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One of the most wonderful things about cultured food is the money-saving DIY aspect of the process. Making our own yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables has saved us countless dollars over the years.

And since we’re all looking for ways to cut the grocery budget, it makes sense to see what it is you can make for pennies that can replace those things you have to buy with dollars. Kefir becomes salad dressing, sourdough acts as our yeast, and pickles can be cheaply and freshly fermented.

Now I had a means of saving on our vinegar of choice.

Raw apple cider vinegar is something we purchase a lot of. My husband drinks a lot of it mixed into water to aid his digestion. I also use it as my go-to vinegar for salads. He wasn’t doing well with straight up kombucha, most likely due to the sugar content still left, so I let it sit for a bit longer.

At this point it is very tangy and tastes very similar to apple cider vinegar. I poured it off and mixed it into his water and there was no negative reaction. So, we were able to replace some of his apple cider vinegar intake with the kombucha vinegar. I say some simply because I ran out and am waiting on a new batch to finish fermenting.

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Now, one might wonder if there are any major differences in the two acids that might deter us from using them interchangeably. My general understanding is that there are differences. The food the mother is fed, for instance, is different – sucrose vs. fructose. Some of the resulting acids and bacteria are most likely different as well, both due to the differences in the food and the mother.

There are many similarities, though. They both contain acetic acid. They both aid digestion because they are a living food. They probably both overlap in some of the bacteria and organic acids they contain. They’re both a delicious and tangy addition to beverages and foods alike.

To be clear they aren’t the same, but because of what we use apple cider vinegar for, and because of what they have in common, substituting one for the other works.

So, I think it makes sense to replace that $5 bottle of vinegar with one that costs 90% less, don’t you?