Getting Ahead of the Holiday Meal Cost

Meal Planning

Part 3 – Dry Ingredients

Now that canned items are taken care of, nonperishable dry ingredients are next. If you already created your menu, you’ll know exactly what grocery items remain.  If not, this list might spark some ideas and assist you in identifying additional items to add to your menu. To make menu planning and shopping easier, consider categorizing your list by breakfast, entrees, side dishes and desserts. For example, if you plan to have pancakes it will remind you to add flour and baking powder to your list. Below are some of the most common shelf stable dry ingredients used during the holiday season.

PowdersSweetsStarchesAdditional Items:
Baking Powder  Candies (toppings for desserts)  BreadcrumbsCondiments: Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Salad Dressing
Baking Soda  Chocolate Chips  Grits  Food Coloring
Cornbread Mix  Dried Fruits  Noodles (Elbow, Penne, Spaghetti)  French Fried Onions
Cornmeal  Sprinkles (toppings for baked items)  Pie Crusts: Chocolate, Graham, Oreo, PecanNuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts)
Cornstarch   Rice (brown, white, and yellow)  Mint Filling
Flour (All purpose, Almond, Self-Rising)    Oils & Cooking Sprays (Canola, Olive, Vegetable)
Powdered Sugar (used for frostings)     
Sugar (Brown & White)     

Recall from Part 1 of the series (Finding Your Recipes & Preparing Your Kitchen), bulk item purchases can be especially smart for items that have a long shelf life, are easy to store, and cheaper to buy in bulk.  Nuts are a great baking ingredient but can be expensive.  To lower the cost, consider buying in bulk and splitting the cost with friends or family.  A 24-ounce store brand of walnuts at Walmart is $8.98 compared to a 48-ounce store brand bag at Costco for $11.69. What a price difference!

The Getting Ahead of Holiday Meal Cost series is sponsored by the More In My Basket (MIMB) Program.  Visit for the complete series or to contact the More In My Basket staff.

PDF of Getting Ahead of the Holiday Meal Cost – Dry Ingredients – Part 3