What’s your biggest barrier to preparing meals at home? I love to cook, but sometimes lose motivation when I come home to an empty pantry! I’ve learned to avoid this problem by stocking up on staples that can be used to prepare quick meals and snacks.
Stocking up on staples can help you save money in a few ways:
- You can choose to replenish or add to your stock when your favorite items are on sale. Is pasta 10 boxes for $10? Are beans buy one get one free? This may be the perfect time to stock up! If you combine coupons with these deals, you can save even more.
- Instead of purchasing special items for recipes, you can substitute items you already have stocked in the pantry. For example, does a recipe call for fresh parsley and wild rice? Consider using dried parsley and white or brown rice that you already have in the pantry.
- You’ll be less tempted to go out to eat because you’ll always have plenty of food on hand!
Are you ready to stock up on staples? This list will get you started. Remember you can use your FNS/SNAP benefits to purchase most food items, including all the items listed here:
- Canned and frozen fish and meat
- Canned and frozen vegetables
- Canned, dried and, and frozen fruit
- Peanut butter
With a variety of food items in your pantry your meal options are endless! One of my favorite recipes to make with pantry staples can be thrown together in less than 20 minutes and costs less than $5.00 to make. It’s a one-pot meal that includes whole-wheat pasta (1 lb. box, any shape), frozen broccoli (12 oz.), and canned garbanzo beans (15 oz) that have been drained and rinsed. I start by cooking the pasta in boiling water and then add the frozen broccoli to the same pot when the pasta is almost cooked. When the broccoli and pasta are cooked, drain and return back to the pot. Stir in the beans and then mix with 1-2 tablespoons of oil or butter to lightly coat the pasta mixture. If you’d like, add some grated cheese and your favorite spices.
What are some of your favorite meals to make with pantry staples?