If you cook from home, there are many pantry staples you should have on hand at all times.
Having a fully stocked pantry is a great way to save money on groceries, but filling it with a bunch of junk is not the best way to go about it.
Here are 12 frugal items to make sure you always have stocked in your pantry:
Not only is rice delicious, but it is extremely inexpensive, easy to store, and just a little bit goes a long way. Purchase rice in bulk and it will last months.
Looking for a super quick meal for lunch or dinner? Pasta is your friend! It takes just minutes to cook, doesn’t cost much at all, and a small amount will serve many people.
A key ingredient in most baked goods, flour should be in everyone’s pantry. It’s also good for thickening sauces (as is cornstarch). There are many different kinds of flour available, but all-purpose white flour is the most common and can be used in a ton of different dishes.
4. Dried Beans
Healthy, frugal, and cheap as can be. Beans are great as a side dish, to make dips like homemade hummus, in soups & chilis, and even to stretch your ground beef. You can purchase them canned, but dried is best.
5. Dried Spices
Think garlic powder, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, dill, onion powder and parsley flakes, to name a few. Spices are what take your meals to the next level, so make sure you always have some on hand.
You can do so many different things with this frugal pantry item, including cook with it (of course). Use white vinegar as an ingredient in homemade barbecue sauce, and balsamic vinegar to make a delicious balsamic vinaigrette for your salad.
Are you searching for healthy, and inexpensive breakfast ideas? Oats to the rescue! Use them to make homemade instant oatmeal packets or homemade granola. You can also use them in cookies, and just like beans, as a way to stretch your ground beef.
8. Canned Tomatoes
Whether you want to make your own homemade pasta sauce, need some diced tomatoes for chili or want to add crushed tomatoes to your chicken dish, canned tomatoes are the way to go (if you can’t find fresh tomatoes on sale).
Perfect for homemade soups, to make sauces, and even to cook delicious grains like couscous or quinoa in, chicken or beef broth are a frugal grocery staple that should be in every pantry.
Sugar is a key ingredient in many different recipes. Desserts, sweet sauces (like in this baked sesame chicken), and maybe even in your tea or coffee. Buy it in bulk when it’s priced the cheapest (with so much Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking going on, stores often have discounts on baking items like sugar in October-December).
11. Fresh Garlic
There is nothing more delicious than fresh garlic in [almost] any savoury meal that you make. Pasta sauce, chicken dishes, burgers, and even salad dressings. Garlic adds so much flavour for very little cash. That’s why you should always have this frugal pantry item on hand.
12. Fresh Onions
When combined with garlic, onions can make just about anything taste amazing. Not only are they extremely inexpensive (especially towards the end of the year), but if stored correctly, they can last quite awhile.
Look in your cupboards. Do you have these pantry staples on hand? If your answer is no, add them to your shopping list and pick them up the next time you are out buying groceries.
Then, when you’re preparing meals each day, you will have a fully stocked pantry that can assist you in making many delicious meals, very inexpensively.
What frugal pantry items would you add to this list?