Budget-friendly food pantry

If you're looking to cut down your grocery bill, you can buy fewer things. Or you can be smarter about the things you buy. The simplest way to accomplish this? Keep your pantry stocked with inexpensive, essential items that can mix and match with any number of foods for endless meals. Cheap doesn't mean flavorless or flavor-free.

No, this list of budget-friendly pantry essentials is designed to pack plenty of flavor and nutrition into everything it helps make. Cutting your grocery budget doesn't mean cutting the quality of food you buy, and it certainly doesn't mean making your food less enjoyable in the name of a few pennies.

Stocking these wallet-friendly essentials will save you money, and it will also help you be a more agile cook, one that's ready to adapt at a moment's notice instead of going out for expensive takeout. 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. Black Bean Soup : This Southwestern-flavored black bean soup is made with canned beans and pantry-staple spices, so it comes together in minutes. Serve with bread to sop up any remaining soup, or tortilla chips with salsa.

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The key is stocking up in an affordable manner is to not buy them all at the same time. By choosing to buy just a few each month or each grocery budget cycle , you reap the rewards of buying in bulk without breaking the bank. Personally, I like to shop for pantry essentials every few months, instead of for the whole year.

But if this is your shopping style, go for it! For my family and our healthy eating habits, we always keep the following healthy essentials on hand:. Of course, we have the other essentials I listed earlier, but these are the specific healthy eating ones I keep in stock.

I try to purchase as much as I can in bulk so I save money in the long run. I recommend deciding what is a healthy eating essential ingredient for your family and trying to stock up as the budget allows every few months.

Keep an eye out for sales too! For my family, when our pantry is well stocked, meal planning is so much easier. When a full flat of strawberries is cheaper than any other fruit, take advantage! Let them be the go-to fruit for snacks, side dishes, and dessert. Just be sure to freeze or dehydrate a batch so you have some when the sale or season is over!

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We keep a well stocked pantry. Something my mom taught me growing up. She also always told me to buy of everything when it is on sale.

That way when it goes back on sale we can stock back up at the sale price instead of full price. Something I am passing onto my daughter. I do the same as you and stock up on carrots, potatoes, onions and celery things we eat daily.

When we buy milk we buy gallons at a time, same with buttermilk. Our freezer is almost always overflowing with stick butter and we buy spreadable butter tubs at a time especially when on sale and we have coupons. We usually keep bags of fresh spinach and the cartons of spring mix on hand all the time for quick salad dinners and omeletes.

We usually have dozen eggs in the fridge at one time we use a lot of eggs and when they go on sale we usually stock back up.

We also keep a ready stock of cheeses we seem to use this often also.

Brown rice Whole-wheat pasta Pasta sauce

Budget-friendly food pantry - Peanut butter Brown rice Whole-wheat pasta Pasta sauce

Wallace says. That can raise blood sugar levels. It also breaks down more slowly in the body. One recent review of studies found that eating more whole grains lowers the risk of death from stroke and heart attack. Like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta is a whole grain.

The fiber it packs is good for controlling weight and blood sugar, and for fending off chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes. For quick and easy weeknight dinners, top your whole-wheat pasta with a jar of pasta sauce. Choose a tomato-based sauce such as marinara instead of creamy or cheesy sauces.

Tomato sauce is lower in calories and saturated fat. You could make your own pasta sauce with canned tomatoes. They make for a more rich flavor than fresh tomatoes. You can also mix them in with chili, curries, soups or gumbos. Fish is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are key to keeping your heart and arteries healthy.

And in good news, the benefits of fish are the same whether you buy it fresh or stock up on more budget-friendly cans. Try making salmon burgers with canned salmon. Mix up a classic tuna fish salad. Sardines are another great canned option: They have some of the highest amounts of omega-3s of any fish.

In general, pick low-sodium fish canned in water not oil to cut down on calories. But it's cheaper, already cooked and lasts for months in your cupboard. Try it in chicken salad, tacos, quesadillas or casseroles. And be sure to look for a reduced sodium option.

Durward, PhD, RD. Durward is a nutrition specialist and an associate professor at Utah State University in Logan. A lot of brands contain much more sodium than is good for our health and more than you need to make your dish taste good. Keep small tortillas around for Taco Tuesdays.

Or choose larger ones for veggie burritos, quesadillas or making wraps instead of standard sandwiches. Frozen veggies are picked at peak ripeness and frozen right away. That means they have all the nutrition of fresh, but they can last for months.

You can transform the same ingredients in a hundred ways by using different combinations of seasonings. These tiny, tasty foods that have been shown to help you live longer. Entrekin is an associate director of The Food Trust, based in Philadelphia. Buying nuts and seeds in bulk can make them more affordable.

Choose unsalted when possible. Both are great snacks on their own — stick to about a quarter-cup per day they are high in fat. Or use them to dress up salads, soups, baked goods and oatmeal.

It provides vitamins, minerals and fiber, which Entrekin says helps:. Uncooked oats are a popular add-in for baked goods. And they make a great binding agent in meatballs or meatloaves.

Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta analyses. The Lancet. February 2, ; : Accessed on June 13, Dietary fiber: essential for a healthy diet.

January 6, Accessed June 13, Chan School of Public Health. Carbohydrates and blood sugar. Lycopene-rich tomatoes linked to lower stroke risk.

October 10, Health effects of dietary risks in countries, a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study May 11, ; : This material is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.

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It may be different from your Aetna secure member site log in. Serve over rice for a complete meal. Need a great pantry dish for vegans? Look no further than this sweet potato chickpea curry, which is luxurious and satisfying enough to please even the meat eaters at the table.

Serve over rice, or with naan or pita breads for sopping up all the spicy sauce. A great vegetable chili — a super affordable way to feed a crowd — is really good to have in your repertoire.

This recipe calls for fresh corn and tomatoes, but you can sub in canned versions when they are out of season or if you have them in your pantry. This Asian-inspired rice bowl pairs equal amounts of rice and tuna by weight to ensure that the one-pot meal is a perfect balance of protein and carbs.

Make a double batch and eat leftovers cold over chopped lettuce for a great lunch salad. Taco Tuesdays get an affordable pantry makeover by featuring canned black beans cooked in a rich sauce of canned green salsa and savory spices.

No time to pick up tortillas? Serve over lettuce for a taco salad, or pile into baked white or sweet potatoes. Fried rice is an ideal way to use up leftover rice, but this dish is so good, you will want to make rice fresh just to cook it!

This recipe features quick-cooking brown rice for a great texture along with plenty of vegetables in the mix, including frozen peas. If you want to up the ante with protein, stir in some scrambled eggs or strips of omelet at the end.

Having canned salmon in your pantry is a wonderful and affordable way to get more fish into your diet without breaking the bank. These patties come together start to finish in 25 minutes, making it a perfect after-work meal.

You can serve with rice or potatoes, on top of a salad, or even put on buns for a version of salmon burgers. Ask any Italian what they cook when they need something fast and easy out of the pantry, and chances are they will say spaghetti aglio e olio.

Pasta in garlic-scented oil topped with Parmesan cheese can be a main dish or a side and is perfect in its simplicity. The key is not to rush the toasting of the garlic: if it burns, the dish will taste acrid and unpleasant.

We love to keep couscous in the pantry — needing only a steep in boiling water to bring it to life, it is the fastest carb to prepare. Add in some canned and frozen vegetables and a punchy lime vinaigrette and you have a salad that eats like a meal.

If you have rice, onions, and canned tomatoes in the pantry, Italian sausage in the freezer, and some bell peppers in the crisper drawer, you are a half hour away from popping some killer stuffed peppers into your oven.

Have any leftovers after dinner? Chop them up and make a hash, and top with fried or poached eggs for a hearty breakfast. A great savory casserole to serve up on a brisk fall or winter evening, this one-dish pantry wonder only needs a little salad on the side to turn into an amazing dinner.

This recipe stretches one pound of ground beef and some pantry ingredients into a meal that can serve people. Have a craving for tomato soup but no cans of soup in the cupboard? If you have canned tomatoes, you are 30 minutes away from fresh homemade soup that cries out for a grilled cheese for dunking.

This is so easy to make, you may never go back to canned tomato soup again. Indian cookery has always made the most of beans and pulses the technical name for the part of the legume we generally eat , and this dish of spiced chickpeas is everything you could hope for in an affordable pantry supper.

Serve over rice or with naan or pita, or pile into baked white or sweet potatoes. Canned black beans are the base for a veggie burger that is so simple to prepare, you might have bought your last frozen patty. Want that frozen convenience? Make a double batch, form and freeze uncovered until solid, then wrap in plastic wrap and stash in a freezer bag.

Grill straight from frozen and just add a couple minutes cooking time.

Canned beans Red, black, kidney, pinto — Budget-friendly food pantry beans Budgetf-riendly of the legume family are a common pantry staple. Get a fpod Budget-friendly food pantry fiod that pamtry is an expensive lifetlye change. Use limited data to select content. Yes please. Do you happen to have some flexible meal planning ideas? I so agree with you. This Asian-inspired rice bowl pairs equal amounts of rice and tuna by weight to ensure that the one-pot meal is a perfect balance of protein and carbs. The 10 Budget-Friendly Pantry Staples You Should Always Have on Hand

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What's for Dinner? Pantry Edition, Cheap, Quick, Budget Friendly Meals

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5 thoughts on “Budget-friendly food pantry”
  1. Es ist schade, dass ich mich jetzt nicht aussprechen kann - es gibt keine freie Zeit. Aber ich werde befreit werden - unbedingt werde ich schreiben dass ich denke.

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