Low-cost pantry basics

POTATOES Super versatile! You can use them in soups, casseroles, breakfast dishes or side dishes. A few of our favorite potato recipes are Creamy Sausage and Potatoes , Cream Cheese Potato Soup with Ham , and Country Potato Soup. BUTTER This is probably the one thing that might seem iffy to put on a frugal pantry list.

Plus, I love using it to make these easy Garlic Butter Swim Biscuits! SOUR CREAM I like to keep this on hand to use in soups, to make homemade dips and to use in several casserole recipes as well.

But , since I cook almost entirely from scratch, I do end up using it quite a bit even so. Just a little bit can make a lettuce salad, tuna salad sandwiches or refried bean quesadillas so much yummier! And we love these White Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

FROZEN VEGGIES Often much cheaper than fresh veggies, the other handy thing about frozen ones is that they last much longer! I use them a lot as a side dish and also in recipes like my Easy Chicken Pot Pie , Cheesy Ham, Potato and Green Bean Bake and Easy Vegetable Beef Soup.

CHICKEN Probably the cheapest kind of meat there is and super versatile too! A few chicken recipes that we enjoy: Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes , One Pan Chicken and Rice , Creamy Crockpot Mexican Chicken and Homemade Shake and Bake Chicken. In casseroles or soups, I often can get by with using less than the amount called for.

A few ground beef recipes that we really like: Crockpot Tamale Pie and Super Easy Sloppy Joes. It helps me be frugal because I can buy in bulk when food is on sale becoming less and less, it seems, these days , portion it and freeze for later. Yes, I love stocking up and freezing items that are on sale too!

Such a great way to save. I so agree with you. We have worn out many vacuum food sealers over the years. Our son upgraded so he can vacuum seal whole chickens raised on his property. We opted for a slightly smaller model and use it daily.

when canning diced tomatoes can I pressure can them in stead of water bath? If so how long to pressure can? Yes, you can definitely pressure can them! As for how long, it will depend on your pressure canner and altitude.

I would look in the instruction manual that came with the pressure canner and go by what it says there. I would follow that. Tomatoes also freeze well! Either whole or diced or roasted. Consider that especially when your garden is at its peak.

I would add celery to that list as I use it in making stews. Onions, carrots and celery is your mirre poir for all basic stews. Yes, celery is a great pantry staple, for sure! Never heard of strained tomatoes but canned tomato products of any kind are handy to have, I think.

This is one of my favorite ways to save on cheese too. Great list! A tip on keeping garlic longer — I buy the 3 packs of bulbs from Aldi and immediately put them in a small ziplock kept in the freezer.

It keeps a long time that way!!! Ready to mince, etc. I also keep Panko bread crumbs in the freezer as I use them in a variety of recipes. Lime juice gets used in marinades, etc.

and lemon juice is frequently used as well, not only desserts, but certain salad dressings too. Final note, this is not going to work for everyone, but try to hunt out whether or not there is a good local butcher shop in your area.

Or at least within reasonable driving distance. I make a few trips a year and stock the freezer with various meats. Got a great deal on those and they worked just fine for recipes that called for bacon bits or a bit of chopped bacon — just froze them and pulled out what I needed.

I never knew you could freeze garlic! That is totally going to change my life. Thank you! And I started keeping my bread crumbs in the freezer too. Lesson learned. Freezing lemon and lime juice is so smart! I wish I could find a local butcher shop that has that kind of price on chicken!

So glad you are finding the blog interesting and helpful! It makes the work that I put into it so totally worth it when I get comments like that. There are two grocery stores near me different companies that every so often but always at different times!

have chicken leg quarters for anywhere from 39 to 59 cents a pound. so, 4 to 6 dollars for 10 pounds of those which I take home and bake and debone. I use the bones ad skin along with veggie scraps to make broth and usually enough chicken meat to make 2-cup packs that I stuff n the freezer.

It gives me a frugal break from my usual rotisserie chicken per week for much less broth and meat. It does take some work the day you buy but it saves so much money! And I love how you use every last bit of it. Tomatoes are another pantry staple that a lot of Freebs keep on hand!

Whether they're canned tomatoes, or tomato paste or sauce, there are so many different recipes you can make with them! Don't be afraid to doctor your tomato sauces with fresh herbs, garlic, cheeses, or thickeners to get the results you want.

You can even combined tomato sauce with paste for a slightly different take that uses up both ingredients. Now that you have some ideas about how to use up those delicious canned and jarred tomato soups, sauces, and pastes, let's talk beans! Whether they're canned or whole, beans are good for so many things!

Eat them plain, add them to meat to bulk up the meal, add them to a soup…. Those are just a few of the reasons that beans are one of the top pantry staples for the Freebs! You can even use your leftover canned beans in easy peasy dishes like my tamale casserole! Beans are a delicious filler and add protein and other nutrients!

These soups are so good to have on hand. They go with pretty much anything and can really help to take a few ingredients from being a random assortment of items to a casserole in no time!

Pro Tip: It is beyond easy to make your own cream of chicken soup if you keep broth on hand — just add milk, flour , and a little seasoning! Genius, right!? These are an obvious pantry staple! They're great to have by themselves as a side or added to a recipe. Pro Tip: To improve the flavor of canned vegetables, first rinse them in a colander under cold water.

Then add to your recipes as usual. Whether it's beef, chicken, or vegetable, broth and stock are great pantry staples to keep on hand! Just buy the biggest carton or whatever is cheapest that you can find if you use it a lot. Be sure to refrigerate it after opening so it doesn't go bad!

Pro Tip: I like to buy Better Than Bouillon from Costco. It's amazing and lasts a while! Oatmeal is such a versatile pantry staple! It can either be eaten on its own or easily goes into so many kinds of recipes, from early morning breakfast to dessert.

Did you know that an ounce package of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats contains roughly 26, rolled oats? That's a lot of oats! Canned chicken, tuna, salmon, ham, and beef are all great ways to keep meat on hand without having to worry about the electricity going out and your meat ruining!

These pantry staples are so versatile and work in a lot of different meals. Pro Tip: If you're cooking the canned meats in a recipe, make sure you don't add it in until the very end.

Your goal is to heat it up, not cook it and dry it out! Alright, well there you have it! The top 10 pantry staples according to you fabulous Freebs. If you're just getting started, you might find that these are excellent staples to build up in your pantry so you can shelf cook like a pro!

For a more comprehensive list of what to stock in your pantry, check out our pantry staples post on our shelf cooking site! The brand new ShelfCooking. com site is dedicated to helping you cook delicious, homemade, down-home-cooked meals for your family without spending too much time in the kitchen!

Baking Nuts and seeds Oils and vinegars

Low-cost pantry basics - Beans and legumes Baking Nuts and seeds Oils and vinegars

You can also get a variety of rice for low prices. Beans: From black beans to chickpeas, beans are a cheap source of protein. Try making a flavorful chili, creamy hummus, or even a hearty bean soup with spices and veggies.

Canned beans are also a powerhouse of nutrients, and they are easy to cook. Pasta: Pasta is the hero of quick, budget-friendly meals. Create classic spaghetti with a homemade tomato sauce or try something more exotic like a garlic and olive oil-based aglio e olio.

Dried Herbs: While fresh herbs can be pricey, dried herbs are a budget-friendly alternative. Plus, they have a long shelf life. Dried herbs also pack more flavor than their fresh counterparts, so you can use less of them.

Tortillas: Flour or corn tortillas are the foundation of many cost-effective and scrumptious dishes. You can make quesadillas, tacos, or even burritos with leftover ingredients. Just fill them up with whatever you have in your fridge. Our tip? Combine the chicken, cheese, herbs, and beans on this list with sun-dried tomato tortillas to make one killer quesadilla.

Pasta Sauce: A good pasta sauce can turn your humble pasta dish into a gourmet meal. Why's that? Cheap olive oils taste like bad olives. Good oils have a bright, floral flavor that shines through what you're eating.

While a higher quality oil may be a bit pricey, remember you're using teaspoons or tablespoons at a time, which stretches the cost out over dozens and dozens of meals.

Have you ever wondered why so many recipes call for garlic? It's because garlic is an aromatic ingredient it has a distinctive smell, and smell is an important factor for taste , and it's an easy way to add a ton of flavor to your meal.

There are so many ways you can add garlic to your dish based on preference and even budget — you can use fresh garlic cloves, store-bought minced garlic, or garlic powder. Fresh garlic is usually preferred, but any garlic will work to pack in the flavor. Ground meat, like beef, turkey, and chicken, is great for making a quick and easy meal.

You can make soups, casseroles, hamburger patties, and tacos with ground meat. Ground meat isn't the most inexpensive meat, especially depending on how lean you want it, but it's a good thing to buy in a bulk package and freeze for later.

And because it's so versatile, you can almost always replace one ground meat with what's on sale — like ground beef for ground turkey. Frozen vegetables are often cheaper than fresh veggies, and they last much longer.

And because you can buy a bag of mixed vegetables, there are so many ways to add veggies to your meal. You can add frozen spinach to quiche, mixed vegetables to fried rice, and corn to tortilla soup. Or you can heat up your favorite veggies and eat them as a side dish. Use limited data to select advertising.

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Develop and improve services. Use limited data to select content. When money is tight, the last thing you want to do is spend money on extra things to create a frugal pantry.

But, learning how to build up your pantry will actually save you money in the long run and even work up to how do you stock a pantry for 3 months and beyond. Of course, your pantry staples to stock up on a budget may look a little different than our pantry list based on your dietary needs and food likes and dislikes.

So think about those things when learning how to stock your pantry on a budget. So give careful consideration to what to put on your essential food items on a budget list! It will give you a better understanding of why we recommended these for pantry staples!

Once you build up your pantry food storage, you can even start saving money with once a month grocery shopping! TIP: Allow your pantry storage to build up for a few months before you start using it. Remember: the goal of stocking a pantry is so you have extra food you can rely on to stretch your money or for emergency purposes!

Need containers for pantry storage? A NOTE ABOUT THE PRICES LISTED: We used first quarter pricing from Amazon Fresh.

Low-cost pantry basics - Beans and legumes Baking Nuts and seeds Oils and vinegars

If you really want to make it easy, buy some baking mix such as Bisquick. You can make everything from pancakes to biscuits, muffins, blondies, and even as a coating for chicken. Nothing jazzes up dinner like some flavorful sauces and condiments.

You can make sauces out of:. You can use condensed soups to make a huge array of cheap pantry meals. Another one of the best budget pantry staples is tortillas. They have a much longer shelf life than a loaf of bread, but can be used for anything from tacos to individual pizzas.

A spaghetti dinner can come together super quickly with the use of a jar of pasta sauce. You can always doctor it up with more spices or fresh ingredients if you want.

Believe it or not, you can make more than just mashed potatoes with these. Try using them to make gnocchi, as a binder for meatloaf or a thickener for sauces and gravy, or even as a crispy coating for onion rings. Having a canister of breadcrumbs in the pantry can be used to:.

Russet, red, and sweet potatoes all have an incredibly long shelf-life when kept in a dark, cool place like your pantry. Onions also stay good for a long time, and add an incredible amount of flavor to any savory dish.

Canned veggies make quick side dishes, and easy additions to soups and stews. No kitchen is complete without olive oil for flavor and sauteing, and canola oil for higher temperature cooking and baking.

If you really want a quick and cheap meal, make something with eggs. From omelettes to breakfast burritos to scrambled in a hash, there is no less expensive source of good protein. Both as a topping for breads and baked potatoes, to an ingredient in sauces and baked goods, butter is an ideal ingredient to keep in your kitchen.

Much like butter, plain yogurt and sour cream can be used as a topping or ingredient. Pro-tip: Greek yogurt has a lot of protein, which makes the the perfect healthy alternative to sour cream.

Both parmesan and cheddar cheese pack a flavorful punch to many quick meals. Read next: 95 Pizza Toppings to Jazz up Homemade Pizza Night.

How to Use a Foodsaver Save Tons of Money on Meat and Produce. How to Create a Grocery Budget and actually stick to it! These citrus fruits are excellent when squeezed on a variety of dishes, plus they make drinking water and cocktails more flavorful. Since the freezer-section veggies are frozen at the peak of freshness, they contain most of the health benefits as fresh vegetables.

Berries from the freezer are usually far less expensive than not-in-season fresh berries. They can be thawed and eaten with yogurt or on oatmeal, or used to make tasty baked goods. I hope this list of pantry staples on a budget has given you lots of inspiration for how to stock your pantry.

Check out our list of must-have, budget-friendly pantry items and how you can use them in everyday meals. Brown rice is a whole grain and has more nutritional value than white rice. Stock up on brown rice, or other grains such as quinoa, and add it to your meals for a fiber boost.

Use the brown rice in grain bowls with black beans or other proteins, side salads, and puddings. Of course, you can also use brown rice to make fried rice or stir fry. For quicker meal prep, cook up a big batch of rice and freeze it for later, or look for pre-cooked rice that only needs a few seconds in the microwave to be plate-ready.

Beans are a great way to add protein to any meal — and they're cheap. While dried beans are a few cents cheaper, canned beans are more convenient because they're ready to use in an instant.

Either is worth stocking, depending on the time you have. Any beans — like black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, or white beans — can be used to replace meat in your meals, like in a black bean burger.

Beans are also a great addition to soups , stews , and chilis. They can be cooked with ground beef or other meats to stretch a pound to feed five or six instead of three or four. Traditional pasta sauce isn't only for spaghetti — although that's a quick and easy weeknight meal.

You can use leftover marinara sauce to make stuffed peppers , chicken Parmesan , meatloaf , pizza, and so much more. Next time you're at the store grab the multipack of sauce; it will save you extra money and provide you with multiple meals for the month.

Canned meat, like chicken, salmon, and tuna, is a great alternative for fresh meats. And it's a non-perishable item that will last significantly longer than fresh meat would, even in your freezer.

Canned tuna can be used to make sandwiches, salads, and casseroles. While canned chicken can be used for soups, salads, and, of course, dips.

Combine with a bit of breading, spices, and egg for fast and flavorful cakes or patties. Stock is a common ingredient in soups, sauces, and casseroles.

You can also use chicken stock to flavor your rice or other grains and sautéed vegetables. And a bit of stock can help you stretch soups and sauces if you need a bit more for a full meal.

Peanut butter is an inexpensive and versatile ingredient because it can be used in every meal of the day. From smoothies to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to peanut butter noodles , and tons of peanut butter desserts, the jar in your pantry will certainly not go to waste.

And if you have a peanut allergy, you can substitute other nut butters, like almond butter , in many recipes.

So many recipes start with oil, and for typical cooking applications, a standard olive oil is all you'll need. But buying a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil is important if you plan to make no-cook dishes, salad dressings, and sauces.

Why's that? Cheap olive oils taste like bad olives. Good oils have a bright, floral flavor that shines through what you're eating. While a higher quality oil may be a bit pricey, remember you're using teaspoons or tablespoons at a time, which stretches the cost out over dozens and dozens of meals.

Have you ever wondered why so many recipes call for garlic? It's because garlic is an aromatic ingredient it has a distinctive smell, and smell is an important factor for taste , and it's an easy way to add a ton of flavor to your meal.

There are so many ways you can add garlic to your dish based on preference and even budget — you can use fresh garlic cloves, store-bought minced garlic, or garlic powder.

Fresh garlic is usually preferred, but any garlic will work to pack in the flavor. Ground meat, like beef, turkey, and chicken, is great for making a quick and easy meal.

You can make soups, casseroles, hamburger patties, and tacos with ground meat. Ground meat isn't the most inexpensive meat, especially depending on how lean you want it, but it's a good thing to buy in a bulk package and freeze for later. And because it's so versatile, you can almost always replace one ground meat with what's on sale — like ground beef for ground turkey.

Egg noodles Do-it-yourself project samples great because they Pantr super cheap and can be Low-vost with just sauce baskcs with Low-cost pantry basics or in a variety of different casseroles or dishes. And these easy recipes with tortillas are also great as well. Such a great money saver! Another one of the best budget pantry staples is tortillas. You can make soups, casseroles, hamburger patties, and tacos with ground meat. During my SNAP challenge weekthe first thing on my list was a small can of tomato paste.

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PANTRY COOKING CHALLENGE 2023 - GROCERY BUDGET CHALLENGE JUNE 2023 21 Cheap Pantry Staples List on a Limited Budget

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