'm a huge fan of Thai food, and this paste helps me bring some of my favourite flavours to other dishes I normally wouldn't have used curry paste in.
From marinating veggies to adding a teaspoon to a shrimp dish, the possibilities with this one seem pretty unlimited.
Price at No Frills: $5.49
Joe's Tasty Travels Wasabi Peas.
When it comes to home cooking, mixing up textures is everything and adding a bit of crunch is a fun way to get creative.
I like taking a couple of these peas (and I do mean a couple, they're quite spicy) and lightly bashing them to add to salads instead of seeds, nuts or croutons. Getting those veggies in, but making it fun — and yummy!
Price at Walmart: $2
And lastly, I cannot rave enough about gochujang. When I'm feeling extra lazy (which is most of the time), I literally just whisk up a little of this paste with some oil and fry up whatever veg or protein I have left over in my fridge.
It makes my usual sad attempt at clearing out my fridge taste absolutely delicious and gives everything a perfect sweet but spicy kick.
Price for a similar item at No Frills: $5.99
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