3 Ways to Create Champagne Tastes on Beer Budget


We love to eat! We are foodies! We love preparing gourmet meals! We don't want to spend a lot all the time!

Does this sound like you too? Well, using just a little savvy substitution and smart shoppng can go a long way toward tantalizing tastes without breaking the bank. For the most part, people just want something delicious on their plate. They're not usually concerned with whether you paid $50 a pound for the cheese you used or $5 - so long as the luxuriousness of their meal is intact. While there's nothing wrong with using the best, freshest, most exquisite ingredients and items you can find, sometimes we just want to keep our budgets intact.

We cook a lot ourselves and have found that with a little bit of creativity and some taste testing for approval, we're able to make absolutely gourmet meals that don't break the bank. Here for you to try out in your own kitchen are a few of the ideas we have found to work well. Experiment with your meals and let us know about your own frugal gourmet successes!

1. Just say "truffles" and listen for the sound of "ka-ching" at the cash register. Costing upwards of $1500 per pound these extravagant little delicacies are worth their weight in gold - literally. But most ofthe time what you're really after with truffles is their unique essence. That quality flavor and scent can often come from using truffle oil instead of the real thing.The infused oil gives you all the truffle elegance at a fraction of the price. And, since a little goes a long way, your investment in truffle oil will keep you satisfied for qwuite a while. If by chance a recipe calls for actual truffle pieces rather than just the flavor, try adding thin slices of earthy musrooms, like porcini, to add a tender chew.

2. Saffron is known as one of the most expensive spices in the world. Just a few strands can cost more than the rest of the meal it is used in. At some $300 an ounce or more, saffron doesn't often make it into our recipe repertoire. A clever mix of two less pricey spices - paprika and tumeric - can work for those times when you need a saffron presence in a dish. This combination provides a core complexity that works quite well when melded into a dish that calls for that saffron essence.

3. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams...Heard that before? Well, before you spend a fortune on popping corks and spooning out fish eggs, think about some delicious and frugal alternatives. True "Champagne" needs to come specifically from the very small region in France of that name. But there are tons of outrageously good "sparkling wines" that come from regions such as Bordeaux, Loire and Alsace. Known as Crémant these excellent sparklers, made by the same delicious method, can be purchased for prices often far below what the larger Champagne brands command. As for caviar, while Beluga may be known as the standard bearer, there are plenty of other exquisite options to explore including different types such as Ossetra, Alverta, Sevruga, Transmontanus as well as different sources, including sustainable and domestic.


We want to be sure you enjoy luxury everyday. Sometimes a little exploring gains you a lot of indulgence. These are just a few starter ideas to help you think about how you can reasonably add more posh delicacies to your own table.


Check out our affiliate friends at Cheese & Wine Unlimited for some terrific gift food ideas.