Monday, February 14, 2011

Pantry Staples

**Originally posted in 2006. While my list of pantry basics has changed some over the years, I still enjoyed reading about how I did things back near the beginning of our marriage!

I am frequently asked how I can cook from scratch and still stay within my grocery budget. Apparently there are some people out there who truly believe that it is less expensive to buy pre-made foods than the ingredients to cook these things from scratch. Well, I agree that some foods are rather expensive once you buy all the ingredients, but for regular weekly dinners, I try to make dishes that call for cheaper ingredients for the most part. Keeping a well-stocked pantry is also essential to cooking and eating on a budget! Here's a few of the items that I try to always have handy:

Basic Baking Supplies-flour(white and wheat), sugars(white and brown), honey, olive and canola oils, baking soda and powder, salt, pepper, baking cocoa, shortening, powdered milk, cornstarch, cornmeal, raisins,chocolate chips, nuts...

Dairy: milk, eggs, butter, cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, sour cream

Frozen: orange juice concentrate, assorted frozen veggies and sometimes fruit

Fresh Produce: carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, apples and I always buy fresh salad veggies and fresh fruit(on sale) when I go to the store.

Meats: ground beef, whole chickens and parts, other meats bought on sale

Other foods I keep handy: oatmeal(for baking as well as breakfasts),a box or two of cheap cold cereal, assorted dry and canned beans, rice, lots of different pastas, spaghetti sauce, assorted canned tomato products, peanut butter, saltine and Ritz crackers, applesauce, assorted canned fruits, a few canned veggies(we like frozen or fresh better),canned mushrooms, canned tuna and salmon, tortillas, pita bread, mayo, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce

I also have a large selection of spices and herbs that help to add variety!

Care to share? What are some of your pantry basics?

1 comment:

DarcyLee said...

I keep just about the same kind of pantry as you do. The thing I hear most about from other people about cooking from scratch is not how much money they can save but they just don't want to go to "all that trouble" of making things from scratch. My opinon is that everything tastes so much better when it's made from scratch than it does from a box and it's worth the effort to me.