These are crazy times we’re living in. Grocery stores are struggling to restock certain food items, and I’m sure many people aren’t eager to go to the store these days anyway unless they absolutely have to. This can lead to quite a dilemma when it comes meal preparation. Luckily, I’ve put together a list of ingredient substitutions. Enjoy!

1. Butter/Oil Substitute (for baking)

According to this website, applesauce is a substitute for butter or oil that you can use in some baked goods, particularly ones that tend to be on the moist side. Careful not to overdo it though, using only up to ¾ of the amount called for. This is an ingredient substitute that you might have lying around the house already, so give it a try.

2. BBQ Sauce Substitute

If you don’t already have any BBQ sauce on hand, I’ll try not to judge you too harshly. BBQ sauce is always an important staple to have, as it can be used as a marinade, a dipping sauce, or even in a crockpot stew. So, if you don’t have any, try this simple substitution recipe from this site. All you need is 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of mustard, and ¾ cup of ketchup mixed together to make 1 cup of BBQ sauce. Feel free to get creative, and add whatever applicable spices you have in your cupboard.

3. Ketchup Substitute (for cooking)

Going off of the last entry, here’s a dismal thought: what if you don’t even have ketchup? Well, thanks to The Spruce Eats, here’s an easy way to rectify that problem. Just take 1 cup of tomato sauce, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. This mixture is supposed to be used for cooking with ketchup, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try tweaking it a little and seeing how it turns out as a dipping sauce.

4. Simple Syrup Substitute

Simple syrup is used in many a mixed drink, but it has so many more uses. I always use simple syrup in my iced matcha green tea lattes for example (yes, I know, I’m basic), and it can be used to sweeten any cold drink that needs it. Simple syrup is actually something that is very easy to make on your own at home. All you have to do is take equal parts granulated sugar and hot water and mix them together until it thickens. I always add a few drops of vanilla extract into mine to give it that special flavor.

5. Lard Substitute

Lard is something that can be used in baking or cooking, but if you don’t have any in stock, fear not. According to this site, you can substitute out 1 cup of lard for 1 cup of shortening; 1 cup of butter; or 7/8 cup of vegetable oil.

These are some of the top substitutions I find the most helpful, but if you want a comprehensive list, I’d recommend perusing around this website.