The More Affordable Bacon And Sausage Alternatives You Should Try

Whether sausage or bacon is the best meat to throw into your omelet is a well-known breakfast table controversy. However, many fans of these two meal staples may soon find that they won't be able to afford to put either cut of pork in their shopping carts. The fact is inflation has been running rampant, and out of all the food groups, meat prices are going up the most (per CBS).

According to Marketplace, meat has increased by 20% since 2021 and will most likely continue to rise before returning to more economical prices. And U.S. News reports that the cost of bacon and breakfast sausage, in particular, has increased by 15.6% in the last year. So these numbers may leave those who love to whip up bacon grease hash browns and breakfast sausage casseroles in a tough financial spot. However, you can still add some bacon and sausage flavor to your favorite meals and not exceed your budget. Here are a few ingredients to add to your grocery list if you want to get the same meat-like taste in your sausage gravy without buying real pork.

From mushrooms to eggplants, save money with these sausage and bacon alternatives

If you adore the taste of meat, that flavor you can't get enough in steak and chicken has a name. Known as umami, Healthline reports that this flavor is defined as salty and "meaty." But meat isn't the only type of food that leaves an umami tinge on your tongue. According to U.S. News, soy products, mushrooms, eggplant, and coconut all have the same umami flavor that makes breakfast sausage and bacon taste so delicious — which is why they are excellent and cost-effective alternatives.

It's important to note that cooking up a batch of eggplants won't act as a replacement for a side of bacon or breakfast sausage, but seasoning your economical ingredient swap of choice can help bring out its sausage and bacon-esque flavor. For example, roasting up mushrooms (which costs around $2 a package at Walmart, whereas bacon comes in at $7 per unit at the same store) with chili powder and smoked paprika will give the veggie the same dark flavor as regular bacon without the costly meat. 

So by being creative with these sausage and bacon swaps, you won't have to sacrifice your breakfast or bank account.